Feelings – of both humans and animals.

Five years ago Jean and I were married!

So if we are discussing feelings, as we are today, there is no better place to start than by me expressing my feelings of joy and love that I feel for, and still receive from, my gorgeous Jean. I know five years at our stage of life is far fewer than for many married couples but, nevertheless, they have been beautiful years and I wish for many more.

Diane Jackson, Bridesmaid, Jean and me, my mother and Dan Gomez, Best Man. November 20th, 2010

I had been pondering these last few days as to what I would write for today. For I wanted to celebrate our anniversary yet wanted a broader theme; so to speak.

There couldn’t have been a better answer to that ponder than a recent video that was presented by TED Talks. It was a talk by Carl Safina about what is going on inside the brains of animals: What are animals thinking and feeling? Or in the fuller words of that TED Talk page:

What’s going on inside the brains of animals? Can we know what, or if, they’re thinking and feeling? Carl Safina thinks we can. Using discoveries and anecdotes that span ecology, biology and behavioral science, he weaves together stories of whales, wolves, elephants and albatrosses to argue that just as we think, feel, use tools and express emotions, so too do the other creatures – and minds – that share the Earth with us.

Safina is very qualified to speak on the subject as his bio on that TED Talk page reveals. However, I couldn’t find a YouTube link for that TED Talk but could find two videos that are very good alternatives.

The first is a short video of Safina promoting his book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.

The second is a much longer video that is Safina’s presentation at the recent Ransom A. Myers Lecture. If you can spare the time, then do watch it. You will not be disappointed.

Published on Oct 9, 2015
8th Annual Ransom A. Myers Lecture in Science and Society. Thursday, October 1st 2015.

Title: Beyond Words: What animals think and feel
Presented by: Dr. Carl Safina, Marine Ecologist/Author, The Safina Centre

Finally, and please forgive my indulgences, I want to close today’s post with some photographs that for me have “feelings” stamped all over them!

Jeannie, Hazel and cat feeling trust for each other.
Jeannie, Hazel and cat feeling trust for each other.


One of our local deer trusting Jeannie.
One of our local wild deer trusting Jeannie.


Oliver and Pedy adoring each other.
Oliver and Pedy adoring each other.


Last but not least! Photograph taken two days ago by yours truly reflecting my feelings of wonder at being alive in this world!
Last but not least! A photograph taken two days ago by yours truly reflecting my feelings of wonder at being alive in this world!

Onwards and upwards!

18 thoughts on “Feelings – of both humans and animals.

  1. It confounds me that so many people find it difficult, impossible even, to consider animals fully cognizant, sentient, feeling, thinking beings.

    It absolutely infuriates me, therefore, that William Lane Craig, Christianities leading apologist, actually promotes the notion that animals don’t suffer. In fact, he says they can’t suffer. Of course, this is his way of rationalising and solving the Problem of Evil, and quite frankly, he deserves to have his nose broken for even suggesting such perverse nonsense on stage in front of audiences who hang on his every word.


    1. John, I agree wholeheartedly. Indeed, in response to your first paragraph, the feelings shown by our dogs, cats and horses, that we observe and experience multiple times each day, are perfectly clear to read. Yesterday afternoon a squirrel was stealing grains from the bird feeder and being repeatedly dive bombed by the birds. Impossible not to see the feelings of anger in those tiny birds.

      When it comes to the suffering we humans dole out to countless millions of animals …. I can’t even start to describe the extent of the feelings that Jean and I have! Well certainly not until after the 9 pm TV watershed! 😉

      John, thanks for your thoughtful reply.


  2. That animals think and feel as we do, yet, mostly, more modestly, was always the simplest description. Thus the most scientific and objective.

    Just as the fact the biosphere is exploding is the simplest and most obvious explanation of what is happening due to greenhouse gases and other abuses visited on the planet..


    1. Thanks Patrice. One might read in Safina’s words that “more modestly” would be better described as animals thinking and feeling in so many ways that are beyond the comprehension of humans.


  3. Congratulations to you both Paul and Jean!
    How lovely, Paul, that you found Jean ( and vice versa). You remind me of the late British author Derek Tangye, also happily married to a Jeannie. I have had great pleasure over the years reading and re-reading about their lives in a seaside cottage in Cornwall, with their beloved animals. Being English, Paul, I guess you would be aware of ‘The Minack Chronicles’?


    1. Val, my dear friend, please don’t even hint at an apology for offering what you call belated wishes. Just having your greetings is fabulous! (P.S. I’m going to edit out the word “belated”. So there! 😉 )

      And we had a gorgeous day! 🙂


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