Alexandra Horowitz & Frans De Waal: 2019 National Book Festival

Alexandra Horowitz & Frans De Waal: 2019 National Book Festival


>>Dr. Betsy Herrelko: Thank
you to the Library of Congress for hosting this wonderful event
and for you guys for joining us and being interested
in animal emotions and human animal relationships. My name is Dr. Betsy Herrelko. I’m the animal welfare
and research manager at the Smithsonian’s
National Zoo, which means I have the honor
of working with animals on their psychological
wellbeing. It is a lifestyle concept,
and it’s very similar to the wellness concepts
that we hear about all over marketing every
kind of channel for optimal life for humans. But for animals, we’re making
it very different and unique by species and also
per individual. So, there’s a lot of topics
that we’re going to hear today that make this very near
and dear to my heart. And another reason why
I’m very excited about it, is because these two
authors have played a role in my own development
as a scientist. So, I’ve followed
Frans’ work for years. A lot of his own research has
formed the basis of inspiration for my own work, and I had
a chance to take a class, my very first comparative
competition class with Alexandra Horowitz
in grad school, which was a number of years ago. We’ll kind of leave it there. So, please allow me to introduce
these wonderful authors for you. Let’s see. Dr. Frans de Waal is a biologist
and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and the social intelligence
of primates. His first book, “Chimpanzee
Politics”, compared the schmoozing and
scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with
that of human politicians. I’m just going to let you
enjoy that, sink that in. Ever since — that was 1982, so please make sure you
read it again and again, because it has been
rereleased and plays a huge role in everything that we do. Ever since, Frans has drawn
parallels between humans and primate behavior,
from peacemaking and morality to culture. His scientific work has
been published in hundreds of technical articles, and
his popular books have been translated into 20 languages. They’ve made him
one of the most — the world’s most
visible primatologist, something to aspire to. Frans is the CH Candler
Professor of Psychology at
Emory University. He’s the director of
the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National
Primate Research Center. He’s a distinguished professor at Utrecht University
in the Netherlands. He’s been elected to the US
National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch
Academy of Sciences. He was selected by Time as one of the world’s 100 most
influential people today and by Discover as among 47
all-time great minds of science. [ Applause ]>>Frans de Waal: Do
you want me to start?>>No, no [inaudible]. His latest research concerns
empathy and cooperation, inequity aversion, and social
cognition in chimpanzees, bonobos, and other species. We’re going to have a
moment for our speakers to introduce the book
concepts to you themselves, but just to make
sure you’re aware of who this wonderful
person is on my left, I’m going to tell you about
her before we have a chance for Frans to speak. Also, Frans is here, of
course, to speak about his book, “Mama’s Last Hug:
Animal Emotions and What They Tell
Us About Ourselves”. So, Dr. Alexandra Horowitz is
keen on the mind of the dog. She’s long been interested
in understanding the “Umwelt” of other animals, and her
research and writing is aimed to answer the question of
what it’s like to be a dog, what is their experience. She’s the author of the number
one New York Times bestseller “Inside a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know” among
other books. She’s also written about
the joys of paying attention to the ordinary, the
pleasures of footnotes, which are very funny in
this book, the veracity of animal characters
in children’s books, working dogs and show dogs. She’s a professor at Barnard
College at Columbia University, where she teaches seminars
in canine cognition, creative nonfiction writing,
and audio storytelling. As a senior research fellow,
she has the dog cognition lab at Barnard, and at home
she lives with two dogs, a cat, and two humans. She’s here to speak about
her latest book, “Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story
of a Singular Bond”. [ Applause ] So, we before we delve
into this conversation, the author is going to have
a chance to speak to you to tell you a little bit from their perspective
about their books. And later on, as we wind
down the discussion, as our stage manager
I mentioned, we’re going to invite
you to ask questions. So, keep that in
mind, as thoughts pop into your head throughout
the next 40 or so minutes. So, Frans, if you would
start us out, please tell us about Mama’s Last Hug.>>Frans de Waal: Thank you. Let me see you do it. Yeah. I don’t need this. I go, I guess. Well, thank you, and thanks
for everyone for coming. I, yeah, I wrote
Chimpanzee Politics. I feel we live in the time
of chimpanzee politics at the moment, but I’m
not going to go there. I’m not going to say
anything about that. So, I wrote a book about
emotions, and it’s sort of odd that a book like
that is necessary. It’s maybe not necessary
for the necessary dog owner or cat owner, I don’t
know, but in science, we have been reluctant
talking about emotions. And that’s why I felt a
book like this was needed. So, we always start
with the face. With the human research
on emotions, we started with the face,
with the animal emotions, we started with the
face, and, of course, the facial expressions are
very similar between us and the other primates. And there was a time,
oddly enough, where the textbooks
all said that clearly, humans had many more shades
of emotions than animals. We had all these subtle
