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动物也会伤心难过吗?你可能不会相信

The truth about animal grief
动物也会伤心难过吗?你可能不会相信

Whenever animals are seen grieving the dead, we sit up and take notice. In August 2018, an orca calf died off the coast of Vancouver Island, and its mother, Tahelqua, kept its corpse with her for 17 days straight. The images made news around the world. Two years ago, at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphange Trust in Zambia, a female chimp named Noel attempted to clean the teeth of her dead adopted son Thomas, dubbed a “mortuary ritual” by many. Elephants are famed for visiting the remains of dead family members, stroking their bones or at times rocking back and forth in what resembles a “vigil”.

每当看到动物在哀悼死去同伴的时候,我们就会聚精会神地认真观察。2018年8月,一只虎鲸幼崽在温哥华岛(Vancouver Island)外海死亡,而它的母亲塔勒托著它的尸体同游了整整17天——这些照片成了全世界的新闻。两年前,赞比亚(Zambia)铜带省野生动物之家(Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphange Trust),一只名叫诺埃尔的雌性黑猩猩试图为她死去的养子托马斯清洁牙齿,被很多人称作“殡葬仪式”。大象们会探望死去的家庭成员的遗体,抚摸或者前后推一推它们的骨头,进行类似于“守夜”的动作。

Can you die from a broken heart?

你会心碎而死吗?


Most dramatic, in 1972 Jane Goodall witnessed a young male chimp named Flint die just a month after the death of his mother Flo – the male was so despondent following her death that he stopped eating or socializing to the point that he simply didn’t survive.

最戏剧化的是,1972年简·古德尔(Jane Goodall)亲眼目睹了一只名叫弗林特的年轻雄性黑猩猩,在母亲弗洛去世后非常沮丧,甚至停止进食和社交,最终在他母亲去世一个月后也随之而去。

Whether or not it is possible to “die of a broken” heart, one thing is without question:

无论是否可能“心碎而死”,有一件事情是毋庸置疑的:

“We humans don’t own love or grief – these emotions are widespread in other animals,” says Dr Barbara J King, Emerita Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary, and author of How Animals Grieve.

“并不是只有我们人类才拥有爱或者悲伤——这些情绪也在普遍存在于其他动物之中,”威廉与玛丽学院(College of William and Mary)的荣休教授,《动物如何悲伤》(How Animals Grieve)的作者芭芭拉·金博士(Barbara J King)指出。

Darwin himself thought other animals capable of emotions such as happiness and misery, and stories of elephants mourning the dead were recorded by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD). Yet for much of the past two centuries scientists and philosophers were extremely hesitant to describe the behaviour of any animal towards one of their dead as “grieving”, for fear of anthropomorphizing – to attribute human traits, emotions, or intentions to animals.

达尔文认为其他动物也具有幸福和痛苦的情感能力,而大象悼念死者的故事被老普林尼(Pliny the Elder,古罗马作家,公元23-79年)记录了下来。然而,在过去两个世纪的大部分时间里,科学家和哲学家都极其犹豫,不愿将任何动物对死去同伴的行为描述为“悲伤”,因为他们害怕将人类的特征、情感或意图赋予动物。

Over the course of her research, Dr King began to feel “that we were straight-jacketed intellectually by our fears of anthropomorphism”, so she created a set of criteria:

在研究的过程中,金博士开始意识到“因为对人格化的恐惧,我们在理智上被束缚”,所以她创立了一套标准:

“If a surviving animal who had a close relationship to the newly deceased becomes socially withdrawn, failing to eat and sleep and travel in routine ways, and shows species-specific evidence of emotion – then we can see widespread evidence of an emotional response to death in animals.”

“如果一只与刚去世的同伴关系密切的幸存动物变得孤僻,不能按常规方式进食、睡觉和旅行,并且表现出物种特有的情感特征,那么我们可以将其视为动物对死亡产生情感反应的证据。”

The increase in scientific evidence for grief and mourning in other species has grown so much over the past decade, the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal B devoted an entire issue to responses to death in both animals and humans, with the proposal to define an entire new field of study: “evolutionary thanatology”.

