Drug use by animals?

Kate Jeffery kate at anatomy.ucl.ac.uk
Fri Jan 17 09:54:48 EST 1997


In article <5bk0pu$rf8 at lace.colorado.edu>, adamsonj at ucsu.Colorado.EDU (ADAMSON  JOEL JAMES) writes:
> In article <5bjlds$44n at euclid.wadsworth.org>,
> William Tivol <tivol at news.wadsworth.org> wrote:
> >In both cases, the birds seemed to enjoy both the fermented berries and
> >their effects.  They definitely "seek it out"
> 
> You can't determine that any better than you can determine the existence
> of elves responsible for the building of the Great Barrier Reef.  What I
> mean is, you cannot ask the birds why they went to eat the berries.  You
> can't say that they "seek it out" because you can't get inside their
> heads (nor would you want to, i skinned a robin once...).  There's no
> conclusive way to determine, in this case, that they were seeking out
> fermented berries, nor is there any way to determine that they "enjoy both
> the fermented berries and their effects".  You can't measure enjoyment
> (especially in non-humans).

Yes you can, you can determine how much work an animal is prepared to do in 
order to get something. If an animal will work extremely hard for something 
then you have grounds for saying that that thing causes "pleasure".

Whether pleasure to an animal *feels* the same as it does to a human is, of 
course, another matter. But then we can't even answer that question for 2 
humans. 

Kate Jeffery
kate at anatomy.ucl.ac.uk





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