The title of the book is important because we seem to think we are smart, and that is another debate in itself. However, when it comes to viewing animals, most people don't seem to realize how intelligent animals are, or how emotionally rich animals are. And, when we miss and ignore something so obvious as animals having emotions, animals being consciously aware of their surroundings, and animals being intelligent, then, we lack a form of intelligence.
We lack a form of intelligence which denies us the truth of animals. The truth that they are intelligent. Like there are different forms of human intelligence, there are different forms of animal intelligence. Animal intelligence shows that animals can; do maths, paint, speak English, speak their own language, animals can be aware of the weather before humans can, and they can construct their own homes. These are just some of the examples that show animal intelligence.
Yet, they also have a form of intelligence that we do not have. Knowing the weather before us, is one example. Another example is hearing, or seeing things that we cannot. But, animals probably also have other forms of intelligence that we are not aware of. And, if we view animals with human intelligence, then, perhaps we will never know, or understand what other ways they are intelligent. And, how intelligent that they really are.
Animal intelligence is a fascinating subject, however, it should not be the reason that we treat animals well. We do not treat people with consideration based on their intelligence. We would find that abhorrent. And so we should with animals. The reason that we should treat animals with respect, and consideration, is because like us, they can feel pain.