emotions, and as a result, we have many more muscles in
the face than any other animal to express all these emotions. And recently, like five years
ago, the people analyzed for the first time, the facial
post mortem in chimpanzees, the facial musculature, and they
found exactly the same number of muscles in the
chimpanzee as in the human. And so all the subtle emotions that we express can be
expressed by a chimpanzee. Now, it all started with Darwin. In his days, you could freely
talk about animal emotions, and so Darwin wrote a whole
book about animal emotions, a very important book, the
expression of the emotions, also focused on the face. And it’s the only book of
Darwin that disappeared. Darwin had, I think,
seven or eight books. It’s the only book that
disappeared for a whole century, was not printed, was not seen,
because people didn’t want to hear about animal emotions,
because we had Skinner and the behaviorists,
who basically told us that we shouldn’t talk about
emotions, not emotions, not cognition, not intelligence, that I don’t know
what animals had, but they had none
of these things. They were basically
machines at the time. Now, I worked with a
professor Jan van Hooff, and I will show him also
at the end of this talk. Jan van Hooff was a specialist
in the expressions of emotions in primates, and so I’m very
used — from the beginning, I was very used with
all that work. And one of the things that
Jan did was make a distinction between the smile and the laugh
and to show that the smile and the laugh come from different expressions
in the primates. We tend to glue them
together and say it’s the sort of the same expression,
but the smile comes from the bare teeth
space, which is a nervous, sometimes submissive expression. And also, in humans, people
who smile too enough — too much, we sometimes
call them nervous, and the laugh has a sound, and the laugh has an
open mouth display. And I’m actually going to show
you a little bit of an example. This is a bonobo that has been
playing with my [inaudible] dogs on a clay, and they both have
the same sort of expression. This is the laugh expression
here of the primates, and it’s very similar, and the
sounds are very similar also to our laugh. I’m going to play this little
video, and I hope there’s going to be sounds with it, because
this is a sanctuary worker who is tickling some chimps. [ Chimp Laughing ] Yeah, so a young chimp has the
same tickling spots as children, under the armpits, in
the belly, and so on, and they have the same reaction. They push your hands away, and
then when you take them away, they want them to
come back and they — so they have the
same ambivalence about tickling and laughter. So, we do a lot of studies on empathy is actually my
main topic of research. In the book, it’s
only one chapter. We do a lot of work on
constellation behavior. I’m just actually
back myself from Lola, where we do the bonobo studies. We could go — I was there in
Kinshasa, where we do the work, and I’m going to show
you two constellations, which is an expression
of empathy. There’s also empathy
in young children, in human children
is often measured. What you see here
is a young bonobo, like a three-year-old bonobo
who gets bitten by a female. That’s not what we
do with children, but it’s the same
sort of situation. He gets bitten by
a female, screams, and you will see what happens. [ Bonobo Screaming ]>>Benji just attacked Mila.>>Frans de WaaI: I’ll
show you another one. This is a juvenile, a
bit older, who screams. [ Bonobo Screaming ] So, we do this work on empathy
expressions in a variety of primates, and just
actually talking about dogs, when Alexandra talks
about the dogs, the dogs studies have
been done also now, where you have a family member,
in the human family, who cries, and then you see how
the dogs respond. And the dogs show
consolation responses also. So, the empathy,
we nowadays assume, because there’s a
rodents work like rats and mice now also an empathy. Empathy is present
in all the mammals. There’s no exceptions
to it, basically. So, we do the kind of
work in elephants also. So, the last thing I want
to say is Mama’s Last Hug, the book is named after
Mama, the chimpanzee, an alpha female chimpanzee
in chimpanzees. And she was an extremely
influential and diplomatic character
in that colony. She was not dominant
over the males. Physically, female chimpanzees
never dominant over the males, but she was more powerful, I
think, than most of the males in the sense that CN, the
oldest male of the colony, they both decided
basically everything. And she was such an
important character. For 40 years, she
lived in that colony, and she ran it basically,
and then she — her health deteriorated, and
at the age of 59 she died. And my professor Jan van
Hooff, who also had known her for 40 years and just like me
had a very close relationship with her, he went
into her night cage, which normally we
would never do. We — you never go in
with an adult chimpanzee. An adult chimpanzee is
much stronger than you are. So, that’s a very
risky business, and so we have never done that. And he entered her cage,
basically, to say goodbye, because she was dying, and she
was rolled up there in her nest. And the interesting thing of
this encounter, I’ll play it for you, is that, I
think, Mama must have said that Jan was very
nervous about entering. And instead of him
reassuring her, it ended up her being
reassuring him. So, you will see how that goes. So, he enters, and at
first, she doesn’t see him, and then she notices him. [ Foreign Language Spoken ] So, this gesture is a gesture
that a female chimp will make to a child who was
distressed and calm them down. Basically, that’s what
she’s doing with him, and when this was played on
Dutch TV, on national TV, there were many reactions, and
many people were very moved by it, which I could
