We humans like to think we are the only creatures on Earth with complex emotions, and that non-human creatures have neither feelings nor moral sentiments.
But science more and more is discovering that animals not only love and mourn (elephants would return to elephant graveyards to caress the bones of dead family members), have a sense of right and wrong, of justice and fairness (see “Animals can tell right from wrong“), they are also capable of acts of altruism — selfless acts to advance the wellbeing of another.
Even turtles are altruistic, as demonstrated by this turtle in Taiwan’s Taipei Zoo who helped another turtle that (someone?) had flipped onto its back.
Not only are animals capable of selfless acts of altruism, I know of no animal that commits acts of brutality like what humans do in the video (below) that was the subject of my “Graphic video of Michael Brown (?) assaulting an old man” post of Dec. 13.
WARNING: Very graphic, shocking, violent video
When animals commit acts of violence, they do it for a purpose — for food or territory or a mate. Only human psychopaths assault and kill for no good reason.
St. Bonaventure called animals “creatures without sin.” And indeed, non-human animals did not commit the primal sin of pride and disobedience against the Creator in that first garden.