View Full Version : Do animals laugh and weep?

06-22-2009, 01:28 AM
Sometimes I wonder whether animals dream, imagine and think. I have already raised this question before. Now I have a different question. Some animals seem laughing and weeping. Of course they too must express their feelings and as a matter of fact it is thru laughter and wail that they need to release spurts of emotions and impulses that erupt within them in response to certain stimuli.

Dogs seem laughing, so are hyenas when they put their tongues out. We see tears flow down their faces when we beat or be cruel to animals.

Of course there might have been great researches on this issue but I am ignorant of this fact and have inquisitiveness to know it. And of course it is by asking here that we can open ourselves to lots of answers.

Some behavioral patterns seem to be exclusively human attributes and as unfound in the animal kingdom man seems to have the exclusivity of smiling and crying.

Do animals cry if they are imprisoned or chained? Or do they shed tears? Or do tears well up from their eyes?

06-22-2009, 02:07 AM
I think this is a question best left to scientists and.. psychologists. I dunno.

06-22-2009, 02:49 AM
i have been volunteering at an animal shelter, and I can assure you that dogs are emotional creatures. They can feel pain, but more than that, they can become depressed, they can express gratitude, and they can have sustained friendship (or have long-standing hatreds) among themselves and with humans. It is often said that animals are unaware of their immortality, and are thus free of some of the concerns (and perhaps, joys) about death (and birth) that people experience. I think this is pretty much true, but an old dog can sometimes seem a bit wise to how things are going, in all of its debilitation and exhaustion.

Dogs do cry (the noise), but it is generally a high-pitched whine. Anyone who has heard a dog get hurt has probably heard that whine. The whine can come from emotional pain, too, though. I have heard it come from dogs that want attention, etc. Dogs don't tear, I think. It's hard to tell, some breeds can get "dirty" around the eyes, but I have never seen an actual tear fall from an eye, or anything like that.

Regarding the specific question of animals being imprisoned and chained, dogs can generally adapt to that sort of situation. In general, even a well-cared-for dog will become accustomed to being chained and/or living in an enclosed environment. Given comfortable circumstances, a dog will be happy to stay in and defend its territory. In fact, they are sometimes sadly comfortable with domination and abuse, and it is a great shame the way that humans sometimes take advantage of this. Some are more "free spirits" than others are, however. Some are more rebellious, and some are prone to a condition that strongly resembles depression. But let me make it clear, I have never met people who care for animals so much as the people who work at the (non-profit, no-kill) shelter I volunteer at. These are very lucky dogs, and their lives are made even better whenever someone can come by and adopt one.

06-22-2009, 06:44 PM
There is a whole field surrounding this question. The phenomenon of people interpreting animals' reactions as being like humans' (such as the idea that dogs cry tears when they're sad) is called Apomorphism. Dogs do have tear ducts with physical pain receptors, that is, if the dog were to say be poked by something sharp in the location of it's tear duct, it would feel pain, but dogs do not express their pain by discharging tears. They express physical pain vocally, as the above poster said. The emotional nature of an animal's pain is not something that has really been scientifically established. There are theories relating to the make-up of the animal's brain relating to consciousness which state that animals aren't capable of feeling that emotion, but it is extremely evident that animals show physical behaviours associated with the type of emotional pain experienced by people (they become lethargic and unresponsive or "depressed" much the same as people do).

Personally, from my experiences with different animals, I think they do feel emotional pain, but they are not particularly conscious that it is happening or why it is. That is, they might be upset but they don't consciously think "I'm upset" the way a person can. And of course there are physical responses to these pains and other emotions as well. I'm quite sure though that saying an animal is smiling or laughing is a human trying to give the animal human characteristics as a way to better relate to the animal.

I also think that animals have a strong sense of empathy, again, unconsciously done. If an animal has experienced physical pain of a certain nature in the past, and sees or heres the physical reaction of another animal going through a similar experience, it will remember/recall how it felt and will show the signs of how it felt when it had that experience, such as a horse wincing if it hears another horse's reaction to being hit. It tells me that that horse has been hit in the past. It doesn't consciously think about when it was hit, but it recognizes that it has felt what the other horse is now feeling. If that makes sense.

06-28-2009, 01:45 AM
I have no trained experience with animals, so I'm merely sharing my own observations. I'm not sure if they laugh or weep, in the sense that they actually have facial expressions. I have (had) 3 cats, one of them quacks when she's happy. After she died the other 2 cats make crying sounds that I've never heard of for as long as they're with me. 2 weeks before I lost her I took a photo of her coming down the stairs, and after she was gone I sent away for a life size photo and put it on that step where I took the picture. One day one of them was crying, I mean, heart wrenching cries. I went looking for him and found him crying in front of the life size photo. There's no tears, but I do think he was hurting inside.

I read somewhere that cats have the intelligence of a 3 year old. I'm also a firm believer that they have human feelings as well. In my interactions with them, I do they definitely do.

06-28-2009, 01:23 PM
they definitely do show their emotions, my dog sisco is a crybaby, he gets more attention than the older one spock because he comes and wines in front of me, when I'm one the phone he knows he is not the focus of my attention so he follows me around crying so loud. of course there are no tears but he neeeeeeds the attention noooow. it's kinda funny my older do is a bit wiser and if I accidentally step on his toes or tail he stares at me until I say I'm sorry.

they definitely have a soul and I know my dogs laugh and weep in their own way..