The Next Frontier?

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just an honest question. We love hearing about how to improve our husbandry. We love listening to Bill go over husbandry on his podcasts. Naturalistic hydration, bio active, uvb lights etc., all things we want to know more about. So why is it, we willingly except information that science has given us when it comes to how to keep our little tree dragons, but we throw out science that specifically has to do with the behaviors of our chameleons? Im genuinely curious, because people get seriously offended over this topic.

Personally I love understanding the way chameleons think and respond to situations. Knowing that not everything fits into the same mold makes the world that much more interesting to me. The age of discovery is more or less over, explorers and voyagers are a thing of the past. We wont ever be the first to circumnavigate the world or be the first seafarers to reach another continent. Maybe one day we will explore the universe, but for right now this is where the discoveries lie. In the small things that seperate us from the natural world, this is where I find my enjoyment in keeping chameleons and other reptiles. Maybe i'll never understand, maybe its just a completely different mindset. But I've never related with the idea that if my chameleon doesnt have the same feelings for me that I do for him that somehow makes him less of a "pet".

I want to understand why people get really upset when we say chameleons dont feel emotion? If we accept this, accept that what we understand as emotion, endorphins and chemicals that are produced from the brain, are not part of a chameleons anatomy, is this really that world shattering? Why do we feel the need so strongly to have our animals feel emotion?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just an honest question. We love hearing about how to improve our husbandry. We love listening to Bill go over husbandry on his podcasts. Naturalistic hydration, bio active, uvb lights etc., all things we want to know more about. So why is it, we willingly except information that science has given us when it comes to how to keep our little tree dragons, but we throw out science that specifically has to do with the behaviors of our chameleons? Im genuinely curious, because people get seriously offended over this topic.

Personally I love understanding the way chameleons think and respond to situations. Knowing that not everything fits into the same mold makes the world that much more interesting to me. The age of discovery is more or less over, explorers and voyagers are a thing of the past. We wont ever be the first to circumnavigate the world or be the first seafarers to reach another continent. Maybe one day we will explore the universe, but for right now this is where the discoveries lie. In the small things that seperate us from the natural world, this is where I find my enjoyment in keeping chameleons and other reptiles. Maybe i'll never understand, maybe its just a completely different mindset. But I've never related with the idea that if my chameleon doesnt have the same feelings for me that I do for him that somehow makes him less of a "pet".

I want to understand why people get really upset when we say chameleons dont feel emotion? If we accept this, accept that what we understand as emotion, endorphins and chemicals that are produced from the brain, are not part of a chameleons anatomy, is this really that world shattering? Why do we feel the need so strongly to have our animals feel emotion?
Disclaimer: You'll have to excuse me if my thoughts are disjointed - I'm sleep deprived and coming off of carving mindlessly for about eight hours.

Personally, I dont care at all that my reptile doesn't have the capacity to form bonds like I do. She lacks the necessary parts of the brain - I get it. I really do. There's no scientific counter argument to something that simply doesn't exist. Maybe there's something yet to be discovered there, but it's very likely that they do in fact operate entirely on base instinct: obtain food/water, thermo regulate, defend territory, avoid predation, breed, etc, etc. In captivity, (most) individuals will learn to "trust" caregivers because we provide resources/they see us as less of a threat to their life/territory. Some, like my Lily, almost seem "friendly". I have little to draw on regw

It's practically impossible for most humans not to anthropomorphise and project feelings on animals, particularly those we keep in our homes, and I imagine that's where a lot of the struggle comes from. We're social animals designed to bond, and it's hard to imagine not being capable of that! I'm fully aware that Lily and I, we have a transactional relationship. I enjoy providing for her, and she essentially gets a free ride for her lifespan. We both get something out of it, and in the end that's all I really care about! Do I often use soft, human language when I'm referring to Lily? Absolutely! It's hard not to, and is terribly boring to listen to/read otherwise! "Lily ate a hornworm" just doesnt have any pizazz compared to "Lily loves hornworms! She always sprints across her cage and does her darndest to explode caterpillar guts in my face." Does it help perpetuate potential falsehoods? Ehhh.