fully understand. But there were also many
people very surprised by it. They were very surprised
about how humanlike, how humanlike the expression
were, and that’s why I took that as the title of the
book, because we all know that chimpanzees are
our closest relatives. So, why would you be surprised that their expressions
are very similar to ours? I mean, that’s completely
logical. Everything that we
do, you can see in chimpanzees and the opposite. I don’t think there’s
uniquely human emotions. I think all the emotions we have
we share with other species, and this was an illustration
of it, and that’s why I took that as the title of the book. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Betsy Herrelko: Thank you
very much for that, Frans. I’m sorry we didn’t
provide tissues. Actually, this book, I carried
around for a couple weeks in a whole trip to Kenya
with my — all of my things, because I wasn’t quite
ready to read it, but it is so much more
than just this story. So, I do hope you have a read. If we can talk a little
bit about dogs, Alexandra, can you tell us a little
bit about our dogs?>>Alexandra Horowitz: Sure. As I–>>Betsy Herrelko: Cool,
I’ll kick it to you.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Thanks,
Betsy, thanks to the Library of Congress, and thanks
to all of you for coming. I’m sorry I don’t have dogs
here with me on the stage, because that is the great
disappointment that I bring to almost every presentation. But I find dogs don’t really
appreciate me talking, particularly. So, it’s all right. I left them at home. I am a researcher of dog
cognition and behavior. As Betsy said, I have
a dog cognition lab at Barnard College, and I’m
very interested in finding out, essentially, what it’s like
to be another creature, and my creature of
interest is the dog, so what it is like to be a dog. And my previous books
are on those topics. “Inside of a Dog” was about
all the fairly recent research in dog cognition, which gives us
some insight into what they know and understand, which is
sometimes not what our intuitions say and
sometimes bear out [inaudible] with intuitions. And then I wrote a book,
“Being a Dog”, which was more about what it’s like to
live in a world of smell, because as we know, dogs
are olfactory creatures. I mean, we live in that world of
smell as well, but we mostly try to avoid those smells, whereas
they really embrace them. And so a lot of my research
is about investigating that. So, aside from the
great pleasures of that, I regularly have dogs and
their owners come into my lab. And while I’m studying
scientifically, the four-legged member
of that dyad, I — the dog human relationship
I started seeing is kind of the elephant in
the room, as it were, it’s the thing that’s happening,
but is not being observed. And, of course, I am a person
who lives with dogs as well, and so I am a — I’m a participant in that
dog human relationship. But when I put my science
hat on, I started looking at that relationship more
closely, at how we live with dogs, at how we got to be
at this place, where we live with these animals in our
homes and the dog human bond. So, this book is very much
focused on that topic. It’s about inquiring after
and pursuing, you know, how do we acquire dogs. How do we buy and breed dogs? How do we start to
name or train dogs? How do — why do
we talk to them? How do we talk to them? How do we see them? And how do they reflect us? And how is our behavior
toward them reflective on us as individuals and as a species? And what I think
is fascinating is that in some ways,
it’s contradictory. So, very much we celebrate our
dog’s individuality, right? Any of you who lives with dogs
can tell me about your dog. And, in fact, many
of you do, thank you. You know, all the quirks of your
dog’s behavior and personality and the things they like and the
things they roll in and the way that their habits — so we’re
celebrating their individuality. And yet at the same
time, as a society, we breed them for sameness. We breed breeds, purebred
dogs, which are intended to be predictable in some
way in their behavior, in their appearance, and we
appreciate them that way. We name our dogs, and I’ve done
some research on the naming of our dogs, and I read
about that in this book. Well, we give them
very significant names. Unlike 100 years ago
with Rexs and spots, most of our dogs are now
named with human names. There is a Lucy out
there, there’s a Charlie, there’s a George, a Bella. So, we’re naming them and
keeping them close to us, and yet, as a society, we
also euthanize, every year, anonymous millions of dogs. We consider them a part
of our family, right? 95% of Americans consider
their dog a family member, and yet the law considers
our dogs to be property, chattel property, objects, whose value is essentially
what you paid for them, clearly not measuring — the measure of value
which we put on our dogs. They’re the object that
sits by you on the sofa. That’s not how I
feel about my dogs, and they do sit by
me on the sofa. We sense their animalism, and I think we celebrate
their animalism, the fact that they are
animals that we can bring into this human animal
society, and that a lot of the ways we treat them is
as little furry humans, right? We dress them up. We even breed many dogs to have
a flatter face, which is more like our face coincidentally. There are ways we talk
about their gender, and we consider them gendered,
but we also regulate their sex, and most of your dogs
are probably desexed. Sex is not a part of their life. So, I think, in many ways,
dogs are quite familiar, and yet there are ways
we don’t see them, right? We talk to them all the time,
and I’m fascinated by that, but we’re not often
listening to them. So, this is — I like to dwell
in that territory and think about not just dogs,
