How do your pets or animals in nature show their independent thinking?

Animals as Independent Thinkers

Anyone who lives with pets or watches animals in nature knows that they are independent thinkers. Animals have their own ways of viewing the world.

Animals make decisions that often are incomprehensible to humans. Yet if we’re observant and reflect upon animals’ choices, we can learn a lot about our own mental, emotional, and spiritual processes.

In our family of animals and humans, we often look at our animal companions and appreciate the friendship, unconditional love, and sense of family that they provide in our home. We’ve made the mistake, at times, of presuming to know their routines, needs, and moods. Humans are funny that way.

But the animals teach us that although they are in our care, their independence and sense of self are totally intact. These traits keep them unpredictable and immensely interesting to live with.

For example, our yellow cockatiel, Sunshine, decides when he is ready to go to the mantel each morning. His flight from the cage to the mantel, where he struts back and forth and looks out the windows on either side, is always on his terms and timetable.

Sunshine regards our act of opening the door to his cage as simply an invitation, not a command performance. When he is ready, he ventures out.

We say, “Sunshine, you’ve been cooped up all night. It is time to fly around.” He ignores human reasoning, though. If we try to assist by offering to give him a finger-ride to the mantel, Sunshine opens his beak threateningly and squawks.

Sunshine is quick to let us know that he’s in charge of the decision about if and when to fly. To us humans, Sunshine’s refusal of instant freedom is illogical. So we’ve settled for labeling our curmudgeon bird’s behavior as “independent thinking.”

As an aside, one of Sunshine’s old tricks, before we had broadband, was to make the sound of uploading AOL on the computer. He would sing every beat of it perfectly. When he sat on Linda’s shoulder in the morning, he’d remind her to check her e-mail by turning on his version of AOL.

How do your pets or animals in nature show their independent thinking?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

Note: Horse with a Mission and Angel Dogs with a Mission are half price at until December 14th.  Visit for details.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

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