Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sick as a Dog

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Association for People With Ugly Children.

I've often thought it overkill the way we ban non-human animals from places that serve food, when we are much more likely to get sick from contact with other humans than any other species. I would still eat in a restaurant if dogs were allowed, especially knowing that there are any number of insects and rodents living in the nooks and crannies. Regarding my health, I'm much more concerned about the cook in the kitchen than the Beagle in the booth.

In New York there are lots of sidewalk cafes that allow dogs and it's always fun to see them hanging out with their parents. CHNW cannot pass a dog without chatting, and NYC has lots of dogs so it takes us quite a while to get through the city on foot. For occasions when we are in a hurry, I distract her by pointing out fine architectural details at the tops of buildings when a dog is passing so we don't lose too much time.

Most people are amazed at the intelligence of dogs on certain occasions, but I have come to believe that all species of animals have impressive intelligence, each in their own way. Not surprisingly, we tend to judge intelligence by how much like our own it is, but evolutionarily this is a poor standard. I think if you consider that other species have different types of intelligence that we do not necessarily relate to, and in some cases cannot even perceive, it changes your understanding of them. It also makes you feel less of a sense of entitlement over them.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you're right on that last point. My dogs are much better at being dogs than I am, even when I try pretty hard.

Jezzka said...

ha! that reminds me when ash tried to save the cricket, she was so heartbroken at the thought of releasing it back in to the wild streets of new york.

how did it survive all the foot traffic? hmm. i wonder.

that would be a cute animation of a lil cricket hoping around the city. a pov cam of the cricket would be awesome sequence...

ideas a brewin'...

Robert Finis said...

I agree we tend to measure the intelligence of animals by our own standards, rather than something objective. Most people feel they can relate to parrots, and some parrots can do remarkable things like answer questions about the number, shape, and material of objects given to them (in the case of Alex the Amazonian Grey). Parrots are also very social. However, some claim that crows are actually smarter, because they can make their own tools. Nifty. But ask someone which they think is smarter, even if they have spent a lot of time with both, and they'd probably say parrots, because they are able to understand the parrots' intelligence better. I still say pigeons are as smart as bricks, but unlike bricks, they can suffer, and cruelty is unwarranted. Intelligence is not a terribly good standard for deciding whether something can be maltreated or not anyway. For example, it is not okay to eat a child who has the IQ of a beef cow, even if it is okay to eat a cow. However, I would say that intelligence is a fair standard for determining whether a creature is allowed to make its own decisions or not. Or for that matter, decisions for its country.

ldisme said...

some animals seem to be a lot smarter than some humans.

do vegans consider insects edible?

you and ash are such a cute couple.

not anonymous said...

(snore)

Not not anonymous said...

This is getting crazy.

C said...

"Not surprisingly, we tend to judge intelligence by how much like our own it is, but evolutionarily this is a poor standard."

I could not agree more.

Richard, your comment says it all.

gare-gare said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
isee3dtoo said...

Jezzka:

A researcher at UCB was doing research on putting a small camera on a cockroach and then sending signals to the roach's brain and controlling it. When I saw the lab 10 years ago he actually could control run and stop for the roach but not turning. So your pov cricket cam is in the works.

derekamalo said...

hey i see3dtoo.....save their money and just step on it

Penny said...

In Paris dogs were present in every restaurant we visited. I LOVE that about France!

Leigh said...

If they had a "dog section" then I would be okay with dogs in restaurants. Few people train their dogs to an acceptable level to make them tolerable while I'm eating food.

It's not a cleanliness issue for me, it's a people aren't responsible for their pets issue. The same can be said for some people with kids.

I admit that I don't like dogs very much. I mean, they're fine from a distance and I've even met a few that I felt some fondness for but generally, I'm just not a big fan so the dog behavior things some people might find endearing I just don't like. Even my cats are trained to leave the room when I eat my food.

Johnny said...

Did you squirt them with a bottle or something? Didn't know you could train a cat.

I have to remind my dog when its dinner time that its MY dinner time and not hers. She east first, but then I get the dining room for the other side of the family, who don't have tails.

She can't wait to come back in cause I also have a two year old. Half of what he eats goes on the floor. The dog cleans up afterward when she is allowed back in.

Intersting about the coackroach, Isee3d. We used to tie string on Japanese beetles and fly them like kites for fun. Of course we also would hypnotize chickens, too.

derekamalo said...

you know im not gonna come to this blog anymore cause of the bull these fairies are posting ....you guys love anymous,fran,me,sayotte,fido,jeremy battles....sensationalism sells and you know it ..

look at all the regualrs that stopped coming here once we got deleted

Robert Finis said...

Isee3dtoo: You actually got to see the lab? Wow, neat.

I've heard they can steer the roaches now, either by stimulating their antennae, or by somehow giving the roaches the impression that there's light coming from the side they want the bugs to turn away from.

Anonymous said...

This morning I had toast with my coffee.

derekamalo said...

hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

anonymous sees my point hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

isee3dtoo said...

Robert:

I was at UCD (the poor version of UCB in their eyes at least) and working on biomechanics. At that time, the coolest thing, to me, was not controlling the roach but it was determining how much force the roach was using in each leg while it walked. They were shining polarized light through "jello" yes "jello" and could see the stress lines caused by each individual leg. So in effect they had invented the jello-brand force plate.

My college roommate introduced me to a guy who studied spider sight by plugging probes in a spider brain and dangling food in front of the spider. Since he was running the experiment himself he connected the other ends of the probe to an amp and then to a speaker system. He more or less was creating music based on what the spider was seeing. So the speed control of the roach wasn't that impressive at that time, However, steering a roach is why cool.

Leigh said...

@Johnny

Well, I might just be lucky, the word no and pointing works. I have a squirt bottle bottle but one of my cats likes water. The other one I squirted once and just picking up the bottle was enough. Now, it's not necessary at all. heh.

J said...

Just something to consider - a lot of people have allergies. Your health might be OK with a dog in the next booth, but my sisters would both stop breathing.

gare-gare said...

piraro

your insecurity is getting the best of you. stop deleting posts and allow the grown-ups to stand up for themselves or merely ignore the posts they don't care for. nothing is getting hurt here but your reputation.

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Leticia said...

Well, I'm not allergic and I love dogs. Still, I'd rather not have yappy little uneducated doggies around when I'm trying to eat. They have no reason to be there anyway.

On the other hand... A "dogs allowed" restaurant sounds very japanese. They probably have something like that in Tokyo. An you probably be served by girls dressed as maids or pretty boys dressed as victorian butlers. ^^