Matt Davies Harmony Communities Examines If Animals Feel Pain Similar to Humans
According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, animals’ experience of pain may be even more nuanced. Across animals and humans, the physical mechanisms underlying pain perception are strikingly similar and well-preserved. Although the ability of animals to feel pain as sentient beings is widely established and recognized by law in many nations, we still don’t fully comprehend how they do so.
Have you ever wondered how a dog, or a cat perceives pain? What about a fish? Octopuses? Since humans can’t read animals’ brains, we don’t know for sure what they’re thinking. The science of pain can, however, tell us a few things. What are they? Come on, let’s find out!
Why Can Animals Feel Pain?
Matt Davies of Harmony Communities explains the two essential reactions to pain.
- Skin nerves detect danger – Motor neurons in animals cause us to pull away from danger as quickly as possible. ‘Nociception,’ the physiological sense of harm, is what we have here. Indeed, it is a sensation shared by practically all animal species, including those with rudimentary neural systems. A simple evolutionary reason for this is because it alerts animals, including humans, to the presence of danger, allowing them to escape promptly.
However, most of this is only guaranteed to apply to vertebrates—the creatures humans can most readily connect to, such as dogs, cats, bears, and alligators. Due to this, intentionally and needlessly hurting vertebrates is generally prohibited by law.
However, evidence suggests that at least some invertebrates experience pain. Even invertebrates with basic neural systems, such as oysters, are likely to experience pain via nociception because they react negatively when injured.
- Harm-awareness -In humans, this happens when the afferent nerves in our skin form new synapses to the brain via the brain stem. This is a highly complicated experience accompanied by feelings we can express to others, such as anxiety, fear, and tension. But how about animals?
We can only really understand what we have seen with them, but it seems like some animals are mindful of their suffering. In the wild, injured animals tend to their injuries, produce sounds to indicate their sorrow, and sometimes even retreat. Additionally, animals often avoid circumstances that have caused them pain in the past, showing that they are aware of the risks and suffering they previously experienced.
Animals are creatures that we care for and love. They contribute much to the quality of life in our community. Moreover, many animals are farmed for their meat, and we use them in trials to help progress science and human health. We place a high value on animals. As a result, we must also take care not to cause them any pain.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities explains that humans have a long way to go in understanding animal pain. There will come a day when we no longer unnecessarily inflict suffering on others because of our ever-increasing understanding and insight.