Animals And Us

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Our relationship with animals is complicated: we love and fear them; hunt, consume and protect them. In this hour, TED speakers explore what happens when humans and animals interact.

Writer Jon Mooallem tells the story of the teddy bear, and considers how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival — and the natural world at large. Animal trainer Ian Dunbar says we need to see the world through the eyes of our dogs if we want to really communicate with them. What do our dogs think when they look at us? Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner life of a former canine companion. From compulsive bears to self-destructive rats, science historian Laurel Braitman studies animals with mental health issues and asks what we can learn from them. Empathy, cooperation and fairness seem like distinctly human traits. But biologist Frans de Waal explains why other animals might share those same qualities.

Learn more or listen again to this week's episode, which originally aired on September 7, 2014

Banner Image Credit: iStock

Credits

Host:
Guy Raz