Beach Walk 162 – Are Animals Conscious?

I think animals are conscious, and if they are, then I think that means we don’t have to worry for them quite so much.

Can’t play the movie? Visit our Help page for more info.

About Today’s Show

It was raining a lot today so we made this show at home, and added footage we collected this summer of a honu (turtle) and a manō (shark). Both had died of strangulation from tangled fish wire and fishing nets and were washed ashore.

I felt very sad for them when I encountered each of them (on separate days) yet I couldn’t quite bring myself to rant and rail against the fishermen. One, I figure I am on the soapbox enough, and two, a lot of this I believe is inadvertent. I am not talking about the bill gill nets as I am strongly opposed to those methods of fishing. Too many animals die in the process of collecting some fish. But lines do break and get left behind sometimes.

It also occurs to me that it is somewhat condescending to think of animals as “less than” or needing our pity. (Note I did not say sympathy.) I want them to learn that we humans leave all sorts of stuff behind and to watch out for it. Those of us who believe animals have incredible powers can understand that this is possible!

I do believe there is a difference between animals in the wild and those who have come to live with us, like Lexi or the goldfish in our pond. It is my job to protect them. And I do happily.

In any case, I wanted to show this footage as it is not often we get to have up close encounters with creatures from the sea. And I choose not to worry myself sick that this was all for nothing but rather there is some sense to life, even the painful parts when spirits die, even if we can’t always see it. Certainly the shark was a treat for the school children, who may have a greater appreciation for them as a result.

Hawaiian words
Manō: shark
Honu: turtle
Make: dead

Be in Touch!


  1. Well, I used to have a couple of dogs (King Charles Cavaliers)… one of them, Sam, was a right dopey sod.. used to look and sound drunk when he barked (if you can imagine it)… he could single-handedly form the basis of a counter-argument to animal consciousness 😉

    As for the animal welfare bit.. part of me believes that the world and all it’s creatures have an amazing ability to survive and adapt and that the ego of humans is significantly great that we think that the world stops turning without our being there to supervise things… that said, many things we do make it extremely hard for animals and the environment to adapt around the speed in which we cause damage…

  2. I absolutely believe animals are conscious beings. They’re so endlessly gifted and smart, many times far beyond us humans. Homer, my cat, and I talk daily (okay, sometimes hourly), and I feel like we totally understand each other. I once read that people have to believe this so we don’t feel silly in our unconditional love for creatures that may or may not understand us, but I think there’s more to it than that. I’ve never had a pet with whom I didn’t closely bond. Maybe that just says something about me, though. In any case, your bond with Lexi is real as is mine with Homer. I think we’ve answered our own questions 🙂


  1. […] Beach Walk #162 – Are Animals Conscious? Beach Walk #195 – Fear Factor […]

  2. […] Here’s the story about Harvey Miller in the local paper. Here’s the BW episode about the hammerhead shark. […]

  3. […] found the pictures truly amazing, and I keep returning to the thought, Animals Are Conscious. (See BW #162 and BW #448.) That doesn’t mean they do not sometimes need our protection; it just means that in […]