van Kleef, Gerben A. (2022) Animals may be more reliably emotional than humans. Animal Sentience 31(18)
Andrew N. Rowan, Joyce M. D'Silva, Ian J.H. Duncan, and Nicholas Palmer, Animal sentience: history, science, and politics
Despite considerable advances in the study of animal sentience, reluctance to credit non-human animals with emotional capacities persists. I argue that this reluctance is untenable in light of (evolutionary) theory and empirical evidence. Humans may differ from animals in their ability to reflect on, reason about, and deliberately regulate their emotions. If anything, however, this implies animals’ emotional displays provide a more valid and reliable window into their internal states than do humans’, whose displays may be strategically altered. Any signs of pleasure or distress thus constitute direct readouts of animal wellbeing. It is time we start treating animals accordingly.
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