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Feb 22, 2006

Action Request:Think About
Location:United States
Do only humans love their children?
By Mohammad Asghar, USA

We humans never shy away from declaring our love for our children whenever we get the opportunity to do so. Humans are also very vocal in expressing their love for their wives and husbands.

In most of the Oriental Societies, men and women express their love for each other in the privacy of their bedrooms, but in most Western Societies, this is not the case; they take it to the streets and public places as well, so that others can gauge the extent and the intensity of love they hold for each other!

But what about birds and animals? Are they as capable, as humans are, of loving their chicks and litters? Do birds and animals expect, as we humans do, their chicks and litters to reciprocate their parents' love and affection after they have grown up?

I have spent many years trying to find answers to these questions. I have read a number of books on animal behavior and scanned many publications for articles that could lead me to the answers. I have also spent innumerable hours watching television programs on wild animals in an attempt to find out the extent of love birds and animals possess for their chicks and litters.

A report that appeared in the science page of News Asia (Jan 11-17, 2006) ended my search. From it, I have learned that birds are, unlike we humans, selfless parents and that they rear up their chicks even by risking their own lives- a dedicative nature that cannot be found in many humans.

Birds risk their lives not because they expect their chicks [to take care of them in their old age], but because of the fact that the responsibility to take care of them is ingrained in their nature. Because of this reason, they take their motherly and fatherly duties very seriously, but without being able to announce or [publicize] what they do for their chicks to other members of their flocks.

I am reproducing hereunder an article that introduces us to the motherly love a species of bird holds for its chicks. I hope it would dispel a myth or a misunderstanding that we hold about us and our so-called human qualities.

Bird Flies 2,500 miles for baby's food
[Talk about a working mother. A Christmas Island frigate bird named Lydia recently made a nonstop journey for just over 26 days and covering nearly 2,500 miles -across Indonnesian volcanoes and some of Asian's busiest shipping lanes - in seearch of food for her baby.

The trip, tracked with a global positioning device by scientists at Christmas Island National Park, is by far the longest known nonstop journey by one of these critically endangered seabirds. Previously, the black-and-white scavengers with distinctive pink beaks and wingspans of up to 8 feet were known only to fly a few hundred miles from their nesting sites, staying away just for a few days at a time, officials said. [It's a real revelation,] said David James, coordinator of biodiversity monitoring for Christmas Island National Park, the birds only known breeding ground. [The thing that really surprised me is that it was a long, nonstop journey, and that she crossed overland volcanoes,] James said. [Normally, you would expect the seabirds to fly over the sea.]

Lydia's trip started Oct. 18 from Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean about 310 miles south of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, and 1,600 miles northwest of Perth, in western Australia.

Leaving a baby chick in the care of her partner, Lydia headed south over open waters probably to steal fish from other seabirds, a common habit among the frigate birds.

She then circled back on Oct. 26 and flew between Indonesia's Java and Sumatra islands. From there, she headed across Borneo island on Nov. 9 before back over Java and returning on Nov. 14 to her nesting site, where she likely regurgitated a meal for her chick].

Are we humans as good -and loving- to our children as the frigate bird has proved herself to be? If, not, then what right do we have to designate ourselves as the lone, the best creature, among all the living creatures of our earth?
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Posted: Wednesday February 22, 2006, 9:44 am
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Barry Berger (213)
Wednesday February 22, 2006, 10:09 am
Thanks Foxy - it seems quite evident to me that humans are not the only ones that love their children - or feel pain. Perhaps many of us prefer to believe that because it makes our lives so much less complicated if we have a fewer obstacles in obtaining our goals and the objects of our desire. Throw in the fact that only humans expect their children to care for them in their golden years and it's arguable that many other animals just might love their children soley for their being, than do than many humans.

Sean J. (22)
Wednesday February 22, 2006, 3:04 pm
Birds are great. Life is great however anybody gets it. Humans can be great. Peace and salvation is sometimes worth more than "the american dream." If I were a reptilian bird or a good human...I would do everything perfect..I would come from a nest, birth in a nest, and come back to a nest after work each day. Instead, I'm flying in a holding pattern...always approaching final approach and take off...always low on fuel. Doe doe.

