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I've always wondered about this. Are humans the only species aware of their own mortality? I've always assumed this to be the case but recently I heard a story from a mate about the time just before his dog passed away. Apparently it just got up, found a quiet spot where it never usually goes and just died, as if he was looking for a final resting place.<br><br><br><br>
I've heard this is common among dogs, but what about other animals?
 

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i have heard of cats doing the same thing. once a vet told my grandma her cat was trying to commit suicide (she found it in a puddle of water) b/c it had cancer. i think he was off his rocker though....
 

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I think it's common with all kinds of animals.<br><br><br><br>
Unfortunately, a lot of them don't get that luxury of picking their "final resting place" because of a little thing called factory farming (among other things).... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:">
 

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my doggie was extremely ill last month, and he crawled under the neighbor's porch to die. we did find him, and he is on meds for his conditions now.<br><br><br><br>
last year, aout an hour's drive from the town i live in, several pigs jumped out of the back of a truck (on the highway) that was going to take them to a slaughterhouse. the pigs that escaped did not survive.
 

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The dog I grew up with found a final resting place.<br><br><br><br>
When I came home from school the day he passed away (I was 15), my mom came into my room and said the dog had been missing for a few hours. She'd been looking for him all over and couldn't find him. So I decided to go take another look in the backyard. When I went to the back door, the cat was standing right outside yelling her head off. When I stepped outside, the cat started racing across the backyard all the way to the other end (we had a HUGE backyard). I instinctively followed her, and she led me to the bushes way in back, where the dog was lying. He'd probably been dead for quite a while, b/c my dad touched him (I couldn't) and said he was cold. So yeah, he crawled into a quiet, dark spot to die. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> (He was also 15 years old).
 

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I think that knowledge of your own mortality, and knowing death is imminant are two different things. Humans are actually "taught" that they are going to die one day. They usually dont put together that what happens to other people will happen to them until a certain stage of brain development. Even then, whether they accept or deny its "permanance," or "reality" is up to the way they are trained. For example, some people trained to believe they go to "heaven" or get another chance through "re-incarnation," even though these are likely fantasies meant simply to soften the blow. Animals who find a quiet place and die are simply doing what animals do when they are sick-- they find a quiet place. They don't know whether they will heal or die.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">For example, some people trained to believe they go to "heaven" or get another chance through "re-incarnation," even though these are likely fantasies meant simply to soften the blow.</div>
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Yes, even Einstein was duped into believing in God. But he was such a simpleton who was probably prone to believing in fantasies.<br><br><br><br>
As for animals knowing whether they are going to die: I think some animals are more "aware" (in the human understanding of the word) than others. I know that a rabbit of ours went down to one of the holes and died there after his daughter (and only rabbit companion) died unexpectedly. I think a lot of animals know when they are close to dying of "natural causes" (old age or whatever). I'm not sure if cows on a dairy farm know they will become hamburger when they are no longer productive until they get to the slaughterhouse and smell the fear and the blood.<br><br><br><br>
It is said that elephants will lift and examine the bones of dead elephants leaving some to speculate that the elephants are contemplating their ancestors and possibly their own mortality.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mr. Sun</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yes, even Einstein was duped into believing in God. But he was such a simpleton who was probably prone to believing in fantasies.</div>
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I think Einstein's religious beliefs are a somewhat controversial issue, and it's not obvious that he held any traditional Christian views for example.<br><br><br><br>
Wikipedia says:
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<div class="quote-block">In response to the telegrammed question of New York's Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein in 1929: "Do you believe in God? Stop. Answer paid 50 words." Einstein replied "I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind."</div>
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And Spinoza's God is pantheist and I would say a non-religious concept.
 

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I think animals are aware. When I was younger, we had parakeets, and one of them (apparently he had developed an intenstinal problem) went behind the entertainment center to die. Even a beta fish we had seemed as if it knew it was going to die.
 

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Sevenseas, I started writing my response off line and it got longer and longer and went off into too many directions. I guess I was a bit tired and crabby this morning and when I read Gita's post I thought I should respond. But there is nothing I can say or do to make someone believe in God or heaven. I guess I'll just have to trust that I'll see you all there when the time comes. What would heaven be without all the VBers, lol. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Imo, Gita's explanation of heaven is dismissive and condescending and not really appropriate for this thread. I think s/he is entitled to those beliefs but I think a discussion in the "Veggie Patch" or a debate in the "Heap" would be a more suitable place to undermine those who have a spiritual/religious understanding of life. Gita could have made the same point about animals without bringing up belief in heaven. But so be it.
 

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Animals have a limited sense of the future, its one of the things that seperates intelligent animals like dogs, dolphins and monkeys, from humans. We plan, they don't, they're happier in the long run <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">.<br><br>
When they are about to have their throat slit at a slaughterhouse, they know whats going on. Its all part of the survival instinct, you have to know when you're in trouble.<br><br>
Likewise, when my dog died of Leukemia a year and a half ago, she was painfully sick and definitely ready to go (though, I was not ready to let her go). She knew she was dying in a very instinctual, organic way. She was exactly like an elderly person who knows its their time. Its hard to explain, but after it happens to you, you know its true.
 