在过去的10年里,其他物种的悲伤和哀悼的科学证据越来越多,《英国皇家学会哲学会刊》(Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)专门发表了一整期关于动物和人类对死亡的反应的文章,提议界定一个全新的研究领域:“进化死亡学”。

The ultimate goal: not simply cataloguing the range of behaviours across the animal kingdom and human cultures, but “developing a more explicit evolutionary consideration of all aspect of studies of death and dying”.

最终目标:不仅简单归类整个动物王国和人类文化中的行为,而是对死亡和死亡研究的所有方面进行更加明确的进化考虑。

After all, if it is said “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” then the question begs to be asked: Why should grief exist at all?

毕竟,如果有人说“生物学中除了演化论之外没有任何东西是有意义的”,那么我们就不禁要问:为什么会存在悲伤呢?

When mourning, both animals and humans behave in a variety of ways that are simply not useful to survival: withdrawing into solitude, retreating from socialising, sleeping less, eating less, foraging less, mating less, and if spending time tending to a corpse, exposing oneself to pathogens and making oneself vulnerable to predators. Taken to the next level in human cultures, with the amount of land we devote to cemeteries, the time and money we devote to funerals, and the profound pain we experience with loss, grief is even more draining – and puzzling.

在哀悼期间,动物和人类都会表现出各种对生存毫无益处的行为:退缩到孤独中,退出社交活动,睡眠少,吃饭少,觅食少,交配少,如果花时间照顾尸体,暴露自己在病原体面前,还容易收到捕食者的攻击。在人类文化中,我们贡献给墓地的土地越来越多,我们在葬礼上投入的时间和金钱越来越多,而我们在失去亲人时所经历的巨大痛苦,悲伤更加令人泄气和困惑。

What can be gained from grieving?

从悲伤中能得到什么?


Certain experiences in life may be painful, but that doesn’t necessarily make them maladaptive. When we experience physical pain from a cut or a burn, that pain is an evolved response signaling to us to remove ourselves from the source of pain. Pain is useful. People born with a congenital insensitivity to pain tend to die young, accruing incessant injuries and infections. Pain is useful. But what can be gained from grieving – from retreating from the world, neglecting sleeping and eating?

生活中的某些经历可能是痛苦的,但这并表示人们无法适应这些经历。当我们被切伤或烧伤引起身体疼痛时,这种疼痛是一种进化的反应,向我们发出信号,让我们远离疼痛的源头。痛苦是有用的。天生对疼痛不敏感的人往往英年早逝,不断受到伤害和感染。痛苦是有用的。但是从悲伤中我们能获得什么呢?远离这个世界,忽视睡眠和饮食,从这些里面我们可以得到什么?

In this light, understanding when, why, and how animals respond to the dead doesn’t just teach us about animal sentience, or our own evolution – it helps us understand the phenomenon of grief itself.

从这个角度来看,了解动物对死者的反应时间、原因和方式,不仅能让我们了解动物的感知能力,或者我们自己的进化过程,还能帮助我们理解悲伤本身意味着什么。

Because mourning is not limited to big-brained cetaceans (whales and dolphins) or primates – scientists have documented some form of “death response” in seals, manatees, dingoes, horses, dogs, housecats, and more. Striking examples include 27 adult giraffes holding a vigil for one dead baby giraffe, elephants from five different families visiting the bones of one of the dead, a group of 15 dolphins slowing their speed to escort a mother dolphin carrying her dead calf, and a strange case of two ducks rescued from a foie gras farm who formed a friendship at their sanctuary home. When one duck died, the other lay with its head on the others neck for hours.

