How Animals Grieve


Just wondering if anyone has read this book and if they have any thoughts? I’m thinking about checking it out from the library.

How Animals Grieve


Hey Peter I haven’t read that book… did you end up checking it out? We have seen interesting grieving behavior in mountain lions. Last summer one of our females lost all of her 4 kittens to wolves (this is a pretty frequent occurance) and she sat on a cliff for two weeks and didn’t eat or move at all. Also have you heard of magpie funerals? I witnessed this last summer before learning it was an actual biological term. We had a magpie die under our porch and when we took it into the yard like 30 magpies showed up out of nowhere and perched over the dead one making a ton of racket for about an hour then they all disappeared.


Oh yeah, I forgot about that book. I still haven’t read it, but would like to.


What about trees and plants? I’m thinking of the strips of woods left over at the edges of housing developments, for example, where everything else has been hacked apart. Our family moved into suburban housing developments several times when I was growing up, and I feel an affinity and affection for those slices of forest. It feels like grief happens there as well. Good places to cry.


[font=georgia]I have to agree with you here as well Mindy. I had my class explore this topic last earth day - how plants communicate. All it takes is for one tree/herb/etc. to be injured and there is a measurable communication which takes place with all the surrounding trees/herbs/etc. I know I have definitely felt the difference in places similar to those you speak of. Part of one of the state parks not far from here had a beautiful run of pine and oak [which was also a wonderful place to hunt squirrel]. Hiking through the woods to the location, as I started up the hill the very air itself had changed. Coming to the crest and looking out over the area we were overcome with palpable dread - they had clear cut the entire area! I could without a doubt feel the despair and sorrow lingering over the area and even the birds were silent - no sign of any wildlife was present or witnessed. I have also felt such in other more select instances. For instance there was an ancient oak that bordered an old potato field, loggers cut it down and then got into an argument over who owned it so they left it lay to rot. It was at least four feet in diameter. But you could feel a difference in the area afterwards that was unmistakable. [/font]


I still haven’t read “How Animals Grieve” but just saw a good example. Someone shared a video of a mother sea lion grieving over the dead body of her baby. She moans, touches her baby, and cries. So this is how this particular sea lion grieves.

(I was going to share a link to the video but thought better of it just now. I wouldn’t want someone recording and sharing images of me crying over a dead loved one.)


Just read this story and was reminded of this thread.

And now, a couple of days later, this:


Being around animals enough can have it revealed how they are feeling, emotional beings, grieving in the times of loss of the creatures they cared for, and with other emotional responses, corresponding to what we are familiar with. They have their own lives they value, certainly.