but all animals. I actually consider dogs as somewhat tail wagging
ambassadors to animals, to non-human animals,
because our society of fear is growing
more and more distant to the non-human animal world. And yet there is this
one in our homes, right? So, I think looking at them with
a critical eye at how we live with animals now, at how
we live with dogs now, maybe can give us some insight about how we should
live with dogs tomorrow. Thanks.>>Betsy Herrelko:
Great, wonderful. [ Applause ] So, as we heard from Frans’
stock, seeing the video of Mama with Jan, hearing a
little bit more about dogs, I think everyone in
this room understands that animals have the
power to change us. So, Alexandra, in your book,
you start out by talking about when each person makes
a decision to breed, buy, or rescue a dog, we enter into a relationship
that will change us. It changes the course
of our days. Dogs need to be walked,
fed, attended to. It changes the course
of our lives. They weave their way
into our psyches, and it has changed the
course of Homo Sapiens. You go on to talk
about this paradox that you just introduced,
about how we treat animals. My cat slept on the pillow with
me, but we also have a situation where there are animals in
shelters, animals in labs, animals all over the
place in agriculture that we treat very
differently than on the pillow. So, can you tell us
a little bit more about why you think we do that?>>Alexandra Horowitz: I think that these two pet strains have
evolved in parallel, right? So, 150 years ago, the cats
were mostly not on the pillow, the dogs were mostly
not on our beds. There — maybe there were lap
dogs, certainly, and dogs, some dogs were in the house, but most dogs were
outside of the house. So, as that’s — that changed, the law did not grow
up at the same rate. So, there were these parallel
streams, and now we’ve gotten to a place where the law
and how we treat animals is quite dissonant. But it, you know, maybe
if go back 150 years, when the first animal
cruelty laws were established, they were about the fact that
someone started to see this, started to see these
are sentient beings, Henry Bergh, for instance. These are sentiments sentient
beings that we should treat with more care, and the first
animal cruelty laws started being introduced. Those were mostly for working
animals, not owned animals, certainly not wild animals or
hunted animals or food animals, but for animals who
were working for humans. And those laws are —
were critically important and a major improvement
in animals’ lives. They have evolved a little bit
over time, but at the same time, they reified this idea
that animals are property. In other words, they
count on the fact that animals are property,
and so we’re not to be cruel to animals, not as much for
their sake as for the sake that the person who owns them
would suffer with the loss of that animal or the loss
of the work of that animal. And so even though we don’t want to dismantle our
animal cruelty laws, they count on this legal
way of considering animals, which now seems anathema to us. And there are people who
are doing interesting work to say what else
could we call dogs or other animals,
apart from property. Some people think, for
instance, Steven Wise, maybe who you know about, who
is interested in personhood for chimpanzees, for other
animals, for elephants, maybe for all animals, but his
work has been with chimpanzees, argues that the concept
of personhood isn’t about being a person, right? A corporation is a person. You, a limited liability
corporation is counted as a person. Persons are just things to
the law that can own property. So, why don’t we consider
animals, who have interests and understandings and
awareness as things which deserve other things? That’s his approach. Other people think
maybe there could be — you could consider animals
like dogs living property, and we’d have to consider
what they need in the world as opposed to just
what we need of them. But I think we’ve come to this
place where just two channels of living with animals
have separated far enough. So, that now, when you examine
it, it’s really dissonant.>>Betsy Herrelko:
And if you think about how we emotionally
handle that, Frans touches on this a little bit in terms
of how we regulate empathy and create different categories. So, you say we regulate empathy
by opening or closing a door, depending on who we identify
with and who we feel close to? Can you tell us a
little bit about the ways in which we’re regulating
empathy in that context or others?>>Frans de Waal: Yeah,
there’s actually — is [inaudible] related to that
topic is that we open the door for the dog and the cat but
not for the pig and the cow. And actually, while you
were talking, I was thinking of people who abandon
their pets. I’ve never understood how
someone can have a dog in the home, and the next day
it’s put outside on the highway. I don’t know how
that works, mentally, for people to do
that kind of thing. So, yes, we haven’t opened
the door for our pets, and I do think that our pets are
sort of ambassador for the rest of the animal kingdom,
because clearly, the way we are treating farm
animals is totally substandard. It’s totally — it’s
cruel in many ways, and we’re accepting that,
and I think there’s more and more people,
especially young people, who are not accepting
that anymore. And so I personally feel that
this whole agricultural business with animals is on
the wrong track, given how we have evolved
our views about animals. And part of that comes from,
maybe, from work on chimpanzees, which are our close
relatives, and as you know, chimpanzees are not
being used anymore in biomedical studies nowadays
for that particular reason. But there are many animals that
we mistreat, and I’m worried about that, even though
