Surely one of the best traits that humans possess is altruism—a willingness to help others, even at some personal risk or cost to us.
It’s a powerful and good emotional response, and that other-centered behavior is at the very heart of the animal protection movement, which has broadened the application of the idea beyond just our own species.
It’s good to know that purely selfish interests are not the only motivators in this world. In any civil society, there must be a healthy dose of altruism and other-centeredness.
As I survey the news stories that cross my desk and computer screen, I learn of incredible acts of human kindness. But I see no shortage of cases involving non-human animals and their own acts of altruism.
There’s no doubt in my mind that other animals exhibit altruistic behavior, try as some reductionist thinkers might to explain this animal behavior in self-interested, Darwinian terms.
A story on our web site highlights five acts of altruism. Interestingly enough, two of the actors are non-human animals. It’s hard to rank them because they are all extraordinary stories. But let us know which act you consider most remarkable and emotionally compelling.