Every animal – humans included – evolved in certain environments, making our perceptions of environmental features different. For example, some of us (perhaps our blogger Michael Howie) who grew up land locked in a city and saw Jaws at a young age, do not see open water as a good thing. But many species of bears evolved to enjoy the water: swimming, playing, and hunting in it.
And if you need evidence of this, look no further than Animals Asia. The far-east animal advocates recently rescued a bear named Tuffy from a bile farm (a horrendous experience where animals are kept alive and drained of their digestive fluids for ‘traditional’ practices) and allowed him to begin exploring his sanctuary enclosure.
While we don’t know what Tuffy was thinking, it’s pretty clear that he felt joy in his first experience with water. All animals – human and non-human alike – are capable of feeling a great range of emotions, and much of that comes from their environment. When you think about or talk about Earth Day, please remember that all sentient beings want the same things – and it’s in our power to keep their homes safe enough to enjoy it.
Video and screen grabs from Animals Asia