Proof that humans are more arrogant than they should be: They're surprised to find that animals are more intelligent and emotionally advanced than initially thought to be.
As a pet owner and lifelong lover of animals, and as someone who is perhaps too sensitive to the emotions of others, I've long ago come to the conclusion that animals can sense much more than they let on.
My guinea pigs are pretty damned smart, and I would put them on the level of human infants in terms of their responses and learned behaviors.
I've met people that are functionally retarded compared to some of the cats I've owned.
I watched my aunt's husky hit her head on a table and try to be nonchalant about it until people started laughing, then she wandered to the middle of the floor and proceeded to be publicly embarrassed. I kid you not, she looked absolutely humiliated.
And I've seen an animal mourn itself to death.
This has all happened without study, without an official record, without someone standing with a clipboard and forcing activities upon my pets. The pets just *are*, and sometimes just watching them *be* is enough proof that there's something wonderful going on in those minds of theirs that I wish I could be privvy to.
And lest we forget, humans are animals, too. And if we can feel and think, chances are really good that every other animal on earth can feel and think, too.
I've given ants the benefit of the doubt. Birds. Lizards. Beetles. Even roaches. Because you never know.
And I'd rather know that I was at least willing to grant the other animals on this planet some respect. That's just the ethical thing to do**. I'm sure the other pet owners will agree with me.
If there's someone out there who doesn't, you can just keep it to yourself. Your comment will not be approved, nor will I take your bait and argue with you. Because there's no reason for it. I have my opinion, you have yours. If they differ, they differ.
(**eating them notwithstanding, because we're omnivores, and the way of nature is for animals to eat each other - if you want to be a vegan, that's cool, as long as you're not neglecting nutrition for the sake of trying to assauge your guilt)