This is a great post from ThinkVegan about the difference between the anticipation of pain in human and non-human animals. There’s an argument that says since animals can’t anticipate forthcoming pain the way that humans can, they don’t suffer the way that humans can. However, the writer argues, the very fact that animals can’t anticipate the pain in the same way may well make it worse. He uses the example of a human knowing he’s about to be tortured and how the suffering occurs in the time leading up the torture because of the anticipation. However, for a cat put into a crate and being taken to the vet, all they know is that they’re being taken away from something familiar and are filled with anxiety about what’s to come, even if it’s just a routine visit to the vet. Thus, with an animal, extra care needs to be taken anytime the animal is taken against their will out of their home.
It’s an interesting observation and theory. Take a gander… he explains it much more eloquently than I just did.