因为哀悼并不局限于脑容量大的鲸目动物(鲸鱼和海豚)或灵长类动物——科学家已经记录了海豹、海牛、野狗、马、狗、家猫等动物的某种形式的“死亡反应”。引人注目的例子包括27只成年长颈鹿为一只死去的小长颈鹿守夜,来自五个不同家庭的大象探望其中一只死去的大象的遗骨,一群15只海豚放慢速度护送一只海豚妈妈带着她死去的幼崽,还有一个奇怪的案例,两只鸭子从鹅肝养殖场获救,他们在获救的庇护所结成友谊。一只鸭子死了,另一只鸭子把头枕在它的脖子上躺了几个小时。

Though charismatic mammals make headlines, responses to death can also be seen in non-mammals – such as birds, like the foie gras ducks, and wild scrub jays observed in the field.

尽管传奇的哺乳动物成为头条新闻,但在非哺乳动物身上也能看到对死亡的反应——比如鸟类,比如鹅肝鸭,以及野外观察到的野生灌丛鸦。

“We wanted to move beyond anecdotes, and do an experimental study to try and drive at the adaptive value of showing an interest in dead conspecifics,” says Dr Kaeli Swift, who tested how crows would respond to dead crows, pigeons and squirrels left in their environment, publishing her results in that same issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Crows were more likely to alarm call and recruit other birds in response to dead crows than pigeons or squirrels or stuffed crows mounted in a life-like pose – consistent with the idea that crows exhibit a “danger response” to dead crows.

斯威夫特博士(Dr Kaeli Swift)说:“我们希望超越轶事,做一项实验研究,了解对死亡同类表现出兴趣的对生命的适应性价值。”她测试了乌鸦对留在它们周围环境中的死乌鸦、鸽子和松鼠的反应,并在同一期《英国皇家学会哲学会刊》上发表了她的研究结果。相比于鸽子、松鼠,乌鸦面对死乌鸦更有可能发出警报,并吸引其他鸟类。这与乌鸦对死乌鸦表现出“危险反应”的观点是一致的。

Do humans and animals grieve in the same way?

人类和动物是用同样的方式悲哀吗?


“There is value in paying attention to your dead to teach you about ways you might die yourself – so you avoid these things,” explains Dr Swift. “There is value in understanding how this behaviour originated in order to understand our own evolution, how this behaviour went from its original state to the enormous suite it manifests in our own species.”

斯威夫特博士解释说:“关注死者是有价值的,可以让你认识自己可能死亡的方式——这样你就会避免这些事情。了解这种行为是如何产生的,以便了解我们自己的进化,了解这种行为是如何从最初的状态发展到我们自己的物种中。”

From this viewpoint, understanding the reasons for mourning in animals will help us understand mourning in ourselves. Our responses to death share much in common with animals. For one, like humans, animals will vary in the degree they respond to death – both individually and as species. In general, the more social the species, the more likely they will behave in a manner that could be described as grieving. And the closer two individuals, the more likely one will grieve.

从这个观点出发,了解动物悲伤的原因将有助于我们理解自身的悲伤。我们对死亡的反应与动物有很多相似之处。首先,和人类一样,动物对死亡的反应程度也是不同的,无论是个体还是物种的。一般来说,物种的社会性越强,它们就越有可能表现出悲伤的行为。两个人距离越近,其中一个就越可能感到悲伤。

Dolphins and whales for example are both highly intelligent and highly social, so it should come as no surprise that they will attend to a dead member of the pod – most frequently, a mother to a dead calf. This can involve not just dragging or carrying a dead corpse, as in the case of Tahelqua the orca, but also more spontaneous and active behaviours, such as lifting and sinking a corpse up to the surface (as if to help it breathe), and hauling, spinning, and diving with it.

例如,海豚和鲸鱼都具有高度的智慧和高度的社交能力,所以它们会照顾一个死去的成员——最常见的是一个死去幼崽的母亲——也就不足为奇了。这不仅包括拖拽或携带死尸(如虎鲸的情况),还包括更多自发和活跃的行为,比如将尸体抬升和下沉至水面(好像是为了帮助它呼吸),以及拖拽、旋转或者与其一起潜水。

Dr Joan Gonzalvo of the Ionian Project, funded by the Tethys Research Institute, has seen bottlenose dolphins attending to a dead calf on three occasions – twice, with a mother carrying her calf for several days, and once an entire pod struggling to keep a dying baby afloat, then remaining in the area for a time after it died and sank.

