Animal Wise by Virginia Morell- Quote Collection

“Surely, the most important part of an animal is its anima, its vital spirit, on which is based its character are all the peculiarities by which it most concerns us. Yet most scientific books which treat of animals leave this out altogether, and what they describe are as it were phenomena of dead matter.”

Henry David Thoreau, pg. 0 

“Despite this evidence, some people, including some scientist, still object to or have difficulty accepting this simple fact of life. One researcher I interviewed, who studies the mental abilities of humans and dogs, told me that the “biggest problem” he faces is that some of his colleagues in the department of human cognition at his university “don’t think of humans as part of evolution; they don’t fully accept that humans are animals.”

Virginia Morell, pg. 10

“And even if an animal could talk, would we listen?” 

Virginia Morell, pg. 73

“In the earliest times, when both people and animals lived on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to, and an a imam could become a human being. Sometimes they were people and somethings animals and there was no different. All spoke the same language. that was the time when words were like magic.”

Nalunglaq a netsilik eskimo, pg. 74

“Although some still regard laughter as a uniquely human trait, honed in the Pleistocene, the joke’s on them.”

Jaak Panksepp, pg. 116

“Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent that dolphins because he had achieved so much- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on- while all the dolphins had ever done was much about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent that man- for precisely the same reasons. ”

Douglas Adams, pg. 158

“They must be able to calculate the consequences of their own behavior, to calculate the likely behavior of others, to calculate the balance of advantage and loss- and all this in a context where the evidence on which their calculations are based is ephemeral, ambiguous, and liable to change,  not least as a consequence of their own actions. In such a situation, ‘social skill’ goes hand in hand with intellect, and here at last the intellectual facilities required are of the highest order.” Humphrey and Jolly agreed that the most demanding challenges facing primates, our early ancestors, and humans today is the game of social plot and counter plot.” 

Humphrey, pg. 196

“Really, I cannot believe this. With Ayumu, as you saw, we discovered that chimpanzees are better than humans at one type of memory test. It is something a chimpanzee can do immediately, and it is one thing- one thing- that they are better at that humans. I know this had upset people; you can read their comments on YouTube, where they even say it must be a trick- the chimpanzee is cheating. And now here are researchers who have practiced to become ‘as good as’ a chimpanzee! I really do not understand this need for us always to be superior in all domains. Or to be separate, so unique from every other animal,” he said. “We are not. We are not plants; we are members of the animal kingdom.” …”what is so threatening to us about the mind of the chimpanzee?”

Matsuzawa, pg. 232

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