There is, it turns out, an animal shelter in Pennsylvania where children regularly read picture books to shelter cats. The kids get to practice their reading skills, while soothing and helping socialize the kitties.
The recent experiment on rats is far from the first time that empathy has been seen in animals in laboratories. In one notoriously cruel experiment, macaque monkeys were given food only if they pulled a chain that electrically shocked another monkey. Nearly all the monkeys preferred to go hungry, and one macaque went without food for 12 days rather than cause pain to another. Monkeys who had previously been shocked were even more reluctant to pull the chain and subject another individual to such punishment. Mice and rats will also starve rather than hurt friends.
At one laboratory where PETA conducted an undercover investigation, video footage shows a small caged monkey tugging on the coat of a worker who was mercilessly beating another monkey. The caged monkey weighed no more than 15 pounds to the worker's 170, but he wanted to help his friend.
Hope for Paws received an urgent call about a sick dog living in a trash pile. Miley have been surviving for months living on this pile of trash but luckily for her there are organisations such as this, rescuing these animals.
Calling themselves a "Band of Brothers," the boys from Williams Intermediate School in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, did more than just express support for their bullied friend -- they named an entire day after him.
Empathy is about understanding. When we understand people, we are more inclined to adapt our words and deeds to fill their needs.
But what about empathy for animals? Empathy for the environment? If we understand them, how will our interactions with them change?
People Animals Love (PAL) is a D.C. based non-profit that brings people and animals together with the belief that the unique bond can help fill some of society’s greatest needs. PAL was founded by Earl Strimple DMV who witnessed the effects of the human-animal bond with his clients. An early program matched cats with felons in Lorton County prison.