THE UNIQUENESS OF ANIMAL-HUMAN CONNECTIONS

Everybody loves to be loved, and nobody likes to be lonely. Something a lot of people consider doing to deal with loneliness is caring for an animal companion. Here, we can see why animals and humans can — and should — coexist.

RECIPROCATION

Mental health is something I’ve personally struggled with for many years. I noticed that during times when I am especially distressed, my animal companion, an orange Persian Cat named Osiris, would nuzzle me with her head, sometimes even seemingly wiping my tears away with her fluffy face.

My animal companion expresses compassion and sympathy towards me. And just as animals are often aware of how we feel, we must also stay vigilant about our animal companion’s feelings and emotions.

Our animal companion’s wellbeing is just as important as our own. The noises they make, the expressions on their faces, and even the way they move their tails can all be indicators of their level of comfort.

MUTUALISM

In mutualism, parties involved benefit from the relationship and their interactions. A common example of mutualism exists between a Bee and a flower. The Bee eats pollen off of a flower, then the pollen that sticks to their body is spread as they go from one plant to another, allowing plants to reproduce.

Among human and nonhuman animals, there are also different forms of mutualism. For instance, while animals can provide companionship, humans reciprocate and provide shelter and food.

At the same time, animals don’t have to become companions to humans for mutual coexistence. Even as animals live in their natural habitats away from us, they remain part of an ecosystem that helps everyone else thrive, including humans.

SAFE SPACE

Nonhuman and human animals can foster each other’s safe spaces.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a safe space is “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.” In a figurative way, living beings can act as a safe space.

There are a lot of people in my life who do that for me, and I can say that my animal companions do the same. When they are with me, I feel as though my worries are being swept away.

Since our animal companions have the capability of making us feel safe, we must do the same for them as well. Having companion animals means respecting them and caring about their safety. When an animal trusts us, we shouldn’t break that trust.

In terms of non-companion animals, humans should also try to provide safety to animals. Hunting, poaching, and treating them merely as resources means putting them in danger. The least we can do is leave them be so that they can live and thrive.

ADOPTING COMPANIONS

Animal companions are worthy of love and care. If you are considering caring for an animal companion of your own, please adopt from the many rescue centers nationwide. These animals deserve to have a family to call their own.

Though some rescue centers do take good care of these animals, the shelter is not the best safe space for them. We can provide them more safety by taking them home and making the commitment to be their forever-companion.

UNFORGETTABLE BOND

Animal-human relationships are precious. People who have shared their lives with animal companions understand that animals express their love in different ways. They may come and go because many of them have shorter lives than humans, but memories of them remain forever.

BENEFITS ARE NOT REQUISITES

Of course, it goes without saying that even if we do not benefit from interactions with animals, we have to safeguard their wellbeing. We don’t need to enjoy the company of animals for us to value their lives.