When I think of love, I think of nature. Not only because nature is the source of our existence, but because love in nature is everlasting. The dead goose on the side of the road last summer, changed my views on relationships.
Nature and love
Romantic relationships aren’t just prevalent in the human world; they exist in the animal kingdom. Some of which make us look bad.
Dogs, cats, goats and some rodents have all been found to have the “love hormone” in ways resembling that of humans.
Geese, among many other creatures, mate for life.
When a goose’s mate dies, that bird will mourn in seclusion — and some geese spend the rest of their lives as widows or widowers, refusing to mate again.
I was driving to work last year when I saw a dead goose on the side of the road. That wasn’t the worst part; the gooses mate was beside the body.
I had just learned that geese mate for life, so I felt horrible. When I drove back home that day, hours later, the goose was still there beside its dead counterpart.
That showed me how important your significant other should be. And how picking a mate for life, isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Cats are fantastic, not only because they are tiny furry dictators, but because they bond with their humans, and fellow kitties, on a level most animals, or humans, don’t.
My cat bonded with me at 2-weeks old, but when I introduced another kitten, I just became the human food carrier.
My two cats, to this day, cling to each other. They clean each other and even protect each other. I have witnessed the two sharing food, offering toys, and getting into fights.
When my cat fell ill, Halo (original cat) wouldn’t leave Ava's side. He nurtured her. He cleaned and comforted her. Up until the day Ava beat her little cat cold, Halo genuinely cared for her.
Human relationships, many of mine, have lacked that essential quality. And that caring quality is detrimental for a relationship to thrive.
Sex, wonderful, and glorious sex. Besides mating for life and tending to one’s needs, sex is a vital part of every relationship. And yes, animals have sex for fun too, not just for procreation.
Italian researchers Alfonso Troisi and Monica Carosi spent 238 hours watching Japanese macaques, and witnessed 240 individual copulations between males and females. In a third of those copulations, they observed what they called female orgasmic responses: “the female turns her head to look back at her partner, reaches back with one hand, and grasps the male.”
Other animals engage in sexual activity as well; bats practice oral sex, other monkey breeds masturbate, and praying mantises eat the mail after sexual intercourse.
Aside from the praying mantis, sexual encounters are not just meant for procreation among the animal kingdom. Sex is intended to be fun, and pleasurable.
Unlike a lot of species in the animal kingdom, great hornbills share the responsibility of parenting. Before mating, hornbills will harmonize together in song.
After the eggs have been hatched, the father will bring food and comfort to the mother and babies. The mother will often leave and the father will take over.
That great responsibility, sharing, and loving partnership are what I’ve learned are essential for a relationship as well.
When we think of animals, we think of primitive creatures who exist solely on instinct. That’s not true, so science has proven.
Intimate relationships, both sexual and emotional, are prevalent among the animal kingdom.
How can a bird stick with one mate for its entire life?
How can a monkey, many different breeds, enjoy sexual encounters outside of procreation?
How can birds share the responsibility of parenting and compassion?
We can learn a lot from animals when it comes to love.