What do you think animals think of us humans?
Thank you for raising such an interesting question.
In my opinion, animals and human beings are just equal creatures. After all, humans are one of the animals. Animals do think, feel, and communicate with others like us. Basically, they see us as creatures of another species while how they may think of us varies with how a certain group feels about human beings.
Humans and Animals
Both animals and humans need to interact with other species for particular purposes, especially to satisfy basic needs, and our basic needs are the same, that is, to survive. Therefore, when animals confronting humans, the fight or flight response will work. Think about ourselves, if we encounter animals that are apparently stronger than us, we are likely to think of running away right at the moment. On the contrary, we do not need to worry. Overall, the feeling thing can never be fixed, everyone has an individual perception of every single other creature. This is the same with animals, how they think of us humans really depends on how they think of themselves.
I agree that many of them may not have so sophisticated brain structures like humans, but I believe every species has its own way to communicate, or at least, exchange information both within and among species. As I said, firstly, they see us and observe us and then assess us to see if we are a threat to them. After they made their judgments, they decide what the definitive response will be. If we do no harm and show kindness to them, they are willing to live in harmony with us and be our good friends. Think about domestic dogs or cats. Otherwise, in some animals’ cognition, humans are their formidable predators. I believe that their response to us may be fluid. All actions are based on some kinds of emotions and experience, for each species, this is always a long-term process to access others and judge whether a certain group is harmful to them or not. In the long history, animals have learned and are always learning about how to treat other species properly to survive.
In a TED talk named “Do animals think and feel?”, the speaker talked a lot about how animal thinks and feels, which really impressed me. The speaker had the experience to visit an octopus regularly. Then the speaker did not visit it for a fairly long time. Even when the octopus was at the last phase of its life, it still recognized the speaker and greeted her by touching when the speaker went to see it again after a long time. Therefore, facts showed that animals can evoke emotions towards humans and build connections with other species such as humans out of their own will.
I also think of a movie called Babe that I recently watched and I would like to recommend it to you. It is a children’s story, but the messages are really good. What I want to mention is just an interesting fact in the movie. When the sheepdog and sheep try to communicate with each other, the sheepdog Fly in her mind actually looks down upon sheep and treat them as inferior creatures. She thinks that sheep are stupid so she must talk slowly with enough patience so that they can understand. On the other hand, the sheep that answers her question thinks about exactly the same thing. She responds very slowly because she considers sheepdogs, which they always call “wolves”, are stupid. This makes me think about the relationship between animals and human beings. It is not wise to see them as inferior creatures, and I know there are certain animals who have much more sophisticated brain structures than us, which means they are actually more intelligent than humans in some ways. Maybe other animals will also observe us as stupid creatures in their minds, ha-ha.