Animal Rights and Why they Matter
highlights stories and information that shows that
animals are capable of anger.
This page is
part of a section concerning animal sentience which
relates true stories, information and accounts of animal sentience.
Animal Sentience Stories
links above to go to read stories and information that highlight these
characteristics and abilities in animals.
Albeit not a
positive emotion, and despite emphasis on its avoidance
it is sometimes a justified one which we all
exhibit from time to time. Anger shows that we are
sentient beings reacting to the often difficult lives
that we all lead, the hurts and frustrations.
It is part of the many facets that make us who we are,
but is anger an emotion peculiar to ourselves or is it
an emotion that we share with other animals.
On a physical
level it is obvious that animals have the capacity for
anger as we share the same neuro-chemicals, such as
serotonin and testosterone, and brain structures, such
as the hypothalamus that are important in the expression
and feeling of anger, aggression and revenge.*1
It is notorious that Bees express certain emotions, as
of anger, by the tone of their humming; and according to
H. Muller (p. 80), the males of some species make a
peculiar singing noise whilst pursuing the females.
Darwin The Descent of Man
As you may
have read in other sections Darwin considered that
animals have emotions, the following are further examples
from his book the Descent of Man.
new art of barking, according to Darwin Dogs did
not bark prior to domestication and selective breeding,
he describes the various types of bark for different
situations and to express different emotions including
barking is a new art, no doubt the wild parent-species
of the dog expressed their feelings by cries of various
kinds. With the domesticated dog we have the bark of
eagerness, as in the chase; that of anger, as
well as growling; the yelp or howl of despair, as when
shut up; the baying at night; the bark of joy, as when
starting on a walk with his master; and the very
distinct one of demand or supplication, as when wishing
for a door or window to be opened. According to Houzeau,
who paid particular attention to the subject, the
domestic fowl utters at least a dozen significant
mentions also the possible display of anger by the males
of migratory locusts of Russia and Chiasognathus (a
genus of stag beetle Argentina and Chile).
to the migratory locusts of Russia, Korte has given an
interesting case of selection by the female of a male.
The males of this species (Pachytylus migratorius)
whilst coupled with the female stridulate from anger
or jealousy, if approached by other males.
stridulate under various emotions, in the same manner as
birds use their voices for many purposes besides singing
to their mates. The great Chiasognathus stridulates in
anger or defiance; many species do the same from
distress or fear, if held so that they cannot escape;
considered that voices of birds and monkeys reflected
their emotional state:
With birds the
voice serves to express various emotions, such as
distress, fear, anger, triumph, or mere
express strong feelings in different tones— anger
and impatience by low,—fear and pain by high notes.
Some dogs and
horses are ill-tempered, and easily turn sulky; others
are good-tempered; and these qualities are certainly
inherited. Every one knows how liable animals are to
furious rage, and how plainly they shew it. Many, and probably true, anecdotes have been
published on the long-delayed and artful revenge of
various animals. The accurate Rengger, and Brehm state that the
American and African monkeys which they kept tame,
certainly revenged themselves. Sir Andrew Smith, a
zoologist whose scrupulous accuracy was known to many
persons, told me the following story of which he was
himself an eye- witness; at the Cape of Good Hope an
officer had often plagued a certain baboon, and the
animal, seeing him approaching one Sunday for parade,
poured water into a hole and hastily made some thick
mud, which he skilfully dashed over the officer as he
passed by, to the amusement of many bystanders. For long
afterwards the baboon rejoiced and triumphed whenever he
saw his victim.
The descent of man
reveals that crows get angry and have excellent memories
Upset a crow
and he or she will get angry and will remember your face
for five years or more and take action against you with
the aid of other crows scolding and forming
mobs of vengeful birds.
In addition to
anger it is interesting to note that crows learn not
only by direct experience but also through social means
as the information relating to perceived miscreants
spreads throughout entire crow communities.
Since the mob
members also then indirectly learn about the threatening
person, the findings demonstrate how just a single
crow's bad experience with a particular human can spread
information about this individual throughout entire crow
crows have impressive memories, people who ruffle the
feathers of these birds could experience years of
Bothered crows may at first "give harsh calls, which we
call 'scolds' that attract other crows who are nearby to
join in the mob," according to study co-author John
Marzluff. "The mob of two to 15 birds hounds us,
sometimes diving from the sky to within a few meters or
less -- This pursuit lasts about 100 meters (328 feet) as
we walk away."
Read more from the Discovery News Website:
Crows Never Forget Your Face
Mess with a crow, and it will remember your face for
over five years, research shows. By Jennifer Viegas
next segment is not a pleasant story with its tragic end
of a loss of life, it does demonstrate that animals can
get angry and a mountain goat that we may normally
envision as non dangerous may become a killer albeit
probably without intention.
An hiker in
the Olympic National Park was gored to death by a
mountain goat. While the party of three were taking a
break to rest they were joined by an agitated mountain
goat who pawed the ground and bleated menacingly before
following the group as they continued their trek. While
his companions went ahead the experienced hiker used to
handling wild goats stayed behind while the goat walk by
him until suddenly the animal launched an attack
lowering his horns he gorged the hiker in the thigh,
severing an artery he bleed to death within minutes.
Read the full
Man Gored by Angry Mountain Goat Is the Only
Animal-Related Fatality in Olympic National Park
History. Time for a Lawsuit!
from around the internet
Animals become angry in the same way humans do. We share
common neuro-chemicals, such as serotonin and
testosterone, and brain structures, such as the
hypothalamus that are important in the expression and
feeling of anger, aggression and revenge.
It's easy to identify anger and aggression, too. Even
octopuses get angry. Their pearly white skin turns red
when they are agitated. Birds can display tremendous
Researcher Irene Pepperberg studied Alex, a clever grey
parrot, for decades, and noted that when something
happened that Alex didn't like, he got very angry.
If he was fed a pellet of bird food rather than a
cashew, which he preferred, he would narrow his eyes and
puff up his feathers indicating his displeasure.
Rabbits get angry
Rabbits live in a social group
like chimps or humans and have a highly developed social
order. They use sounds, scents and body language to
communicate. They are extremely sensitive, extremely
loving, but they also get angry like no other 'pet'.
Dogs will lay a pile on your bed, but rabbits will get
angry and express anger right at you. They will nip, and
if they really don't trust you or have been badly
mistreated they will bite. If their nails are too long
you can get badly scratched. If your bunny is angry,
hold something up to his teeth that he can express his
anger on such as a piece of newspaper, a towell or
something. Let him vent for awhile. Wear gloves and
sleeves if necessary and avoid the head.
certainly get angry. Our adopted rabbit does not like
having to come indoors at night during he winter and can
get quiet agitated lashing out with her paws though she
never bites. She does sometimes growl.
Cats get angry
for various reasons says Sophi s a Yahoo contributor,
such an unclean litter tray, after two or three days of
an unchanged litter tray your cat may follow you around
meowing angrily. The same reaction may ensure if you do
not change his her water daily, cats do not like stale
three days old water and also do not like an empty
Why Do Cats
page will be updated and added to when further
information and stories are found. If you have a story
to tell about animals and anger please consider
including it here by e-mailing
* I have endeavoured to provide accurate
references for stories found on the internet however
some of the stories are so frequently repeated that the
original source is not easily identifiable. If you see
any story here that is yours for which you have not been
credited for or have not given permission for
its inclusion please
Banner photograph Happy July 4 from Casey Goat