Wait… Bees Can Count?

smart animals bee

For centuries, animals’ capacity for human-like behavior went unnoticed. But animals are smarter than we think. Sharks like jazz and bees understand the number zero. Some of the most abstract ideas for humans to grasp—mastered by nonhumans. It feels like they deserve a round of applause or something. But they’re not getting one.

Seeing compassion, virtue, suffering, and struggle in animals, smart or not, puts us in a weird spot. When we recognize other moral beings with ethical claims, we feel we have to behave better, too. The study of animal behavior is long and complicated with a lot of wrong turns. The world once believed a horse could count. Like that itch you just can’t seem to scratch, science is still struggling to understand what’s really going on in animal brains.

Read the rest of the Sentient Media story here on Huffington Post.

Your Five-A-Day

  1. 👀 For 98 years, Perdue has sold real meat and only real meat. Now, they’re eying plant-based options as sales for alternative proteins are projected to grow by 17% annually to $863 million in 2021. [Bloomberg]
  2. 😷 It’s now 100% certain that bacteria can move from animals to humans through the meat we consume. Researchers just traced one E. coli strand called H22 from the gut of a chicken to the meat sold in supermarket and finally—to humans. [Wired]
  3. 🌱 One sweet potato has 400% of your daily vitamin A. Two ounces of sunflower seeds gets you more than enough vitamin E, and there’s as much calcium in a ½ cup of tofu as there is in a cup of whole milk. So what’s so hard about going vegan, again? [Faunalytics]
  4. 📍 The internet of animals is live! A fleet of animal-tracking satellites 30 years in the making is now orbiting Earth, and they’re planning to do a lot more than track animals. [BBC]
  5. 🍜 Moby loves this .75-cent-per-serving vegan broth. He even gave away the recipe. [Instagram]