The Human-Animal Connection

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist Vint Virga discusses the inner lives of animals and explores the strong relationships we forge with them. The Soul of All Living Creatures draws from his decades in veterinary practice to reveal how to perceive the world as animals do and how that can enrich our own appreciation of life, improve our character, relationships, and communication. 

Have you had a strong bond with a pet? Let us know—leave a comment!


Vint Virga

Comments [9]

Miriam Berkley from Hell's Kitchen

I also saw the Nova program on dogs and pointing. There have been other studies involving dogs and pointing.
Here is a study, reported on Science News, comparing dogs and two-year-old humans in their ability to respond
to hand signals:

Jul. 10 2013 02:05 PM
Guy from Right behind You

Truth and Beauty's points below help me frame my question, which won't be popular I'm sure. It seems to me pet owners create stories about their animals, attributing farfetched qualities and motives to animals they have trapped in their homes. They just want food and protection, folks.

Animals are ok, but I have to wonder about folks that care more about cats than human beings and don't mind everyone knowing. Sad to say, pet lovers that take it too far come off as weak minded. Pet lovers don't admit it, but perhaps this position is really an anti-human; if it is fueled by misanthrope, then I can at least understand this form of extremism. How about it?

Jul. 10 2013 02:01 PM
Morgan from NYC

NOVA had a program called Dogs Decoded recently & discussed the pointing thing - and many other fascinating facets of our relationships with them, including how they may have become domesticated.

Jul. 10 2013 02:00 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

What are your guest's thoughts about the "TNR" treatment of feral cats, which, which keeping them from reproducing, puts aggressive animals back in the open to scare birds and other creatures (or worse)? How do we rationalize giving an aggressive animal dominion over more vulnerable sorts?

Jul. 10 2013 01:58 PM

I saw the dog and pointing thing on nova. Their point was that while dogs respond to pointing chimps won't.

Jul. 10 2013 01:54 PM
Linda from New Jersey

I'd like to hear comments on the wonderful effort to retire laboratory chimps. What are the considerations that should be taken on board to give these animals a good life? What can/can't be achieved?

Jul. 10 2013 01:50 PM
John A

Maybe it's a coincidence, but had to marvel at the station breaking away when the guest said he didn't follow other's belief in the alpha leaders. Sounds like an indefensible position.

Jul. 10 2013 01:49 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Having shared my home with various members of other species, I have observed the following:

1. We homo sapiens are plenty narcissistic in calling ourselves "owners" and them "pets." As fellow animals, we are all equal. They have their own roles to fulfill in the relationship.

2. Members of other species tend to judge other animals differently; they can accept us or not as they see fit.

3. Other animals need love just as much as we do, but they are far more generous with their love for us and other animals than we are with our love for other human beings or other animals.

I have been adopted by cats who have found me simpatico, which many human people find interesting. Humans tend very much to underestimate the intellectual and emotional sophistication of other animals.

Jul. 10 2013 01:48 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Animals have souls ... but they end with their physical life (St. Thomas).

Jul. 10 2013 01:35 PM

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