忒提斯研究所(Tethys Research Institute)资助的爱奥尼亚项目的琼·冈萨尔博士(Joan Gonzalvo)已经看到过宽吻海豚三次照顾一只死去的小海豚——两次是母亲抱着她的小海豚几天,一次是整个海豚群努力让一个垂死的小海豚保持漂浮状态,然后在它死亡沉没后在该海域逗留一段时间。

“Grieving is a question of coming to terms with the idea of loss,” he says. “So my hypothesis is that when the mothers carried their calves for several days, it was because the calves were newborn, so the death was unexpected and sudden. The mothers needed more time to grieve. But when the pod had to care for an animal that had been struggling for some time already, in some ways it was a relief when it died, so they could move away that day rather than carrying the body for a week.”

“悲伤是一个去接受失去的想法,”他说。“当母亲怀着她们的小海豹几天的时候,是因为它们是新生儿,所以死亡是意料之外和突然的。母亲需要更多的时间来悲伤。但是,但当这个海豹不得不照顾一只已经挣扎了一段时间的动物时,从某种意义上说,当它死去的时候是一种解脱,所以它们会在那天离开,而不是带着尸体一个星期。”

As strange as it might seem, carrying the dead body of an infant is extremely common among primates. Many primate species have been observed to carry dead infants for weeks or even months – in extreme instances, mothers have carried their babies until they were completely mummified by the heat, or even just a skeleton or spine remained.

尽管这看起来很奇怪,但在灵长类动物中,携带婴儿的尸体是非常普遍的。据观察,许多灵长类动物会把死去的婴儿抱上几周甚至几个月——在极端情况下,母亲会抱着婴儿直到他们干燥风化变成木乃伊,或是只剩下一具骨架或脊椎。

But this is just one of the few ways primates might respond to death: they may exhibit physical interactions with a corpse such as grooming, teeth cleaning and gentle touching, or even rougher behaviours such as hair-pulling, attempted mounting and even cannibalism.

但这只是灵长类动物对死亡的少数反应之一:它们可能会与尸体有身体接触,如梳理毛发、清洁牙齿、温柔抚摸,或者更粗暴的行为,如拉毛、试图爬上去甚至自相残杀。

“I have witnessed immensely gentle and careful caretaking, but male chimps can be aggressive in other instances – they are still themselves,” says Dr King, who has observed chimps, bonobos, gorillas and other primates for many years. “Like with people, it’s a mix depending on the personality, and it tends to break down along friendship lines.”

金博士观察黑猩猩、倭黑猩猩、大猩猩和其他灵长类动物很多年了,他说:“我亲眼目睹了它们非常温柔和谨慎的照料方式,但是雄性黑猩猩在其他情况下也可能具有攻击性——它们仍然是自己。和人类一样,这是由个性决定的混合体,而且它往往会沿着友谊线路分解。”

It is the social dimensions in chimps that interest Dr Edwin van Leeuwen of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. When he documented Noel cleaning the teeth of her adopted son Thomas – a highly unusual behaviour not seen before – he felt the motivations could be explains through social dynamics.

心理语言学家马克斯普朗克研究所(Max Planck Institute)的莱文博士(Dr Edwin van Leeuwen)对黑猩猩的社会纬度感兴趣。当他记录诺埃尔为养子托马斯刷牙时——这是一种前所未见的极不寻常的行为——他认为可以通过社会动态来解释这种行为的动机。

“I think she was expressing her social bond by doing something with his body,” he says. “Death is one of the most severe social events that can happen in a social species. When a more mature individual dies for example, there needs to be some reforming of social bonds. Or there may be a response by an entire group to a mother that has lost her infant, as a form of social cohesion. In mammalian species – like ourselves – where sociality is of high importance for survival, you see a strong emotional capacity for responding to death.”

