According to Google, there were 167 news articles online today (August 26, 2008) about Yerke's researchers' report on evidence of empathy in adult female capuchins. [Frans B. M. de Waal; Kristin Leimgruber; Amanda R. Greenberg. Giving is self-rewarding for monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2008.]
I've listed the most common headlines below.
This study provides good evidence of animals having minds similar to our own. It is equally strong evidence of widespread mental illness in the vivisection community.
Our mental and emotional similarities make it abundantly and undeniably clear that we suffer similarly. The largest portion of this evidence comes from experiments using non-human primates, like this one.
And yet, in the face of this evidence, vivisectors subject monkeys to procedures that would never be allowed, even on consenting adults, and if attempted, would land the assailants in prison.
When I say they are mentally ill, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they aren’t mentally ill, then their continuing use of animals must be explained in some other way. Maybe their bigotry is just so extreme and profound that they must always and absolutely deny the moral implications in the ever-building evidence. Is bigotry a mental illness?
Or, maybe job security is so important to them that any threat to their livelihood is a rallying cry.
Or, maybe some of them have come to the conclusion that what they do is immoral but feel that they have to defend themselves lest their families, friends, and neighbors start to disfavor them.
Whatever the cause, the vivisection community’s response to the evidence that animals have minds like ours is extreme and contrary to what the response likely would be from the majority of people.
I think the vivisectors know this, and that their fear of the public’s likely response is one of the main reasons that they are so secretive. Paranoia, cruelty to animals, bigotry, denial, delusion, and the absence of empathy seem to be the common symptoms of their illness.
Monkeys find giving rewarding
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom
Test of charity shows monkeys are capable of empathy
Monkeys Enjoy Giving To Others
Science Daily (press release)
Monkeys experience joy of giving, too, study finds
Monkeys reward friends and relatives
The Associated Press
Study Finds Generous Monkeys