Molly Lemen (52)
Wednesday February 22, 2006, 3:42 pm
I am inclined to believe that most living creatures can and do love. If you've ever seen an animal whose young have been taken away from them you see the love. it is expressed in the concerns for her young even though she might have others to take care of. She looks for the lost and sometimes sulks, 'cries' or yowls for her lost. It's possible that I am just putting human emotions onto an animal reasoning, It's possible that it is just instinct to do anything for your children, to care and nurture them. but then again, isn't that what we call 'love'?

Kathleen F. (98)
Thursday February 23, 2006, 12:01 pm
from the article you read, I would expect that the reason is much less selfess, and much more about genetics -- propogation of the species. although, I don't doubt that love can't exist beyond our species, but that's the scientist in me speaking. :-)

Have you read "When Elephants Weep" by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy? It's about whether or not animals experience emotion and if so, why are scientists and other intellectuals loathe to recognize this. Deeply intellectual, and well researched, but a pleasant read.

Kathleen F. (98)
Thursday February 23, 2006, 12:01 pm
from the article you read, I would expect that the reason is much less selfess, and much more about genetics -- propogation of the species. although, I don't doubt that love can't exist beyond our species, but that's the scientist in me speaking. :-)

Have you read "When Elephants Weep" by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy? It's about whether or not animals experience emotion and if so, why are scientists and other intellectuals loathe to recognize this. Deeply intellectual, and well researched, but a pleasant read.

Georgina Delorme (1)
Thursday February 23, 2006, 4:37 pm
The most touching thing I've seen in a long time was a PBS program on KoKo the guerilla. In the half hour program it showed how attached KoKo became to a little kitten, and when she was told that it had died, she showed her grief, and the sound of a grieving gorilla was quite heart wrenching. Her story is at

Kerin Lee (15)
Thursday February 23, 2006, 8:55 pm
Wow. this post is amazing. I really enjoyed reading it and I feel rather enlightened. Though I have always felt that we are not the only ones who care for our children.

BlueBerry P. (0)
Friday February 24, 2006, 11:34 am
I'm a HUGE proponent of humans as simple animals.

Animals are sorely misunderstood - by ONLY US.

Having seen the effort those chicks give their parents, & having some experience with animals & their young:
I'm thinking she flapped off on a Girls Vacation.

seriously, she could have just 'gone walkabout' to get away for a while.

Birds are nortorious philanderers. I've read research that most nests contain eggs from multiple males.

Just a thought.

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @

Inge Joergensen (132)
Sunday February 26, 2006, 7:45 am

Scott Barta (40)
Sunday February 26, 2006, 1:48 pm
Within Indigenous Ways of Life prior to the man-made concept of "god" and "higher power" (to lower self esteem, creating "slaves", wealth for those "in control", money, domesticated animals due to lazyness, etc.) the true human beings understood their "inferiority" to Nature - the Sacred Birds, Animals, Trees and Green Beings, Fish, Rocks, INsects - all those beings with a Spark of Life. New born babies were called "Sacred Little Ones" by the Nakota (misnomer "Sioux") Indigenous Red Nation.
Today, westerners send their children off to school to be "raised" by underpaid teachers.
Unfortunate, indeed.

nora batty (326)
Monday February 27, 2006, 9:20 am
this is very interesting foxy, thankyou for sharing, i have noticed that many animals do love and protect their offspring in a selfless way, warm wishes sumea

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 28, 2006, 9:01 am
Wonderful read!! I think no mattter what you are human or animal when you have unconditional love for another, the extent of where you would go for them is limitless.

Raven Micale (1)
Wednesday March 1, 2006, 10:17 am
Of course they do! Having been the owner of numerous pets thru the years, right now the household counts 3 dogs, 4 cats and 3 horses; I can readily attest that animals do indeed love their children as well as their human family members and other animals in their pack. My 10 month old kitten will jump up on the couch and kiss (lick) my older female dog, rubbing against her and purring deeply at the same time. If that's not a display of affection, I don't know what is!
Raven/Animal Lover

Sharon Peterson (0)
Thursday March 2, 2006, 2:46 pm
I truely believe that animals love their babies too, otherwise, they wouldnt' grieve when one dies or the babies are taken away... I have seen one of my dogs cry and mope around when one of the other dogs were gone, or had died...sad to see.