“我认为她是通过对他的身体做些什么来表达她的社会联系。死亡是一个社会物种可能发生的最严重的社会事件之一。例如,当一个更成熟的个体去世时,他的社会关系就会发生某种改革。或者,作为社会凝聚力的一种形式,整个群体可能对失去婴儿的母亲作出反应。在像我们这样的哺乳动物物种中,社会性对生存至关重要,你可以看到它们对死亡的强烈感情反应能力。”

For Dr Dora Biro of the University of Oxford, who has observed chimps responding to the dead twice, the implications run even deeper than that.

牛津大学的多拉·比罗(Dr Dora Biro)博士观察到黑猩猩对死者有两次反应,对他来说,这种影响甚至更深远。

“From a developmental point of view, children take quite a long time to acquire a fully complete concept of death. It’s not something that comes naturally to us – it is something we acquire through experiences,” she says.

“从发展的角度来看,儿童需要相当长的时间才能获得一个完整的死亡概念。这不是我们天生就有的东西,而是我们通过经历获得的东西,”她说。

There are essentially four components to death that psychologists have identified: Irreversibility, non-functionality (the dead do not respond to anything), causality (the biological basis of death), and universality: all living things will die, including yourself.

心理学家已经确定了死亡的四个基本组成部分:不可逆性、非功能性(死者对任何事物都没有反应)、因果关系(死亡的生物学基础)和普遍性,所有生物都会死亡,包括你自己。

“When, and in what order did we acquire these components?” she asks. “To understand the extent to which non-humans possess any of these components can tell us a great deal about the evolutionary origins of our own cognition.”

“我们是什么时候、以什么顺序获得这些部分的?”她问到,“了解非人类在多大程度上拥有这些组成部分,可以告诉我们很多关于我们自身认知进化起源的信息。”

If grief is something we see in highly social animals, and most often seen in individuals with close social bonds, this ultimately tells us a great deal about how mourning is an evolved response to “coming to terms with the idea of loss” as Dr Gonzalvo puts it. Intelligent animals and humans need time to process it. Or, in layman’s terms: grief is the price we pay for love. Little wonder archaeological sites show signs we painted the dead with ochre over 100,000 years ago, and cultures worldwide have developed an astounding array of complex rituals, from funerary rites to cemeteries, decorated coffins to pyramids and even the strange rite of the Torajans who will live with the mummified corpse of a family member for weeks.

如果悲伤是我们在高度社会化的动物身上看到的东西,而且大多数情况下是在有着紧密社会关系的个体身上看到的,那么这最终告诉我们,悲伤是如何进化而来的,是对冈萨尔沃博士所说的“接受失去的想法”的一种反应。聪明的动物和人类需要时间来处理它们。或者,用外行人的话来说:悲伤是我们对爱付出的代价。难怪考古遗址上会出现我们在10万年前用赭石涂抹死者的痕迹,世界各地的文化发展出了一系列令人震惊的复杂仪式,从丧葬仪式到墓地,从装饰棺材到金字塔,甚至还有托拉雅人(Torajans)的奇怪仪式,他们与家庭成员的木乃伊尸体一起生活数周。

There is one further reason we should study grief in other animals, says Dr King.

金博士说:“我们应该研究其他动物的悲伤还有另外一个原因。”

“This doesn’t just raise the issue of animal welfare – it also points to animal rights,” she says. “If we understand the profound depths of emotions animals can feel, this should make us question the existence of zoos and slaughterhouses around the world, and rethink those systems. Because at present there is a tremendous solace in understanding that the grief we ourselves feel is shared by all kinds of animals worldwide.”

她说:“这不仅提出了动物福祉的问题,也指向了动物权利。如果我们了解动物能感受到的深刻情感,这应该会让我们质疑世界各地动物园和屠宰场的存在,并重新思考这些系统。因为现在我们有一个巨大的安慰,那就是我们所感受到的悲伤是全世界所有动物所共有的。”
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