Friday, 13 March 2009

We Are All Animals

"How dare you claim that we are just animals! god made us special!"

Although I don't understand why so many creationists have this sort of reaction to evolution, as I see no reason to take offense to reality or the idea that we are indeed animals. There's nothing inherently wrong with being evolutionarily related to all the other lifeforms on this planet, nor does it take away from us as humans.

Still, how do they deny that every study we do of other animals seems to show that the differences between us are less than we thought? For instance, monkeys floss and teach their young to do the same. Actually, the idea that they teach their young is a huge find, that shows just how close we actually are to our closest cousins.

1 comment:

Tigerboy said...

Of course we are animals.

We share over 95% of our DNA with chimpanzees. Humans and chimpanzees are more closely related to each other than either one is related to gorillas.

Animals feel the same emotions, fear, drive for sex, hunger, need for sleep, curiosity, drive to raise and protect offspring, avoidance of pain, avoidance of death, etc., as we do.

Obviously, not all animals approach the world, move through the world, or experience the world in the same way. A snake is quite different from a bird, or an oyster, or a grasshopper, or a sheep.

But, clearly, humans are mammals. We experience the world in much the same way as other mammals. Other mammals experience the world in much the same way that we do. There are far more ways in which all mammals, including us, are the same, than the ways in which we are different.

I think part of the reason people get so uncomfortable thinking about animals being just like us is that we eat them.

I am not a vegan, but neither do I lie to myself that eating meat, especially when there is a fully-stocked grocery store, right down the street, neither do I lie to myself that eating another animal is completely devoid of moral problems.

Meat is nutritious food, but, we would be much more honest with ourselves if we at least acknowledged that, when we eat another animal, we take a life that has great value. We kill an intelligent being. We kill a being with a rich emotional life. We kill a being that has the same desire to survive and raise its young that is in all of us.

As we get further and further away from that point in our past where eating meat was necessary for our survival, and, in fact, as we find that a diet of too much meat is not at all good for our health, that the raising of meat is highly detrimental to the health of our global environment, I wish people would at least allow themselves to consider the notion that animals do not exist in this world simply to serve us.

As I said, I do eat meat. But I try to eat it less often, and I try to be honest with myself about what it is that I am doing.