Under the right circumstances, choosing to spend time alone can be a huge psychological blessing. In the 1980s, the Italian journalist and author Tiziano Terzani, after many years of reporting across Asia, holed himself up in a cabin in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. “For a month I had no one to talk to except my dog Baoli,” he wrote in his book A Fortune Teller Told Me. Terzani passed the time with books, observing nature, “listening to the winds in the trees, watching butterflies, enjoying silence.” For the first time in a long while he felt free from the unending anxieties of daily life: “At last I had time to have time.”
Terzani ’ s embrace of isolation was relatively unusual: humans have long considered solitude an inconvenience, something to avoid, a punishment, a realm of loners. Science has often associated it with negative outcomes. Freud, who linked solitude with anxiety, noted that, “ in children the first fears relating to situations are those of darkness and solitude.” John Cacioppo, a modern social neuro-scientist who has extensively studied loneliness—what he calls “chronic
perceived isolation”—contends that, beyond damaging our thinking powers, isolation can even harm our physical health. But increasingly scientists are approaching solitude as something that, when pursued by choice, can prove a therapy.
This is especially true in times of personal disorder, when the instinct is often for people to reach outside of themselves for support. “ When people are experiencing crisis it’ s not always just about you: It’ s about how you are in society,” explains Jack Fong, a sociologist at California State Polytechnic University who has studied solitude.
In other words, when people remove themselves from the social context of their lives, they are better able to see how they’re shaped by that context. Thomas Merton, a monk and writer who spent years alone, held a similar notion. “We cannot see things in perspective until we cease to hug them to our breast,”he writes in Thoughts in Solitude. “People can go for a walk or listen to music and feel that they are deeply in touch with themselves.”
11. Tiziano Terzani spent a month alone to .
A. embrace isolation B. study butterflies
C. write a book D. look after his dog
12. The word “solitude” (Para.2) is closest in meaning to “ ’’.
A. growing anxious C. being helpless
B. feeling empty D. staying alone
13. The opinions of Freud and Cacioppo are cited to show that .
A. children tend to fear darkness and solitude
B. solitude pursued by choice can be a therapy.
C. chronic isolation can harm interpersonal relations
D. solitude has long been linked with negative outcomes.
14. According to Jack Fong, the sense of personal crisis may be influenced by
A. an isolated lifestyle B. mental disorder
C. low self-esteem D. social context
15. The main idea of the passage is that .
A. solitude should be avoided at all costs.
B. anxieties of daily life may cause personal crisis
C. choosing to spend time alone can be a blessing
D. seeking support is useless for tackling personal crisis.
Science is finally beginning to embrace animals who were, for a long time, considered second-class citizens.
As Annie Potts of Canterbury University has noted, chickens distinguish among one hundred chicken faces and recognize familiar individuals even after months of separations. When given problems to solve, they reason: hens trained to pick colored buttons sometimes choose to give up an immediate (lesser)food reward for a slightly later (and better) one. Healthy hens may aid friends, and mourn when those friends die.
Pigs respond meaningfully to human symbols. When a research team led by Candace Croney at Penn State University carried wooden blocks marked with X and O symbols around pigs, only the O carriers offered food to the animals. The pigs soon ignored the X carriers in favor of the O’s. Then the team switched from real-life objects to a T-shirts printed with X or O symbols. Still, the pigs ventured only toward the O-shirted people: they had transferred their knowledge to a two-dimensional format, a not-inconsiderable feat of reasoning.
Fairly soon, I came to see that along with our closest living relatives, cetaceans(鲸目动物)too are masters of cultural learning, and elephants express profound joy and mourning with their social companions. Long-term studies in the wild on these mammals helped to fuel a perspective shift in our society: the public no longer so easily accepts monkeys made to undergo painful procedures in laboratories, elephants forced to perform in circuses, and dolphins kept in small tanks at theme parks.
Over time, though, as I began to broaden out even further and explore the inner lives of fish, chicken, pigs, goats, and cows, I started to wonder: Will the new science of “food animals” bring an ethical revolution in terms of who we eat? In other words, will the breadth of our ethic start to catch up with the breadth of our science? Animal activists are already there, of course, committed to not eating these animals. But what about the rest of us? Can paying attention to the thinking and feeling of these animals lead us to make change in who we eat?
16. According to Annie Potts, hens’ choice of a later and better reward indicates their ability of .
A. social interaction B. facial recognition
C. logical reasoning D. mutual learning
17. The expression “not-inconsiderable feat” (Para.3)shows what pig can do is
A. extraordinary B. weird C. unique D. understandable
18. What is Paragraph4 mainly about?
A. The similarities between mammals and humans.
B. The necessity of long-term studies no mammals.
A. A change of public attitude to the treatment of mammals.
B. A new discovery of how mammals think and feel.
11. What is the author’s view on eating “food animals”?
A. He regrets eating them before. B. He considers eating them justifiable.
C. He is not concerned about the issue. D. He calls for a change in what we eat.
12. What is the best title for the passage?
A. In Praise of Food Animals B. Food Animals in Science Reports
C. The Inner Lives of food animals D. Food Animals: past, present and future