I’ve, for a long time worked with captive animals, I’m worried about what
they’re doing with them, yeah.>>Alexandra Horowitz: You know, can I say one other
thing about this? The — this feeling of giving
empathy to other animals, apart from whether animals are
showing empathy to each other, one of the things
that scientists and Frans’ work very
much belies this, goes against this
are our caution against doing is
anthropomorphizing, right, just assuming that animals have
the same experiences as we do. And I think it’s a challenge,
actually, for scientists to try to find out well, which — well, maybe some
anthropomorphisms are right and some are wrong, and
we should investigate. And I did one study with dogs
where we looked at the — their guilty look, right? Do you recognize? You know the look. You know the look, and
whether that came up more often when they’d done something
to feel guilty for or not. And it doesn’t. It comes up more
often when someone like you thinks they’ve done
something wrong and goes to punish them, right? And so I wasn’t saying dogs
don’t experience guilt. I’m saying this look, the behavior they show doesn’t
show us their internal state, maybe with that mapping
that we thought. That anthropomorphism
is questionable, but at the same time, I once
gave a talk in Michigan, and the Humane Society came
up to me and said, “You know, we read about your study,
and then when we try to adopt dogs out, we started
teaching them the guilty look.” And I’m like, “What
are you doing?” You know, they would go up and
get very angry at the dogs, and they weren’t being punished,
but they put on that face that we might call
it a submissive face or an appeasement face,
just like a pleading face. And they said it
actually makes people feel that the dog is more
responsive right away to them, and so they’re more
likely to be adopted. So, that anthropomorphism
allows us to kind of extend them in our circle and bring them in. And then, like two
months later, they call and they debrief the
people, and they’re like, “You know, that guilty look? We just taught that to them.” And at that point they bonded,
and they’re in the family, and there’s — so
there’s no going back. But so there’s a way in which
like, I, as a scientist, I don’t want to just
assume animals or non-human animals
are just like us, feel exactly like we do. But I realize that that
gesture is important to us having sympathy
and empathy for them.>>Frans de Waal: But you
know the little muscle that makes it possible for the
dog to drop its eye a little bit and change the size of its
eyes, that’s a dog muscle that the wolf doesn’t have.>>Alexandra Horowitz:
That’s right, in the eyebrow.>>Frans de Waal: Yeah,
recently a paper came out saying that in our domestication
we have favored dogs who had that puppy expression
that they make, you know?>>Alexandra Horowitz:
That’s right, you know, with the aww, right?>>Frans de Waal: We are real
suckers for that apparently. So, and anthropomorphism,
I always feel that with the primates, at
least, it’s not an issue. We — anthropomorphism
means humanlike. Well, the primates
are humanlike, because we are primates. I always felt it’s a
nonissue, but it was always — it was the weapon of
choice of people who wanted to kill any talk about
cognition or emotions. They always said, “Don’t
be anthropomorphic.” So, you would say my dog is
jealous, and everyone knows that dogs can be jealous. You would say that, they would
say, “Don’t be anthropomorphic. You should not say
these things.”>>Betsy Herrelko: So, it’s a
very big challenge in our fields to balance out that interest and
kind of applying what we know about emotions to animals
and then how we might need to look at it scientifically. And some of the most rewarding
conversations I’ve had at work, no matter where it is, is talking about how
we perceive the animals and what we think is happening, whether we’re applying human
perspectives and psyche onto the animals and talking about the hilarious
thing they did or how they mentally
manipulated us. So, how do you guys think we,
the question for both of you, how do we work with that? How have you been working
with that, as a scientist, to ensure that we can kind of
have the best of both worlds?>>Frans de Waal: Yeah, well, in
the way we collect information, I don’t think it is present. If you ask me, do females grow
more than males, we have ways of measuring that and
collecting information. So, the information gathering
of people who work in the field or in captivity and do
experiments is unaffected by that, is that the
interpretation level that this kind of
things come in. And are you liberaling
[phonetic] interpretations are very narrow, like the
[inaudible] want us to be, and I’ve always been
a bit more liberal. And then you have to fight for the concepts
that you introduced. So, for example, if I
say animals have empathy, people initially didn’t
want to hear about it, because empathy was
a human thing. Now, I don’t think
it’s an issue anymore. So, and this is true
for so many cases, so many times this has happened that you were not
allowed to say this. And 10 years later, everyone
is saying it, and so, yeah, we have really evolved
in our views of animals.>>Betsy Herrelko: Absolutely.>>Alexandra Horowitz: I very
much think that’s some — that it’s interesting to
interrogate the concepts that we’re applying
even to humans and then that then get applied
to non-humans. So, if you say, “Well, we know
that dogs experience jealousy.” I say, “Well, how do we know when we’re experiencing
jealousy?” A lot of our emotions are
confusing to ourselves, right? In fact, there’s a whole
industry in humans of getting in touch, learning to get
in touch with your emotions, but they’re right there,
right, to be touched. So, obviously, we have
troubles with this concept, even when talking about
whether it applies to humans or how it applies to
