• Gitonga
    80
    I think that animals such as squirrels and elephants are happier than most humans. Because they do not need to worry about jobs or rent or friends or close minded parents or racism or self esteem etc

    They have very simple needs, so long as their stomach is full of either nuts or grass they're happy.

    Animals mainly experience either happiness or pain but not sadness when an event is over they move on. I specifically chose squirrels and elephants because they live better lives compared to other animals such as cows that get slaughtered or lions that may go hungry for days.

    My estimation of the world is that only half the people that live in it are possibly happy, the rest struggle with poverty, hunger inequality and unrealised dreams.

    Everything from being bullied in school to being socially rejected to hating your boss to not being able to pay rent to expensive dental bills.

    In short unless your a millionaire or one of the lucky few happy with your life, you'd be much happier as a squirrel or elephant.
  • zookeeper
    72
    They have very simple needs, so long as their stomach is full of either nuts or grass they're happy.Gitonga

    A) And just how often is that? Animals starve, freeze, bleed and drown to death all the time.

    B) Some animals have simple needs, some also have social needs. Odd that you'd pick elephants as an example when they're well known to be social animals who experience sadness.

    I'd rather suggest that close-minded parents, bad self esteem and unrealized dreams are fairly trivial problems compared to not eating for days and then being ripped apart by a predator. Granted, if you suffer from the aforementioned for a long time then at some point the total amount of suffering is bound to be worse than a few days of physical and emotional misery, but then again at least you still have the capacity to do something about it.
  • Gitonga
    80
    Well, your last point is what I was aiming towards, specifically why I chose squirrels and elephants is I don't really think they starve to death most of the time, I think predators are the ones most likely to starve to death.

    Also in terms of suffering animal pain is usually swift and sudden like maybe you get eaten by a snake or something. As for drowning and freezing I don't know how many squirrels or elephants have died that way but I'm guessing very few.. Like as mentioned the type of animal matters.

    The main logic I'm trying to get across is there's a myriad of reasons a human could be sad whereas a squirrel has fewer reasons to be sad and fewer requirements to be happy.

    The reason I picked elephants is because they're large enough not to be preyed on and have plenty of access to grass and water most of the time.

    As mentioned even if they're social animals they have less social requirements to be happy, they don't worry about fitting in, they don't worry about conversation, they don't worry about other elephants not being interested in what they have to say,.. They don't worry as much about loneliness or friendship since they're heard animals or not being invited to parties or not having enough money to go to parties... Humans on the other hand...
  • zookeeper
    72
    Sure, animals would seem to have fewer reasons to be sad and fewer requirements to be happy. Is that reason to assume they tend to be less sad than a human, though? If you're injured and dying, then you only have one worry, but the intensity is probably completely different than having five different social problems.

    Of course we can't really know what an animal's experience really is. I'd guess that on an average sunny day a healthy adult squirrel or elephant isn't particularly suffering and might actually be having a good time, so in that sense I agree. I would still definitely not rather be either of them, but arguably I don't have the kind of problems most people in the world struggle with.
  • A Seagull
    621
    In short unless your a millionaire or one of the lucky few happy with your life, you'd be much happier as a squirrel or elephant.Gitonga

    Or possibly as a hunter gatherer in the snowy north or the amazon jungle?
  • Gitonga
    80
    Well the Hunter gatherers still suffer the human problems I mentioned
  • Gitonga
    80
    my point is that humans also have to worry about getting injured and dying whereas ghd squirrel doesn't have to worry about social problems or rather has fewer social problems to worry about.
  • Outlander
    1.3k


    So essentially, ignorance is bliss? No squirrels for example don't have to worry about being bullied in school or struggling to pay rent. They have to worry about not getting shot or horribly eaten and killed slowly and painfully. Obviously this could happen to a man as well but by all statistical iterations this happens much more in the animal kingdom then in a modern human society.
  • Echarmion
    2.2k
    In short unless your a millionaire or one of the lucky few happy with your life, you'd be much happier as a squirrel or elephant.Gitonga

    Perhaps. But then studies indicate that happyness is actually not strongly connected to circumstance. People have a "happyness set point" which they will trend towards. Perhaps elephants and squirrels do to. The big advantage we as humans have is that we can reflect about our happyness and do something about it. If a squirrel is in a miserable state of mind, that's where it will remain.
  • TheMadFool
    12k


    Better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied — J.S.Mill (Founder of Hedonism)

    Odd that someone who built an entire philosophy on happiness should say such a thing.

    Animals mainly experience either happiness or pain but not sadness when an event is over they moveGitonga

    "Moving on" in what sense? As an inevitable consequence of poor memory and/or inability to comprehend why or as a result of understanding? Is there a difference between a fool who simply forgets and/or ignores an experience and thus "moves on" and a wise sage who remembers and comprehends his/her experiences as part of being?
  • christian2017
    1.4k
    think that animals such as squirrels and elephants are happier than most humans. Because they do not need to worry about jobs or rent or friends or close minded parents or racism or self esteem etc

    They have very simple needs, so long as their stomach is full of either nuts or grass they're happy.

    Animals mainly experience either happiness or pain but not sadness when an event is over they move on. I specifically chose squirrels and elephants because they live better lives compared to other animals such as cows that get slaughtered or lions that may go hungry for days.

    My estimation of the world is that only half the people that live in it are possibly happy, the rest struggle with poverty, hunger inequality and unrealised dreams.

    Everything from being bullied in school to being socially rejected to hating your boss to not being able to pay rent to expensive dental bills.

    In short unless your a millionaire or one of the lucky few happy with your life, you'd be much happier as a squirrel or elephant.
    Gitonga

    I agree completely. Abstract thought leads to depression. We are one of the very few animals that actually commits suicide. Money is a legal fiction and it is an abstract thought. I'm not entirely against money though.
  • Gitonga
    80
    in that case the wisdom causes suffering, as for the animal they're incapable of remembering what happened.
  • Gitonga
    80
    squirrels aren't killed slowly, their deaths are quite swift at the hands of the predator that's trying to be efficient.
  • TheMadFool
    12k
    in that case the wisdom causes suffering, as for the animal they're incapable of remembering what happened.Gitonga

    Physical suffering is universal in scope - it's present in the same kinds and to the same degree for all living things. Mental suffering maybe unique to humans, beings reportedly capable of wisdom. Nonetheless, the very faculty that makes us capable of suffering in the mind is also the one that helps in lessening the impact of suffering of all kinds. Understanding or wisdom, it's claimed, alleviates, even eliminates, the pain that comes with being alive and hence the old quest humans have been, are, will be, known for viz. the quest for heaven, salvation, enlightenment, and so on.

    Too, what of the overall reduction in physical pain human wisdom has achieved in the form of analgesics, and anesthesia? Do animals have such options as a tablet of aspirin or a vial of fentanyl?
  • Hot Potato
    32
    Just because Thais smile in nearly every circumstance it doesn't mean they are happy. I also think you need to jump out of an aeroplane with a parachute before you tell others how wonderful skydiving is. Now .... on to the subject of animals .....
  • Hot Potato
    32
    Cats do not kill their prey "quite swift".
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