Photo: Flickr/Alan Hood

1. Cows worry about what they don’t understand, and experience “eureka” moments when they solve a puzzle, such as how to open a difficult gate.

2. Cows have best friends -- and become stressed when separated.

Photo: Flickr/Matt Cornwell

3. Pigs can be optimists or pessimists depending on whether they experience an enriched environment or a confined one.

4. Studies have also shown that pigs are actually smarter than dogs.

Photo: Flickr/Duncan Hull

5. Chickens are more skilled than young children in mathematical reasoning and logic -- the birds can count, do arithmetic and even understand transitive inference (if A>B and B>C, then A>C). 

6. Chickens can anticipate the future, and use more than 30 vocalizations to communicate, including different distress calls to distinguish between threats approaching by land versus water.

Photo: Flickr/Justin Leonard

7. Similarly, turkeys are smart, talkative and inquisitive animals. They enjoy exploring, and can remember the geographic content of an area larger than 1,000 acres.

8. Turkeys develop close friendships with each other -- and even with other animals -- and are devoted mothers inseparable from their young.

Photo: Flickr/steguhnee_kayy/

Impressed? These smart, social and sensitive creatures are obviously capable of so much more than becoming someone’s mere meal. Fortunately, we can stand up for them every time we sit down to eat, simply by leaving them off our plates. Visit for dozens of delicious, animal-friendly recipes.