On that note, if anyone has further reading from credible sources regarding behaviour (reptiles in general or specifically chameleons), I'd be interested in taking a look! Behaviour has always been extremely fascinating to me, and if there's something out there regarding the ins and outs of why exactly individuals have preferences the way they do, I'd be particularly keen!

What I do mind is the inevitable thread derailing that occurs whenever a topic like this is brought up, help thread or elsewhere. No matter how it's broached, it seems to turn into talking in circles - very similar with talking about rescues and petstores. The common theme? Strong human emotion. Sometimes it seems like we want to believe the feel good positive tale so much that we wont hear anything else, regardless of facts. People tend to get defensive if their beliefs are questioned, and if it's not hurting anyone, I generally don't care to correct them. How you feel is your business. What irritates me is when people don't let it die - particularly if it's off topic to the thread in question - and insist on getting the last word on the matter.

My irritability today (yesterday now, in guess!) had less to do with the subject at hand and a lot more with some nonsense on my end that had me up in arms. Apologies!

And with that, I'm going to go and pass out. Hopefully that came out in a semi-coherent manner!

I love you guys! I just wish we'd just agree to disagree on some subjects (within reason, of course!), if only for the sake of keeping the peace.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Someone on this site had an incredible little tag line. It said something about not approaching our study/understanding of animals the way we do humans / each other. I think there is a real longing for the animals we love so much to love us back.

I gotta say I mostly agreed with Brody -- there are threads to discuss the nuances of behavior and then there are threads to make things black and white for young / novice OP's. When someone thinks their chameleon misses them or is so comfortable they fall asleep on them -- it's less important to have a thesis statement on reptilian behavior and more important that we tell them to get to the chopper and stop anthropomorphizing at the expense of their chameleon. As for derailing the other thread -- I fully took part in that and was even wrong in a few of my posts -- and I apologize for that.

I also want to say that I freaking love this forum and I think it's critical that we have these conversations -- although you're right Karma -- we likely scared the OP off on the other one. (I'm a background PMer when I think things are getting heavy -- I'm sure other people are too)

This forum has constantly humbled me and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Thanks, everyone for the time, energy and passion you put into these discussions -- they are invaluable to me.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Pure projection, plain and simple. They are so deeply engrained in us its unpleasant to accept that the creatures we are so passionate about are not capable of reciprocating those same feelings. Humans are social animals so that's our natural default position, the idea that some animals don't experience the world the same we do is an alien concept.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Someone on this site had an incredible little tag line. It said something about not approaching our study/understanding of animals the way we do humans / each other. I think there is a real longing for the animals we love so much to love us back.

I gotta say I mostly agreed with Brody -- there are threads to discuss the nuances of behavior and then there are threads to make things black and white for young / novice OP's. When someone thinks their chameleon misses them or is so comfortable they fall asleep on them -- it's less important to have a thesis statement on reptilian behavior and more important that we tell them to get to the chopper and stop anthropomorphizing at the expense of their chameleon. As for derailing the other thread -- I fully took part in that and was even wrong in a few of my posts -- and I apologize for that.

I also want to say that I freaking love this forum and I think it's critical that we have these conversations -- although you're right Karma -- we likely scared the OP off on the other one. (I'm a background PMer when I think things are getting heavy -- I'm sure other people are too)

This forum has constantly humbled me and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Thanks, everyone for the time, energy and passion you put into these discussions -- they are invaluable to me.
I understand this I really do. My problem is, when someone asks a question like "is my chameleon crying?" I see this as a husbandry issue. If someone is projecting that much emotion on to their chameleon, this person is probably taking their chameleon out too often, or into public, letting them sleep on their lap. Things we all know as huge issues. So when people kept saying we were getting off topic, I didnt think so. In my mind that was the answer to their question, "no he wasnt crying and you need to stop projecting."
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think y'all took that to a whole new level in the other thread..... Make a point, keep it short and move on. It was like beating a dead horse repeatedly!

