Do animals have emotions? 動物也有情感嗎?

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人類有著複雜多樣的情感,動物也一樣嗎?研究表明,不論大小,每種體型的動物都能體會到某種感受。我們是否應更具同理心?本期 “隨身英語” 節目圍繞這一問題展開討論。

詞彙:emotions 情感

When you encounter animals, do you wonder what they’re thinking? Seeing a newborn lamb or a cute puppy might stir up happy emotions in us, but what are they thinking? Does the look on their face and how they behave indicate how they’re feeling – or are they feeling nothing at all?

Humans have a complex range of emotions, but it’s hard to tell what’s going on inside the heads of animals, mainly because they can’t verbalise their feelings. Perhaps it’s pets we think we understand most – as they are the animals we spend a lot of time with and therefore get to know best. Some of us own dogs because they are good companions, are loyal and seem to connect with us. We might even think they love us, although love could just be a human emotion. Professor Kim Bard, an expert in comparative developmental psychology from the University of Portsmouth, told the BBC: “We have a few studies now that actually show, scientifically… that [some] dogs will respond with empathetic concern when their owner – but not a stranger – pretends to cry.” The empathetic ability of cats, however, is harder to work out.

Other non-domesticated animals might have feelings too. Giraffes and whales, for example, are known to experience grief when someone in their group dies. Farm animals we often eat, such as cows and chickens, are also believed to experience pain, joy and other emotions. Their wellbeing is now taken into consideration more. And in the UK, new legislation means all vertebrate animals and crustaceans will be recognised in law as sentient beings. It’s believed even tiny creatures like insects might have emotions as well. Research is beginning to show they experience a wide range of feelings. Writing for BBC Future website, Zaria Gorvett says “they can be optimistic, cynical, or frightened, and respond to pain just like any mammal would.”

Dr Barbara J King, Emerita Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary, told the BBC: “If we understand the profound depths of emotions animals can feel, this should make us question the existence of zoos and slaughterhouses around the world, and rethink those systems.” It does seem all creatures feel emotion, but what is not clear is do they feel the same way as us?

詞彙表

stir up 激起(情感)
emotion 情感,情緒
feel 感覺
a range of 各種,不同的
verbalise 用語言表達
feelings 情感,感情
companion 同伴,夥伴
connect with 與…合得來,情感相通
empathetic 有同感的,通人情的
concern 擔憂
experience 感受,體會
grief 悲痛,悲傷
pain 疼痛,痛苦
joy 喜悅
sentient 有感知能力的
optimistic 樂觀的
cynical 持懷疑態度的
frightened 害怕的

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What’s the main reason why it’s not easy to understand how animals are feeling?

2. In an experiment, what did dog owners pretend to do to test their animal’s emotions?

3. Why would a giraffe experience the emotion of grief?

4. True or false? Insects don’t have feelings.

5. Which creatures are being legally recognised as ‘sentient’ in the UK?

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. Looking at the photographs _______ a lot of memories from our wedding day.

emotionalised         stirred up             verbalised           connected with

2. Our boss is _______ – he understands when the work is making us stressed.

frightened               sentient                empathetic         emotional

3. Despite the setback, I’m _______ about the future of our company.

optimistic                grief                      joy                      cynical

4. My son gets angry when he can’t _______ how he is feeling.

sentient                  verbalise              feeling                 grief

5. She was filled with _______ when she received the offer from her dream university.

grief                        empathetic           frightened            joy

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What’s the main reason why it’s not easy to understand how animals are feeling?
Animals can’t verbalise their feelings.

2. In an experiment, what did dog owners pretend to do to test their animal’s emotions?
They pretended to cry and be upset.

3. Why would a giraffe experience the emotion of grief?
Because someone in their group had died.

4. True or false? Insects don’t have feelings.
False. It’s believed even tiny creatures like insects might have emotions.

5. Which creatures are being legally recognised as ‘sentient’ in the UK?
New legislation in the UK means all vertebrate animals and crustaceans will be recognised in law as sentient beings.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. Looking at the photographs stirred up a lot of memories from our wedding day.

2. Our boss is empathetic – he understands when the work is making us stressed.

3. Despite the setback, I’m optimistic about the future of our company.

4. My son gets angry when he can’t verbalise how he is feeling.

5. She was filled with joy when she received the offer from her dream university.