ourselves, how to recognize it. And I don’t know if I could
recognize your jealous feeling if you’re just sitting there,
even if you experience jealousy. And so I’m challenged by trying
to break down the concepts that we want to apply to
non-human animals and say well, what are the behaviors
that go along with that, and I’m a very big
believer in the fact that there are behaviors that give us information
about cognition. It’s not just behavior with
nothing going on in the back, and also behavior happens, so
you can observe it carefully. And so that’s the
way I approach it. It doesn’t — that
means, of course, I never have conclusions. I never have final conclusions. You know, I don’t feel like I
could ever say as confidently as Frans says, I don’t know that I can ever say what
a dog is experiencing, which is different than saying
that they have a capacity for emotional experience.>>Frans de Waal: No, no, I’m
making a sharp distinction between feelings and emotions.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah.>>Frans de Waal: The
feelings you will never know. Even your feelings, as far as I
can tell, you could be zombies–>>Alexandra Horowitz: I
can tell you my feelings.>>Frans de Waal: You could
have no feelings whatsoever. So, feelings you —
feelings you can talk about, but your feelings I cannot know,
but your emotions I can know, because I can see them. And emotions are
expressed in the body–>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah,
but when we talk about emotions, I think we mean feelings, right?>>Frans de Waal:
Yeah, some people do.>>Alexandra Horowitz:
We mean it, right? We conflate those two things. So, I think that’s
what’s tricky, is that the way we use
language, as language users, and the way scientists think
of these ideas is different and where both parties
are not sure, because we don’t learn
language as learning, you know, definitions. We learn language by
using it and feel — and if somebody says like
you did that thing, Alex, young Alex, you broke
that thing, and now you feeling
guilty, and I’m like is that what I’m feeling
[inaudible] I didn’t know it myself. I didn’t learn it in a book. I was told, and I kind of had
this phenomenal experience. So, I think that most of us
think of feelings and emotions as the same thing, and so if I say I know what a
dog’s emotion is, it says, it’s the same as saying I
know what they’re feeling, and I don’t. I don’t. I don’t know
what they’re feeling.>>Frans de Waal:
But you do want to make the distinction maybe.>>Alexandra Horowitz: I just
think they’re both together.>>Frans de Waal: So,
there are scientists like let’s say Panksepp
who died a year ago, a very famous researcher or
Damasio, and me who say we need to separate feelings
and emotions. We can talk about the emotions. We can measure them in
all sorts of species. Feelings, that’s a
subjective, private experience. And yes, in our language,
we confuse the two, but we should maybe
keep them separate.>>Betsy Herrelko: So, Frans
keeps calling me the mediator.>>Frans de Waal:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.>>Betsy Herrelko:
[inaudibl] moderator.>>Frans de Waal: The moderator.>>Betsy Herrelko: And
I’m seated in the middle, and this is the best part
about scientific discussions, much like in animal welfare,
everything is up for discussion, and it really helps us
expand science and kind of take it to another level. But if I can loop back to
specific emotions with guilt, let’s just touch
base on how many of you guys have dogs at home? All right, what about cats?>>Frans de Waal: How often
[inaudible] guilt in your cats?>>Betsy Herrelko:
That’s my next question.>>Frans de Waal: I’ve
had always cat in my home, and their guilt level
is very low I would say.>>Betsy Herrelko: So, perhaps
opportunity for a study to look at behaviors in cats that might
indicate guilt, which would not at all be how we
would perceive it.>>Frans de Waal: I think it is because cats are
not hierarchical, because you say basically,
that the guilt of the dog is anticipation of
punishment probably, you know, some sort of like
appeasement behavior.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah.>>Frans de Waal: And the cat,
since they are not hierarchical, and we are not necessarily
above them in their mind, that’s maybe how it occurs, no?>>Alexandra Horowitz:
I would say that the guilty look is
appeasement behavior, but I don’t know
about dogs’ guilt. What is that dog feeling? What’s — what are
they thinking? That’s what I think we want to
know and what we assume we know if we say that they feel guilt or if we say what
they don’t feel guilt. So, I’m just looking
at the guilty look. When does that come up?>>Betsy Herrelko: So, let’s
switch to a more positive side of the emotional spectrum
and think about happiness. Happiness is a really hard
word for us in this field. I think sometimes there’s the
science of animal welfare, there’s the philosophy
of animal rights, and different people use
it in different ways. As scientists, I mean, as a
scientist, I find it very hard to take that topic on. How do you guys see how
that fits into your world?>>Frans de Waal: Yeah. I would say if animals
play, and I find all of us play an indicator
of being relaxed. So, if we did studies,
for example, on primates under
crowded conditions or more open conditions
where they had more space, and as soon as you
start crowding them, the aggression doesn’t
necessarily go up, but the play disappears. And if you measure
cortisol levels, you know, the stress hormone,
the cortisol goes up. I always think that
if animals don’t play, that’s a very bad sign. And if animals play — I was recently at
that bonobo sanctuary. There was an enormous amount of
play by, even by adult females, which and chimpanzees never
play, but bonobos they play. I always find that a good