I think y'all also fail to understand the side of it for those of us that believe their is a bond between keeper and cham... No, I am not an idiot! I know Beman does not love me... But he trusts me! He comes to me when he does not come to others. So yes, in my human mind I relate this to a form of love.

When you are in any relationship is trust not one of the most important aspects? So if you feel that you are trusted or you trust another is that not a form of caring/love? Are you not giving pieces of yourself to someone and is this not an act of love? Y'all are trying to beat it down into science. And why is it so important for you to be right?

Why does it have to be a slamming of those that believe that the bond is a form of love? And why do you have to belittle the other person and make them feel insignificant? Honestly that frustrates me more then anything. And I see it a lot when the men want to make their point to us women. You view us as emotional beings which we are but this does not make us less intelligent. As men you trust us to raise your children, care for your home, and be your support. But why is it that when we as women voice opinions on anything of an emotional view we become less than and are spoken to that way... FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOYS!!!!!
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
I understand this I really do. My problem is, when someone asks a question like "is my chameleon crying?" I see this as a husbandry issue. If someone is projecting that much emotion on to their chameleon, this person is probably taking their chameleon out too often, or into public, letting them sleep on their lap. Things we all know as huge issues. So when people kept saying we were getting off topic, I didnt think so. In my mind that was the answer to their question, "no he wasnt crying and you need to stop projecting."
I think we are agreeing here! I think personal comments were the only thing derailing -- not the discussion itself.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think y'all took that to a whole new level in the other thread..... Make a point, keep it short and move on. It was like beating a dead horse repeatedly!

I think y'all also fail to understand the side of it for those of us that believe their is a bond between keeper and cham... No, I am not an idiot! I know Beman does not love me... But he trusts me! He comes to me when he does not come to others. So yes, in my human mind I relate this to a form of love.

When you are in any relationship is trust not one of the most important aspects? So if you feel that you are trusted or you trust another is that not a form of caring/love? Are you not giving pieces of yourself to someone and is this not an act of love? Y'all are trying to beat it down into science. And why is it so important for you to be right?

Why does it have to be a slamming of those that believe that the bond is a form of love? And why do you have to belittle the other person and make them feel insignificant? Honestly that frustrates me more then anything. And I see it a lot when the men want to make their point to us women. You view us as emotional beings which we are but this does not make us less intelligent. As men you trust us to raise your children, care for your home, and be your support. But why is it that when we as women voice opinions on anything of an emotional view we become less than and are spoken to that way... FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOYS!!!!!
You'd love some Hard Determinist Philosophy! Explores the very ideas you are bringing forth about our concept/ideas of love/emotion! I'd suggest avoiding Descartes as he writes to avoid religious persecution!
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think y'all took that to a whole new level in the other thread..... Make a point, keep it short and move on. It was like beating a dead horse repeatedly!

I think y'all also fail to understand the side of it for those of us that believe their is a bond between keeper and cham... No, I am not an idiot! I know Beman does not love me... But he trusts me! He comes to me when he does not come to others. So yes, in my human mind I relate this to a form of love.

When you are in any relationship is trust not one of the most important aspects? So if you feel that you are trusted or you trust another is that not a form of caring/love? Are you not giving pieces of yourself to someone and is this not an act of love? Y'all are trying to beat it down into science. And why is it so important for you to be right?

Why does it have to be a slamming of those that believe that the bond is a form of love? And why do you have to belittle the other person and make them feel insignificant? Honestly that frustrates me more then anything. And I see it a lot when the men want to make their point to us women. You view us as emotional beings which we are but this does not make us less intelligent. As men you trust us to raise your children, care for your home, and be your support. But why is it that when we as women voice opinions on anything of an emotional view we become less than and are spoken to that way... FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOYS!!!!!
Amen !!. I have not put my 2 cent into this subject because it will only fall on deaf ears . I dont give a s*** what Science says . Some see things that can never be explained by Science . Study’s can be made on both sides of this not one of us live in animals heads . Of course they won’t map out how humans do . However Instinct will never change . You are certainly correct Becca we are Emotional beings some more then others .
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think y'all took that to a whole new level in the other thread..... Make a point, keep it short and move on. It was like beating a dead horse repeatedly!

