Personal Experience With Animal Consciousness Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1120 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Animals

¶ … Personal Experience With Animal Consciousness

All my life I have had pets -- both dogs and cats. Through my interactions with them I have learned a lot about them and a lot about myself. One of the most important things that I have learned is that I do believe that animals think, but not quite in the same way that humans think. When human beings think, there are many thought processes that they must go through and there are many issues that they often consider, sometimes subconsciously. However, animals do not think of things in the same way. They seem to take a more direct route and think about immediate concerns such as food, as opposed to the long-term concerns that humans might have (Cromie, 2002).

Because of this, there are subtleties and differences in how animals and humans both look at the world and react to it, and these must be examined in order to understand how animals think. The most serious of these issues is what makes up consciousness and how humans define it. Many human researchers feel that animals must have consciousness that is "like their own" in order for the animals to be conscious beings that can actually think (Cromie, 2002). However, other researchers argue that animals can have their own type of consciousness that is different from what humans have and still be able to 'think' for themselves. Many of these opinions that have been advanced over the years, however, have been based on the work that individuals have done with chimps and gorillas (Cromie, 2002). It has been widely assumed that cats and dogs cannot 'think.'Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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While this may be accurate from a completely scientific point-of-view, that does not change the way that pet owners often look at their animals and does not change the fact that these owners truly often believe that their animals are 'smart' and that they can 'think' for themselves, as well as listen to what is told to them and understand it. There was a dog and his owner on television not that long ago, and the owner would give commands and the dog would obey. This does not sound like a big deal, but it is important to understand the kinds of commands that were given. This dog understood "back up," "take one step....take another step," "turn around....now turn the other way," and other seemingly complicated commands that most individuals would say a dog could not learn because a dog could not 'think' enough to understand what was being said.

Whether this actually means that the dog was thinking is a matter for scientific debate, but the owner likely thinks that the dog must have some measure of intelligence in order to be 'conscious' enough to understand what the commands meant. This particular set of commands likely went on for a full minute or longer, and the dog never had a misstep or a problem, regardless of what the command was. Naturally, a great deal of training must have gone into this, and some dogs are simply smarter than others as well, but the indication is that the dog 'understood' what was being said to him and was then able to act on what he heard to respond to the statement or request that was made by following the instructions of his owner. To me, this… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Personal Experience With Animal Consciousness.  (2006, December 5).  Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/personal-experience-animal-consciousness/597138

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"Personal Experience With Animal Consciousness."  Essaytown.com.  December 5, 2006.  Accessed March 1, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/personal-experience-animal-consciousness/597138.