Those who dismiss animals as being on the earth merely to provide food, entertain, or to perform other services for humans, are selling them short. Animals may feel emotion, sense things (earthquakes), and help us to be kind. Case in point is this story from Australia about the impact on a family of rescuing a young magpie. Please take a few minutes to view, and read through, the slideshow. I think you'll be glad you did!
Stories about the bonds between humans and animals are a staple of novels and children's books. Reports of the intellectual and emotional lives of animals are less common, but are increasing in popularity. Here are a few:
Coren, Stanley. The Pawprints of History: Dogs and the Course of Human Events. [636.7 COR]
Facklam, Margery. What Does the Crow Know?: The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence. [J 591.51 FAC]
Montgomery, Sy. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. [594.56 MON, also AB/CD 594.56 MON]
Morell, Virginia. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures. [591.513 MOR]
Pepperberg, Irene M. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process. [636.6865 PEP]
Yoerg, Sonja. Clever As a Fox: What Animal Intelligence Can Teach Us about Ourselves. [591.5 YOE]