Do you look at animals an wonder just how intelligent and self-aware they might be? For years, I've told people to respect dogs because they have the mentality of a two-year old human, but I think they're probably even more aware than that. The fact that dogs, cats, dolphins, octopuses and many other creatures not only learn through play like we do but also enjoy it as a recreational activity has to be proof that many more creatures than we think are more conscious than we know... right?
Scientists say that the number of animals who exhibit an "inner life" ranges much farther than we'd imagine, with even insects and arachnids being included. If you've ever met someone's pet spider, you might agree; I've been amazed at what sure looks like affection between human and arachnid.
How conscious do you think animals are, and do you think that any creatures are as conscious or self-aware as humans? Why or why not?