I’ve been following Marc Bekoff’s work on Ethology (the scientific study of animal behavior) for years. He’s written and edited a number of books on the subject, including The Smile of a Dolphin: Remarkable Accounts of Animal Emotions, a collection of short essays on animal behavior.
One of his recent articles asks the question of animal research scientists, “Would you do it to your dog?”, in an attempt to address the question of animal experimentation in general, while highlighting the perhaps unconscious hypocrisy of animal researchers who conduct experiments by day and share their lives with dogs by night.
Bekoff’s main point is that, ” Our relationship with nonhuman animals is a complex, ambiguous and challenging affair, and we must continually reassess how we should interact with animal kin.”
Not an easy subject, but one worth thinking about — for its own sake, and for serving as a reminder to be on the lookout for where we might be allowing ourselves the disservice of unconscious thinking as well.