I think y'all also fail to understand the side of it for those of us that believe their is a bond between keeper and cham... No, I am not an idiot! I know Beman does not love me... But he trusts me! He comes to me when he does not come to others. So yes, in my human mind I relate this to a form of love.

When you are in any relationship is trust not one of the most important aspects? So if you feel that you are trusted or you trust another is that not a form of caring/love? Are you not giving pieces of yourself to someone and is this not an act of love? Y'all are trying to beat it down into science. And why is it so important for you to be right?

Why does it have to be a slamming of those that believe that the bond is a form of love? And why do you have to belittle the other person and make them feel insignificant? Honestly that frustrates me more then anything. And I see it a lot when the men want to make their point to us women. You view us as emotional beings which we are but this does not make us less intelligent. As men you trust us to raise your children, care for your home, and be your support. But why is it that when we as women voice opinions on anything of an emotional view we become less than and are spoken to that way... FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOYS!!!!!
https://philpapers.org/archive/JAGLAK.pdf a local philo with interesting perspectives on emotion and logic. ;)

Edit: Not about chameleolns or my perspective on this thread topic. Just good reads regarding "emotion"
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't believe they have the complexity of emotions we do. They have very basic ones that fit their survival niche. How developed that is is still in question. However wishing won't turn them into little mammals that rear their young, form societal bonds and have loving relationships.
I agree completely. I just find the black and white with no grey middle frustrating.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree completely. I just find the black and white with no grey middle frustrating.
There is a big gray area of unknowns. The reptile brain has not been well studied but we do know it lacks parts that mammal brains posses. We don't know if they compensate in some other way. There has been research in birds that there is a boost to intelligence from unexpected portions of their brain organization giving them more intelligence than size alone would indicate. "There is more in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think y'all took that to a whole new level in the other thread..... Make a point, keep it short and move on. It was like beating a dead horse repeatedly!

I think y'all also fail to understand the side of it for those of us that believe their is a bond between keeper and cham... No, I am not an idiot! I know Beman does not love me... But he trusts me! He comes to me when he does not come to others. So yes, in my human mind I relate this to a form of love.

When you are in any relationship is trust not one of the most important aspects? So if you feel that you are trusted or you trust another is that not a form of caring/love? Are you not giving pieces of yourself to someone and is this not an act of love? Y'all are trying to beat it down into science. And why is it so important for you to be right?

Why does it have to be a slamming of those that believe that the bond is a form of love? And why do you have to belittle the other person and make them feel insignificant? Honestly that frustrates me more then anything. And I see it a lot when the men want to make their point to us women. You view us as emotional beings which we are but this does not make us less intelligent. As men you trust us to raise your children, care for your home, and be your support. But why is it that when we as women voice opinions on anything of an emotional view we become less than and are spoken to that way... FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOYS!!!!!
I cant speak for Brody, but for myself, quoting facts are never a form of belittling. When someone comes at me with the emotion arguement I just go off the assumption they quite litterally dont understand. Your need for their to be a bond i a purely human sentiment. The fact of the matter is your chameleon doesnt need that bond. Its cool that they trust us, hell even I take that as an achievement, and we can derive what ever human emotion we want from that but it ours and ours alone.
Amen !!. I have not put my 2 cent into this subject because it will only fall on deaf ears . I dont give a s*** what Science says . Some see things that can never be explained by Science . Study’s can be made on both sides of this not one of us live in animals heads . Of course they won’t map out how humans do . However Instinct will never change . You are certainly correct Becca we are Emotional beings some more then others .
I did undergrad at BYU-I. This was a common sentiment among religous people. How on earth could something created by God not feel emotion, and then to have science just explain how humans feel and interact as pure chemicals. This sentiment I understand and to some degree will always feel theres an underlying element we cant comprehend. Regardless, animals, if you choose to not regard us as such, are much less complex creatures.
 
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