Vicki Murray (119)
Friday March 3, 2006, 12:25 am
And the question arises. HOW can human animals murder & eat non-human animals that HAVE FEELINGS & FAMILIES. Do you really believe that the cow doesn't grieve when they take her little one away or that pigs don't understand when they are about to be slaughtered?!?! THis is the reason i posted this share for. WAke up AND SEE that non-humans don't value less than humans CAUSE THEY HAVE FEELINGS & THEY SUFFER!!!!

pElAgUS hellot (523)
Friday March 3, 2006, 12:49 am
ok, i think the main problem is this is that humans see like humans. They only get interested when they can understand things from their human perspective. Indeed humans are animals, but this seems to be forgotten quite often.
non humans will act the best way they can to help someone (would it be a child or a grown up). i don't think there is any question of love or not love, it is just the way it has to be. Someone weaker has to be helped.
There was this story about 5 years ago in tarragona in spain. Bugglars entered a house. There was a female dog with 5 babies. The bugglars "played" with the dog to eventually skin her alive, letting her die alone. The mother dog was about to die, the very last thing she did was to crawl to her kids to feed them one last time. i'm not sure if this is love, i would jsut call it coping with responsabilities. She made the decision to create those individuals & did it until the very end.
i think we, as humans, enjoy seeing non humans as poor little creatures who love & act so neatly, etc... just for our own image. But it does not matter if they love or not, as much as it does not matter if a human loves a child or not, as long as they get to the end of the responsability they took.
Now i agree that the perspective of "love" can be different depending on people. i do not consider sharing time & being nice to someone as love. It is just one of the regular stuff to do. When one makes the decision to create a life, they have to assure their wellbeing & happiness until the end.

Delta Bravo (0)
Friday March 3, 2006, 7:57 am
Thanks Lydia! you did it.
You slapped the loving and caring of human parents.
Your love is natural, not wanting anything in
return whereas the so called love human always asks for something in return.
Yhey want their children to be a walking stick
when they are old.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 3, 2006, 11:39 am
This is an alert?

Vicki Murray (119)
Friday March 3, 2006, 1:07 pm
yes. It's an alert to THINK ABOUT>

Suzanne K. (387)
Saturday March 4, 2006, 7:48 pm
Foxy, I also read the article that was posted in the local newspaper. I was horrified by reading it because the humans' obsessive over fishing thrive this bird goes many days seeking for the fish to feed the chicks. Generally speaking humans are selfish. If there were more caring and sensible people in our society, there wouldn’t be many unwanted and abandoned animals to be slaughtered. How about people who like to breed animals when there are so many animals slaughtered or killed due to the overpopulation or unwanted by humans? Look at this link what’s wrong with this picture:
Humans have created so much pain and misery. After fattening these pigs, now what humans do with them?

Why there are so many people brag how much they love their dogs, cats, birds & other animals and eat other animals? What is the point of loving their animals and eating another animal? The majority of humans will only love their children but careless about other people’s children. I have seen the incidents so many times. Parents do not teach the respect of other animals. Why the kids are so arrogant and abusive nature from the earlier age? I frequently hear boys kick/torture the rabbits, dogs, birds & cats in the vet’s office. These animals never forget about the horrible pain and shock from the humans. These animals didn’t do anything harming to the boys but they got bitten in return.

Michelle Marie Williams (8)
Saturday March 4, 2006, 9:15 pm
I know it is hard to believe in this day and age, but i do believe that it is possible for mothers and fathers of all animal domains to love and go beyound the call of nature to provide for our children no matter who or what you are.In days gone by parents that are human went to, far of places to seek jobs or even hunt for food when hunting was allowed to feed your family.Animals go on hunts to bring food to their young as do and did humans of now and yesterday.with man the way they(both male and female) are now hunting for food to feed our familys is almost forgotten even looked down on it seems,but animals sence they are not compleatly like us,still provide out of love and the need to survive.We have let ourselves become the parents of today.There are still mothers and fathers in our world who go the distance to take care of our children driven to raise them to be respectfull as well as loving,careing,faithful human beings.To always have hope and faith and believe in the father and son.Animals have no money, no jobs,no bills,they do have children,hunger,the will to survive, and many enimies they have to look out for.Who are we to say they dont have feelings?I believe they love and care for their young as God intened them to may not be like us but they do care.

