Recently I saw a video on YouTube that shows kittens and dogs meeting for the first time.
The video is incredibly sweet, and watching these natural enemies play together made me think that humans are bringing about an incredible new thing on this planet: interspecies love and affection. Without the influence of humans, these cats and dogs would never be snuggling together for naps or playing games.
Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows that animals are loving, caring, loyal, trusting, and forgiving. But in the wild, animals can usually only share this love with members of their own species. There are the rare examples of animals caring for members of another species in the wild, but from what I can find these are usually cases where a mother has adopted an infant.
But when animals get domesticated, because they no longer have to worry about survival, particularly obtaining food, they are freed up to express empathy and take care of other animals. This article gives examples of some unlikely pairings, including an orangutan caring for tiger cubs, a male pig with a lamb, and a chihuahua with a marmoset (great pictures at the website). The book Unlikely Friendships, by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, documents 47 stories of interspecies relationship, including the Biblical lion lying down with the lamb: a female lion adopted a baby antelope at a nature reserve in Kenya.