Sir David Attenborough has claimed that ‘birds appreciate beauty, complexity or colour, just as much as we do.’
So why should that be any surprise to us? After all we would have to be more presumptuous than we already are if we are locked into the sorry state of feeling that we alone can have such emotions. You do not have to look any further than any animal with their offspring to know the inescapable truth.
The curse of humans is often to expect too much and when they are disappointed they become depressed. When animals are treated badly by us they too experience and suffer from depression. Given the connection between what we experience and animals experience is often only different in form rather than nature, we now find that honeybees show similar emotions when they are ‘shaken’.
They are shaken to induce ‘an anxiety-like state…designed to simulate a predatory attack.’ [Current Biology: (2011)]
Perhaps that evidence might induce Mick Gove to deliver on his political promise to make neonicintinoids illegal?
The alternative is to permeate the countryside with pesticide and so relieve their temporary pessimism for all time.