indicator, not of happiness. I don’t know what
that is exactly, but of being relaxed at least.>>Betsy Herrelko:
Okay, fair enough. Fair enough.>>Alexandra Horowitz: I
mean, I think play is seen as an indicator of welfare
across a lot of species. In fact, it’s the reason
I got into dogs, right? I wasn’t looking to
study dogs, but I thought that play might be the
place where in a non-human, we start seeing the kind of
understanding of the other — of other minds, like thinking
when you play as a child, and you’re doing pretend
play, and you have to pretend I’m mom now,
and you have to take on mom’s personality and you
— somebody else takes the role of something — of somebody
else, and you’re negotiating with somebody else’s
perspective. And I see that in play, and
I was looking for a species to study who plays a
lot, and, of course, the primates do very much, but
they’re not always on demand. And meanwhile, I had a
dog, and I was taking her out to play pretty
much three times a day. So, about six months into
doing that I realized, I should study dogs, righ? That’s — I should study
them, and that’s what I did, and it was, I must say, my
happiness level went way up, because I’m just watching
play all the time. All my videos are
dog play videos, and that’s how I started getting
into the question of mind. I think that it is, you know,
plays a great marker for dogs. They probably are
released of some stressors that a wild animal would have,
needing to find territory, need to find a mate,
needing provisions for many dogs now raising
young, that allows them to have this time into which
they can spread and play. So, that might be a marker
of welfare or happiness. In the dog human bond,
the interesting element of happiness is the oxytocin
loop that people talk about. And there’s been really
nice research showing that when you pet dogs,
your oxytocin spikes, and oxytocin is this peptide
hormone, which is correlated with feeling things of
pleasure, relaxation, love. It’s a hormone that’s released
between parent and child, for instance, when a parent
is holding their child, and that happens when
you touch your dog. And also guess what, it happens
for the dog when you look at each other, when you look
at each other in the eyes. So, there’s some — that’s
a stand in for, you know, not happy, maybe not happiness,
but pleasure, satisfaction, love, affiliation,
something like that. It’s not a perfect stand in,
but it’s definitely, I think, at the root of that bond, right?>>Frans de Waal: They
do, now, these experiments with the cognitive bias
that you probably — maybe you’re doing yourself.>>Betsy Herrelko: I
have been doing it.>>Frans de Waal: And yeah,
so the experiment goes — they do it with dogs, with
pigs, with all sorts of animals. It goes as follows, you have,
for example, a high tone and a low tone, and if the
dog hears the high tone, he will get a reward, and
if he hears the low tone, he gets some maybe a pat
on the head or nothing. And very soon, of course,
the dog goes always for the high tone,
if he hears that. And then they give a
tone right in the middle, and then they see what the
dog does, and then the dogs who are so-called optimistic,
they go for that medium tone. And the dogs who are
pessimistic they say, well, this is probably nothing. So, that’s the test. They’ve done it with pigs. The interesting thing
with the pig study was that if you give pigs a very
rich environment with a lot of straw and cardboard boxes
and company of other pigs, they become optimistic pigs. And if you give them
a very bad environment of like a concrete cell with
no one and nothing around, they become pessimistic pigs. And so that’s the
cognitive bias. There’s this this
very interesting test that has now been done on
many different species.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah,
I actually just did a study on that with dogs, where
we looked at the before and after levels of optimism
of dogs, if they participated in scent work games, nose work. I don’t know how many
of you know nose work, but it’s basically just
a game where a dog goes and searches for smells, right? So, I thought that seems
really up their alley, and you teach dogs
this with their people, but people are just
accompanying the dogs. Dogs do the searching, and
after six weeks of doing this, actually only —
after only two weeks, we saw dogs optimism went up. They were faster on this, faster
to go to that middle container, which the ambiguous container. So, they seemed to be
getting more optimistic if you let them use their nose.>>Frans de Waal: But isn’t
it beautiful that we use terms like optimism and
pessimism for animals, which I’m sure people
would have called, five years ago, anthropomorphic.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah.>>Frans de Waal: And now
we have a so-called measure. So, we know exactly what
we mean by these two terms, even though it is a bit fishy to call them optimistic
or pessimistic.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Well, you
know, you can’t put in a title. You can’t put it in a
journal paper title, but it can be somewhere
hidden in the text, and it’ll be in the
press report.>>Frans de Waal: Or the journalist will
immediately extract it from you, yeah.>>Alexandra Horowitz: Yeah.>>Betsy Herrelko: So, choose
your journals carefully. Always go for public friendly
books if you really need to get that message out to folks who might not read those
very rigorous articles, but each has a place. So, we are running low on
time, because we love to talk about these things, and we’ve
barely even touched the list of topics I have listed here. I do want to make sure to
open it up to the audience. So, we have two microphones and just a few minutes
for questions. So, if anybody wants
to start coming up, we can hopefully can
