I am rather curious about the apparent empathy felt for dead animals, as that is not something I experience. I am trying to comprehend it. I wrote an entry about it, but I would like a broader spectrum of thoughts and answers. I won't copy the entry, but I'll pull out the important bits.
First off, I don't mean pets. Pets serve as companions. A certain, limited relationship is formed between you and the pet. I have had a pet. I have felt sadness when that pet was gone.
Additionally, this is not about animal suffering or animal cruelty. I understand not wanting animals to suffer. That is needless. I get that. No, what I don't get is when someone sees a dead animals, and they suffer negative emotions.
It is not sad when an animal dies. I will put that out there as a general statement. Let's say, the circumstance of death is unknown. Just dead. No knowledge of how or why. With that little amount of information, by default, it is not sad that the animal is dead. Whatever animal. Doesn't matter. Do you agree with that general statement, or do you feel that all animal death is sad?
Death is inevitable and on a much shorter time line for animals. There is a pony on my dad's farm. His name is Star, because of the star-shaped patch of white hair on his forehead. He was my pony for several years, then I gave him to my younger brother when I moved away. That pony is a year younger than I, meaning he is 20 now.
Star will die soon.
That does not make me sad.
Does it make you sad? If so, why?
Where do these emotions come from? I watch commercials that are obviously intended to arouse an emotional response, and I am completely indifferent. I am indifferent if they euthanize puppies and kittens. I am indifferent that horses are slaughtered and their meat exported. I am indifferent that large predators like polar bears and tigers are in danger of going extinct.
I am completely indifferent to animal death, even the sad, tragic kind. (Obviously I don't find it sad and tragic.) I don't approve of animal cruelty, but when I hear a story of a dead animal that died because of some sort of abuse, I do not feel any emotion for that animal. Do you?
Why is the same level of emotion and empathy that is given to humans given to animals? I don't see them as equal.
Do you really feel sad when you see a dead animal, or is that just a learned response? Do you really grieve for (non-pet) animal death?
I understand certain grief. A loved one dies, you feel loss. Your pet dies, you feel loss. You see a dead deer on the side of the road, there is no connection whatsoever to you, so why would you feel any sort of sadness?
Additionally, do you find this topic of discussion morbid, or does it arouse any negative emotions? If yes, why?