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it is hard to say for sure i suppose, but i truly believe they are much smarter than most of us give them credit for ..<br><br><br><br>
i have such a connection with my pets .. they are part of my family .. and they are totally aware of what is going on around them .. of course as some posts have mentioned they are not educated in the same ways we are, but i do think they know quite a bit ..<br><br><br><br>
sometimes when you see all the horrible things some animals are forced to endure you wish they were stupid and had no idea what was going on, but i don't believe that is the case and that is why i first gave up meat ..
 

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I think they do in a way, maybe not the same was as humans but it's still there, they have to, it's a survival instinct.<br><br>
If non-human animals didn't know about death to a certain degree they'd be getting killed all the time, a gazelle wouldn't run from a lion, a mouse wouldn't try to hide from an owl, a wild animal wouldn't fight back when they got caught, ect.
 

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I think "animals" is too generalized.<br><br><br><br>
Also, I don't see looking for a place to die as meaning that animal knows about death. If it's dying, an animal could quite possibly just feel sick or unhappy or whatever as its body is near death.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mr. Sun</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sevenseas, I started writing my response off line and it got longer and longer and went off into too many directions. I guess I was a bit tired and crabby this morning and when I read Gita's post I thought I should respond. But there is nothing I can say or do to make someone believe in God or heaven. I guess I'll just have to trust that I'll see you all there when the time comes. What would heaven be without all the VBers, lol. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Imo, Gita's explanation of heaven is dismissive and condescending and not really appropriate for this thread. I think s/he is entitled to those beliefs but I think a discussion in the "Veggie Patch" or a debate in the "Heap" would be a more suitable place to undermine those who have a spiritual/religious understanding of life. Gita could have made the same point about animals without bringing up belief in heaven. But so be it.</div>
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Yeah well I wasn't defending Gita's view or attacking religion, just commenting on Einstein.<br><br><br><br>
I personally think, though, that although Gita has said some offensive things in the past (like veganism being "dangerous"), that comment wasn't particularly questionable. But I'm coming from an agnostic perspective so maybe that's why it's hard for me to see it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mr. Sun</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
Imo, Gita's explanation of heaven is dismissive and condescending and not really appropriate for this thread. I think s/he is entitled to those beliefs but I think a discussion in the "Veggie Patch" or a debate in the "Heap" would be a more suitable place to undermine those who have a spiritual/religious understanding of life. <b>Gita could have made the same point about animals without bringing up belief in heaven.</b> But so be it.</div>
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I agree.<br><br>
Mary
 

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I think we don't really know, can't really know, what level of understanding animals have about that sort of thing. All we can do is observe behavior, and it's a very big jump from any behavior to philosophical understanding. We do, as a group, show a strong tendency to interpret behavior in terms of what it would mean if *we* did it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yeah well I wasn't defending Gita's view or attacking religion, just commenting on Einstein.<br><br><br><br>
I personally think, though, that although Gita has said some offensive things in the past (like veganism being "dangerous"), that comment wasn't particularly questionable. But I'm coming from an agnostic perspective so maybe that's why it's hard for me to see it.</div>
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Yeah, I was trying to think of an analogy that would explain why I became upset because I thought I might be questioned on that. But any analogy I thought of seemed to just bring up more contentious subjects that would further take this thread in a direction not intended by the OP. I didn't find your post offensive because it was only in response to my post.<br><br><br><br>
Gita's post is not really a big deal. Normally I would just ignore such remarks because they come up in all areas of life and sometimes I find that perspective to be funny. As if all of us who believe in heaven see a old bearded man in the sky who brings us up to the pearly gates so we can walk around on golden streets. I'm not sure if anyone believes in that version of heaven.<br><br><br><br>
And that was my point about Einstein: there are those who take the perspective that others who believe in God also believe in a fantasy. But belief in God can be very complex and even among those in a particular religion the belief is varied. The fact that Einstein believes in God may indicate that the belief in God is not just some kind of fantasy belief. Even those who may have a more conventional understanding of God find it difficult to explain what they believe in:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Saint Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest theologians and philosophers of the Christian church. Saint Thomas is called the <i>Angelic Doctor</i>...<br><br><br><br>
His two greatest works are <i>Summa contra Gentiles</i> and <i>Summa Theologica</i>...<br><br><br><br>
Aquinas stopped work on [a third document of Summa Theologica] in 1273, when he came to believe all he had written was "like so much straw compared with what I have seen and what has been revealed to me."<br><br><br><br>
-- World Book Encyclopedia</div>
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But live and learn I say. And yesterday I did both. I have never really looked into pantheism and yesterday I took the time to look into it a bit and what I found was that the teachings of pantheism and the teaching of Jesus are not necessarily in opposition. So I'm not surprised to find aspects of pantheism has been taught by some Christians:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">There is pantheism in the teachings of the Neoplatonists and of such Christian philosophers as Erigena, John Scotus and such mystics as Eckhart and Boehme.</div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://columbia.thefreedictionary.com/Scientific+Panthiest" target="_blank">http://columbia.thefreedictionary.co...ific+Panthiest</a><br><br><br><br>
I also did some reading here: <a href="http://friesian.com/spinoza.htm" target="_blank">http://friesian.com/spinoza.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
And what does all this have to do with the OP? In essense: nothing. This is a discussion that should take place in another thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I realize that what I write sometimes may be condescending and dismissive but I try to fit those perspectives into the proper threads instead of trying to slip them into threads that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.
 

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sevenseas, your icon scares me so much <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 
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