Sandra F. (52)
Sunday March 5, 2006, 11:49 am
Do only humans love their children? After seeing the film "March of the Penguin”, I was stunned and amazed at the dedication of those birds. It made me wonder if today mankind could exist if all children had to depend on such dedication from both their mothers & fathers.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 21, 2006, 1:34 am

Victoria Deer (1)
Tuesday April 4, 2006, 3:59 pm
Human-animals are the Least Loving:

As they pour polluted food & water drenched in Raid down their children's thoats

As they rape them

As they murder them and throw them in garbage cans

and on and on and on

Tanya R. (118)
Wednesday April 19, 2006, 9:25 pm
I remember an ex neighbor who used to breed their dog every year. I could see how upset the dog was when the puppies were taken away.
I tried to talk them into getting the dog spayed...
It is so sad.

Karlay Notellingston (1)
Thursday July 13, 2006, 1:27 pm
No, animals love their children as well and have feelings. I am finding that a majority of humans understamate animal intelligence. Poor animals, they are considered so low. Some people even believe they do not have souls or emotion! On our front porch a mother bird cares for her babies. As I sence her emotions she is stressed with her babies but would do anything for them.

Eden Garden (20)
Tuesday November 21, 2006, 4:01 am
Critters are treated just as slaves were treated. They grieve and long for their loved ones. They feel just the same as all those slaves felt. There is no difference. They have no voice, no power and if we don't change the world, no hope.

Cheryl K. (2)
Thursday July 5, 2007, 2:26 pm
I have often thought about how many humans put so much emphasis on being as loving and caring to their offspring as they possibly can. But, too many of us cannot seem to allow animals that same opportunity to care for their offspring. The most glaring example of this for me is the killing of wild seal pups here in Canada every spring. We are determined to make this distinction between ourselves and animals, often ignoring their suffering, when they lose siblings, offspring and parents. One day on the streetcar in Toronto, I happened to look up at a window and saw a pair of pigeons cooing and cuddling with each other. It was a truly poignant moment, as it was quite a loving display. I for one believe that animals have feelings and emotions for each other and their offspring.

Frank H. (478)
Friday April 11, 2008, 7:10 pm
Humans kill their innocent, helpless children in the womb. No animal on earth is that cruel and barbaric.

. (0)
Sunday September 7, 2008, 8:16 pm
There is no doubt in my mind that many, many animals feel love for their babies. Some may only feel it for short periods; however, I do believe that some have much deeper feelings. I remember once seeing a documentary in which a mother gorilla in the wild had just lost her young child to some disease. For three days she sat in the same spot holding on to that child, caressing it and trying her best to bring it back to life. She was grieving terribly. Even when her family group moved on she stayed behind with the child's corpse for another day. It absolutely broke my heart to watch.

Erica Hidvegi (73)
Tuesday April 6, 2010, 1:15 pm
I think if the scrutiny of public and family eyes were not so embedded into the psyche of humans we would really know the meaning of unconditional love and not just pretend to understand the term when things fail in communication and discipline . . .

Past Member (0)
Friday October 29, 2010, 8:25 pm
I knew a man who raised pit bulls..every litter came up man fighters and were shot, for severalyears this went morning, thisman went out to dispose of another batch of man fighters and did so.. almost immediately after, his female..standing close by him, looked at her dead puppies, looked at her master.. looked his daughter, 4 years old, toddling toward their front door, just a few yards and she would be in the door..the female pit looked at her master and her dead puppies.. then lunged straight for the little girl..the man shot the female pit just steps away from his daughter and gave up raising pits..2 seconds and he would have lost his child..this only humans love their offspring.. NO..when do we as a species recover from the ego sickness we call normal ? Will we ever ? I think not. I think we are doomed to eternal stupidity.

Ashley Piechocki (55)
Friday December 2, 2011, 6:43 am
Penguins make quite the journey to feed their chicks too. I totally agree with this essay! Thanks for sharing Foxy.

Past Member (0)
Monday June 11, 2012, 7:28 pm

Lame ass hippie


Vicki Murray
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