Monthly Archives: December 2016

Do animals have emotions?

Just revisited a book I bought sometime ago. “The Pig Who Sang to The Moon” by Jeffrey Mason. Subtitled “the emotional World of Farm Animals”.

I know, you’re wondering why I’m mentioning this book out of the blue. The title struck me as interesting when I came across it in a London bookstore. I certainly would not find this book in a religiously sensitive country where the animal or even the mere mention of it is considered offensive. (Won’t go into that at the moment except to say that not all followers of the religions that avoid pork are so ### but many governments pander to the whims of the insane minority).

The book really is not about pigs per say, but use the animal as one example among others, of the view that animals have the same ability to feel, and think, as humans. I am not against eating meat, and I do eat meat, although in much smaller quantities than I used to, as I grow older. Not because of the book or any belief system.

The book uses studies and examples of how certain animals in the studies, were found to be able to have fun, think feel, and therefore possibly anticipate the future. The horror of living a life in anticipation of being slaughtered in the prime of your life.

Death is not the only concern expressed for animals in the book. It is about the immense suffering we put animals, pigs, cows, goat, chicken, etc, when we breed and raise them in the sort of commercial farming systems so widespread today.

DOG

One interesting question raised in comparing dogs and cats (which we abhor the thought of harming, much less of eating), with farm animals is that the farm animals do not show an interest in us like cats and dogs do. “Can we only be interested in an animal who fawns on us? Is our vanity so terribly fragile that we require adoration before we accord even the faintest interest? It is not true that farmed animals are indifferent; they are frightened. It is true that all farmed animals are standoffish with us, because there is always a deep basic justified mistrust”.

Towards the end of the book the author asks the question of whether we mistreat animals we breed for food, because They are different from us. It seems a stretch of logic to go from here to inter human relationships.

But my own question is whether there is a connection with all forms of negative discrimination among groups of humans. I remember that at one time the term “positive discrimination ” was bandied around as the justification for some forms of racial discrimination. I am glad I don’t see this term in common use anymore, as it is one of the most ludicrous terms invented, to justify bad policies. Presumably it didn’t achieve the purpose of avoiding embarrassment in mixed company or the world is grown so immune to shame that you can call a black sheep white and to hell with anyone who disagrees.

How big or small, is the step, from ritual slaughter of animals, to that of human? What does it do to our own minds and psyche!

No pain no gain?

There is a common perception that in order to benefit from exercises all from sports we need to suffer pain.at the same time, there is also a belief that pain is a warning by our system, the body system,  that something is wrong somewhere and that  we need to protect the part that is suffering pain. 

Clearly, there is truth in both of these statements. The difference is the situation under which we will apply either one of these beliefs. I should not use the word belief, because we need to look at the facts of the individual case.

There must be some sort of criteria, guidelines, that we can make use of in deciding whether the pain that we are currently suffering from, in a given situation, is one that we should try to minimize or try to remove the source of pain in any way.  We ought to, perhaps even increase the pain significantly, in order to take away the problem permanently.

Give this matter some thought, because all of us will at some point or other, face this decision. Leaving the decision to others to tell us what to do is not a good idea. Because the pain can only be felt by we ourself and the way that we verbalize the condition to another person, even a doctor, may not do justice to the actual condition. 

My Injured ankle. X-ray MRI did not help the “specialist” doctors diagnose the problem let alone the cure. More on this on a later post. 

Old and New buildings contrast reflects some inate human nature?

When I saw this old building in front of the modern glass walled skyscraper, I thought of whether it reflects the changing taste in society of this place. If so, is it due to evolving ideas of what is desirable in a building? Or is it a change brought about by advances in technology. That is, limitations of technology determine what is desirable, to an extent.

Increasing rates of change in our environment and technology has led us to believe that what is impossible today, may one day be possible. Often within our lifetime. Science fiction has become reality.

What then is the next step-wise change in our thoughts? When there is the self confidence that what we wish for, can be achieved, with time and resources, what then is the next level of expectations?

A philosophical question? A moral question? Or is even the type of question yet to be understood and given a name!

An old brick building in front of a towering glass clad tall building.

Old short, New tall, building technology reflected here.

Hong Kong airport express train to town discounts for group travel

Hong Kong has an efficient transport system. There are buses from the airport going into town, and there’s also an express train. One thing I learned from someone In the hotel I stayed in, was the discount you get if you buy a ticket for two or more people traveling together.

This discount for more than one, offer is found in some other places and countries. The purpose usually is to encourage more use of public transport, reducing the number of cars on the road. Hopefully. 

Thinking out of the box is incorrect.

Thinking out of the box may be a good thing. But there’s a problem when it’s applied. In order to think out of the box, you have to be able to know where the box is. This is often missed out. The box is different according to the scenario and the area of study. There is no such thing as a universal box where you can say that “this is the boundary of the box” and apply that to all situations. Photo-2016-12-5-07-45.jpg