Kanzi, a 29 year old male bonobo photographed at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa Finlay Mackay for TIME

August 20, 2010– I was thrilled to receive the August 16th edition of Time magazine and see that the cover story read, “What Animals Think: New Science reveals they’re smarter than we realized”.

For many animal lovers–especially us elephant lovers–our first reaction could be, “Well, duh!”, but I chose to focus on the fact that science is finally proving what many of us have believed all along: that animals are sentient beings that feel emotions and pain and many are intelligent enough to use tools, form social structures, and recognize their own reflection.

While I think the article played it safe and did not proclaim anything truly revolutionary, there were two quotes  that speak to our contradictory relationships with animals that I’d like to share with you:

Humans have a fraught relationship with beasts. They are our companions and our chattel our family members and our laborers, our household pets and our household pests. We love them and cage them, admire them and abuse them. And, of course, we cook them and eat them.


…we could surely stop using them to test cosmetics, a practice the E.U. is also moving to ban. We could surely eat less meat and treat animals better before we convert them from creature to dinner. And we could rethink zoos, marine parks and other forms of animal entertainment.

You can read the rest of the excerpt here, but I recommend picking up the full issue if you want to read the 7-page cover story in depth.

So, what do you think? Should we change the way we treat and interact with animals knowing they are smarter than we first thought? What are you willing to do in your own life to change the way you treat animals?

I look forward to reading your comments!

-Windy Borman

Director/Producer The Eyes of Thailand