"Animals Are Like Us" is a Lie, Says Film Critic

When I hosted a Live Chat with author Steven Kotler about his book on dog rescue, much of the discussion revolved around cross-species altruism, and scientific evidence of the emotional life of dogs and other animals. And from gorillas in mourning to dolphins saving dobermans, there are enough stories out there to cast doubt on the mechanistic, Cartesian view of the animal kingdom. British film critic, writer and TV producer David Cox says that all these stories, research, and the recent slue of films promoting the idea that animals and humans are alike is a lie—nothing more than propaganda for the conservation cause:

Consciousness gives human behaviour a character of its own, investing it with forethought, awareness of consequence and therefore moral choice. Animals are innocent of such things. A self-sacrificial octopus is therefore no more worthy of applause than a cat who tortures mice is worthy of blame. So why are films like One Life so determined to tell us otherwise?

Someone should tell that to the dolphins. If only they'd listen...

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Documentaries | United Kingdom