Dogs: Man’s Ethical Ancestors?

Published by PETA.

Dogs at play


Socrates and Aristotle, make way for Fido and Rover. According to a new theory of ethics, the social order of dogs, wolves, and coyotes may be the best source of insight into the roots of human morality.

After years of closely analyzing the ways in which dogs play with each other, Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce—whose new book Wild Justice is slated for a May release—concluded that dogs follow a rigid code that prevents their seemingly violent play from becoming a fight. By bowing to each other, showing signs of apology, and adapting their strength to the abilities of their playmates, dogs safely control themselves when they play, promoting fairness and preventing injuries. Bekoff and Pierce claim that the “moral intelligence” of dogs, “probably closely resembles that of our early human ancestors. And it may have been just this sense of right and wrong that allowed human societies to flourish and spread across the world.”

Dogs frequently risk their lives to save their canine friends and their human companions. Seriously—you think you trained your dog well? What does it mean that it’s really dogs who have trained us?

Written by Logan Scherer

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind