We Are Animals

Many of us mean well. Some of us really do try to do the right thing. But…

Many of us assume that we humans are superior to other animals on the planet. No one actively promoted this belief to me. Maybe I picked it up by osmosis as a child. I think it’s a common attitude held by many religions, so perhaps I got it there. But I have to confess that my gut reaction is to not lump humanity in with other creatures.

I think that some people would even take exception to the fact that I’m calling humans animals. They’d find it insulting. In fact, there are several definitions of the word, and upon close inspection, they seem rather contradictory.

1.	a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli. 
2.	an animal as opposed to a human being. 
3.	a mammal, as opposed to a bird, reptile, fish, or insect. 
4.	a person without human attributes or civilizing influences, especially someone who is very cruel, violent, or repulsive. 
5.	a particular type of person or thing. 

While a different attitude may not come naturally to me, the more I see what people are capable of, the more I realize that this sense of superiority so many of us hold is absurd. On the whole, we are the most destructive, selfish, cruel and greedy creatures on earth. If anything, we have a lot to learn from the natural world.

In many ways, non-human animals are superior. They don’t tend to destroy their environments. They don’t usually wage war or commit murder. Their worst lies are along the lines of, “I didn’t destroy the couch cushions! Really! It was the cat!”

The more we study other animals, the more we find that they can and do help one another, even if they’re not of the same species. Many are loyal and loving. They like to play. Predators may seem cruel on nature programs when they’re hunting, but there’s no evil intent there.

Those animals that we deem to be a nuisance have only been made so because we’ve taken away their natural habitat and have forced them to survive in our unnatural one. Is it any surprise that these circumstances have brought out the worst in them? Whose fault is that?

We have so many more choices and opportunities than other animals do. We could be a force for good. It’s shameful that so many of us choose to behave badly. I’m not saying that all humans suck 100% of the time. Many of us mean well. Some of us really do try to do the right thing. But it’s those baser tendencies that we all seem to have to resist in order to be good that have me increasingly worried about our future.

If you want to see the very worst of humanity, hop on over to Reddit, to the PublicFreakout subreddit. On that page you’ll find footage of people freaking out on planes and getting kicked off, Karens throwing fits because they aren’t getting special treatment, bigoted individuals showing their true colors, people who feel wronged seeking revenge instead of justice, students attacking teachers, customers attacking restaurant staff, people overreacting because they have to wait, road rage, police brutality, intimidation, assault, theft, and all manner of political outrages.

Really, it’s appalling. I know it’s a frustrating world out there, but violence, cruelty, selfishness, and dominance are not the answers. Poor choices are not working for us as a species. It feels like we are devolving, and there are so many of us that that is a scary prospect, indeed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hug my dog.

The ultimate form of recycling: Buy my book, read it, and then donate it to your local public library or your neighborhood little free library! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

4 thoughts on “We Are Animals”

  1. So glad you’re evolving towards accepting our true place in nature. My respect for nature and other species grew out of learning to put myself into other creatures souls. The most arrogant and damaging things we’ve done to nature, and other species, was to domesticate and tame them. Once we conquered everything that didn’t look and act like us, or bow to our will and desires, is it any wonder we learned to treat our own species with such contempt or indifference? (I don’t blame aliens for avoiding us.) At least, as the many devolve, their numbers will dwindle making room for the natural world to reclaim it’s former nature. Hopefully, those enlightened few, of us, will be accepted back into Gaia’s arms. When that happens… everyday will be Earth Day. 🌏🌎

      1. George Carlin: And The Sanctity Of Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvF1Q3UidWM
        I was feeling optimistic about our chances until I saw this. Even as I was laughing, till I cried, deep down I felt defeated because what he says is true. Chickens ARE decent people… and we slaughter them and steal their unborn to make omlettes… we’re all doomed. 🍗😱🥚
        Seriously, this was done in 2009 and, sadly, it’s still very relevant today. Devolution looms large.

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