Tag Archives: Essays

Why don’t we think animals are conscious?

Of Course Animals are Conscious

Kelvin Hodges

When I look at my animal and bird friends and neighbors I am often surprised by the complexity of their behaviours. Recently, for instance, I have come to be aware that I can tell which predator is in the area. A slow lazy alarm call, whether from the chipmunk, blue jay, chickadee, and usually all three or more, means skunks. A rapid alarm means the cat. A variety of birds calling out while congregated in one area means someone is being eaten there.

Hey, what you looking so surprised for, of course I'm cooler than you are.
Hey, what you looking so surprised for, of course I’m cooler than you are.

I bring this up because as humans we have an understanding of observed truths about our fellow beings and yet we are burdened with a host of what can only be called myths.

One of the more egregious myths, I would posit, is that humans are somehow uniquely conscious. I have considered this idea to be myth for some time. Here’s why.

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