get a few in here, and while you guys are coming
to the mic, I do just want to touch base on different
approaches to your books. So, it kind of brings the mood to your primary connections
to the field. You each take a slightly
different approach. Alexandra has talked about how
she is particularly passionate about how animals experience
the world but, of course, includes topics in her book
about how we interact with them and what that means
for us as well. And Frans’ book is largely
focused on animal emotions and what that means in
describing ourselves. So, can you tell us
what led you into each of those directions briefly?>>Alexandra Horowitz: Sure. Well, I’ve always been really
interested in the experience of dogs and so I — seeing
the people that are coming with the dogs I got interested
in, you know, every owner I meet who comes to the lab is good
hearted and loves their dog and wants to do right
by their dog. And I got interested in what is
— what are we, as a society, handing to people as the tools
to interact best with their dog, so their dog does have the
best experience, like what — sure, we throw certain special
foods and toys and at them and games, and we have doggy
daycares and these things. Are these the right
things, right? What does science
say about this? Where did that stuff come from, and how can we make sure it’s
the right thing going forward, given how we feel about
dogs in our lives?>>Betsy Herrelko: And
they’re quicker to get to the queue than I thought, so.>>Frans de Waal:
Yeah, for me, you know, all my work has always
been on the emotions, even though I was not allowed
to talk about emotions. And so at some point I was
sort of fed up [inaudible], and I decided it was time to just explicitly mentioned
the emotions and the feelings and discuss them and also to emphasize how human
emotions are important, because we tend to downplay. We say don’t be so emotional
or men will say about women, they’re so emotional,
even though if you look at men during sports games,
I think there’s quite a bit of emotion going on there. So, but we tend to look
down on the emotions. We want to be rational
and cerebral, and I don’t think we are. I think all our major decisions
are always emotional decisions. The decision, who you’re going to marry is not a
rational decision. It’s an emotion. The important ones are
always emotional decisions, and I wanted to emphasize the
importance of the emotions.>>Betsy Herrelko: Excellent. So, let’s go for our
first question over here.>>Thank you.>>Betsy Herrelko: If you get
real close to it, it’ll work.>>Can you hear me now? I wanted to go back to
something you mentioned earlier about names for animals. I have cats. I’ve always had cats for
the past about 30 years, and I was taught, at that
time, that when you name a cat, you have to pick a name
that the cat likes, otherwise the cat
will ignore you. And I believe–>>Alexandra Horowitz: Did
a cat teach you that or–>>No, it was a human who
gave me that information, and I followed it in its
work that I’ve chosen names for my cats that the cat likes, that I get a glimmer
of recognition. I narrow it down
after a few days. That becomes the cat’s
name, and it has to start out with a name I like, but it’s
also a name that the cat likes. And my cats have always been
very interactive with me. You know, they, you know,
they’re very affectionate, they’re very loving, and I was
wondering if you had heard this at all about naming cats or what
it has to do with, you know, their recognition of
this is something that — I like this word and I’m going
to associate it with myself.>>Alexandra Horowitz:
Right, right. I love that you’re spending
time thinking about naming, and, to me, that’s the key
component about that, right? So, in — for the last
century of animal research, you weren’t supposed to
name the animals you studied or at least their names
wouldn’t be in the papers. Pavlov’s dogs’ names
are not in the papers, even though he apparently,
you know, felt that they were quite dear. And now that’s very much
changed, and certainly with our animals, we spend
a lot of time naming them. I do not know of any science about what you should name your
dog, although I am, or cat, I’m always asked about this. And I usually say,
and people will — some people will give you expert
advice about it, but it’s — I think it’s wrought of experience not
of science per se. And I think my advice
is always just say — use a name you’re happy
saying again and again. And I do look askance at
people who name their cats cat and dogs dog, because it’s
individuating the animal, right? It’s making that animal,
an individual like that in your life, that you don’t
know anything about them, and that’s the moment where you
start giving them an identity, and I think that’s
really important. That’s an individual identity,
not a species identity, but I haven’t heard that theory. I’m glad it’s worked for you.>>Yeah.>>Betsy Herrelko: Excellent.>>It takes a few
days, sometimes I think for one had it took as long
as a week to figure out a name that she actually decided
okay, this is the name I want. But–>>Betsy Herrelko: Thank you
very much for your question. I’m sorry. So, we are running out of time. They’re starting to open up
the doors, so you guys can go. Thank you guys very much
for the people in line, I hope you can have a
chance to find them later on when they’re signing
their books. So, next up for our authors,
they have their book signing on the lower level at
1:30 in lines 13 and 14. And obviously, you
guys are very aware that from their numerous
best-selling books, Frans and Alexandra really
helped bridge that gap between inspiring conversations and rigorous academic
publication. So, thank you so much
for joining us today, and thank you guys for being
here as part of this discussion.

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