Ugh, I hate the X-animal is stupid argument. For a number of reasons:
- We base our judgments on what we can interpret as smart for a human. All animals are evolved to survive in their own way. They can display intelligence and communication in ways most humans are not attuned to. What seems “logical” to a human mind might not apply to an animal mind, and vice-versa.
- Like humans, within each species there is a wide range of “intelligence” based on education and life experience. I would classify my house cats as “stupider” than the barn cats where my horse lives. Their lives are not as varied, and lack some of the challenges the outdoor cats encounter, though I do try to keep them challenged with interesting playtime. As a horse trainer I see the same thing in horses, based on their training and life experiences.
- Animals, like humans, can learn “emotional fitness” by being taught how to handle life’s stresses in a caring, patient, compassionate way. Rita_Lynn’s example is a good one.