Are People Who Love Animals more Empathetic?

Many animal lovers often face scrutiny by the people who are not fond of four-legged companions or nature’s wonders. Do people who love animals have some sort of moral high-ground or are they merely self-righteous?

Why Love Animals?

There are several reasons why some would prefer the company of animals instead of that of humans. Pet owners are quick to point out that the animals are intelligent, loyal, and do not lie, unlike humans. The music artist Pink, for example, has been quoted saying: “I’ve always felt that animals are the purest spirits in the world. They don’t fake or hide their feelings, and they are the most loyal creatures on Earth. And somehow we humans think we’re smarter-what a joke.”

So, the obvious argument in favor of loving animals is their lack of selfishness or dishonesty that can often seem prevalent in humans. Furthermore, some animals are known for their unconditional love, like dogs. In order for a dog to turn away from its master would require serious cruelty and neglect on the owner’s part.

Nurture

One of the reasons people often take care of animals in distress is that they are often helpless in their surroundings like their younger forms. The survivability of a dog that has been kept in a home most of its life and the one that grew up on the streets or in the wilderness are vastly different from one another. If we combine that with the nurturing instinct most humans are born with, it is easy to see why we like nurturing animals.

Pragmatic Aspect

People in the countryside are, arguably, much more in touch with nature and animals than those living in the cities. They are much better at understanding the circle of life and see animals as both companions/friends and food/goods. Sacrificing well-being of a human being in favor of that of an animal, if it is at all possible, requires an exceptional animal or a less-than-stellar human, or, at the very least, it would require a stronger bond with the owner.

Are Animal Lovers Better?

This isn’t really a question of moral superiority. Hitler was a vegetarian and an animal rights activist. PETA has dropped the ball a few times in its past. However, there are still whale hunters, poachers, and people who have nothing better to do than leave rat poison for the local dogs and cats.

The correct answer to this would be somewhere along of lines of: they are neither better nor worse than those who don’t love animals. They are simply different. Some people get along with animals better than with humans, whereas others prefer the company of beings that can hold a conversation, don’t relieve themselves in public, and have no fur or feathers that get everywhere.