3 Answers

  1. Not only is awareness a big issue. However, the higher primates are clearly aware of death. This can be seen in their behavior in general, and the classic case is that of the language-trained gorilla Koko. She had a kitten of her own choosing. She named him, fed him, petted him, and played with him. Then he died on the road. Especially important is that she didn't see it, but was told. Here you can view: koko.org Despite the fact that she later had and has other cats, she is sad when she is shown his photo. But what is the awareness of death in general? We are aware of the loss. Some highly developed social animals (wolves, for example) feel loss and express it in their own way. How can awareness be assessed without complex speech development? Besides, how do we become aware of our own death, and not someone else's? At the very least, it is clear that people do not have one clear understanding of death, and it cannot be, since the dead do not tell.

    So, not only awareness is in question, but also the instinct of self-preservation. One of the founders of zoopsychology, Nobel laureate Konrad Lorenz:

    The activity of an organism that can be named by its function-nutrition, reproduction, or even self-preservation-is certainly never the result of a single cause or a single impulse. So the value of such concepts as” reproductive instinct ” or “self-preservation instinct” is as insignificant as the value of the concept of some special “automotive power” that I might just as well introduce to explain the fact that my good old car still drives… Those who are familiar with the pathological disorders of the innate mechanisms of behavior — these mechanisms we call instincts-will never think that animals, and even people, are guided by some guiding factors that are only comprehensible from the point of view of the final result, and are not amenable to causal explanation and do not need it. Behaviors that are uniform in terms of function — such as feeding or reproduction-are always driven by a very complex interplay of very many physiological causes lib.ru

  2. I don't agree with the previous answer. Instinct and “awareness” are two different things. Animals obviously do not have a comparable level of consciousness to humans. Agree, they are unlikely to have existential experiences about their own finiteness.

    Generally a trick question. Before answering, you need to clarify the definition of “aware”.

  3. Awareness of your own mortality is the instinct of self-preservation. If it weren't for this, the animals wouldn't be fighting for their lives and would be as passive as grass. Grass can be trampled, torn out, mowed down – it has no self-defense capabilities. And for animals, self-defense is the HIGHEST PRIORITY motivation.

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