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Monday, August 4, 2014

Why Human Love Watching Animals

Why humans evolved to love watching animals – David Barash – Aeon: "....The popularity of pets, animal films, TV shows, and books suggests that interaction with animals derives from a deeply rooted human need. Recent findings that companion animals contribute positively to many people’s physical and emotional health do not in themselves explain why animals exert such effects; rather, they suggest that animals (at least, some species) have long been associated with human well-being. The same goes for the simple pleasures so many of us derive from observing and interacting with animals. ‘Pleasure’ is not something that natural selection doles out without a reason – and we would expect that reason to be intimately connected with maximising fitness. When it comes to evolution, pleasure is deployed as bait as much as for immediate reward. The question then is simply this: what do people get from their animal-watching? And can evolution help explain this powerful yearning to observe other creatures?...." (read more at link above)

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