Earlier today Psychology Today writer Jessica Pierce sent me a link for a video called "Happy Cows". I expected either to see cows used in advertisements for meat or milk running around in a field of bright green grass or cows living on farms where they are raised and then slaughtered. I was most pleasantly surprised that neither was the case. What I did see, as have almost 600,000 other viewers, were cows who had been living on dairy farm running around with unmistakable joy and glee after they had been rescued from being shipped to a slaughterhouse because a dairy farmer couldn't afford to keep them.
These are happy cows, not "happy" cows
A very lesson from this video is clear to me, as if more stories or data are needed to accept that other animals have rich and deep emotional lives. These are truly happy cows, not "happy" cows. This video also reminded me about something I'd written before, namely, "Some people like to put quotation marks (scare quotes) around words such as happy, love, or grief, for example, when they talk about the emotional lives of animals, as if they're not real -- as if only we have true emotions but other animals don't -- or because they're not like our own. Some skeptics also like to say they're sort of like ours but not as strong or as rich. There's simply no reason to use scare quotes when talking or writing about animal emotions or to assume that their emotions aren't as important to them as ours are to us."