Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Humans: A Curious Animal

Throughout the history of planet earth many animals have come and gone. Many millions of years ago there where Dinosaurs, giant lizards which could kill and devour any other animal stupid enough to cross their path, although some Dinosaurs opted not to and ate leaves instead much to the amusement of Carnivores like T Rexes and Velociraptors who knew how to have a good time. Dinosaurs are extremely fascinating.

Then there are Fish which still roam the oceans today. Fish spend their lives swimming and eating smaller fish except for really small fish which spend their lives hiding from other fish. Occasionally they will get caught by fishing boats and will either be eaten or thrown back in the ocean. Fish are tragically boring.

But in between Dinosaurs and Fish there are all sorts of other animals. Lions that roar, Cows that moo, Owls that hoot, Sheep that baa, Wolves that Howl, Zebras that make Zebra noises etc. etc. etc. But one animal is more notable than any other: Humans.

Humans are one of the only animals that have evolved to the point where they no longer think exclusively about furthering their own kind and staying on top of the food chain. Humans have created all sorts of ways to entertain themselves and each other. They’ve composed music, created plays and films, invented sports, written books, the list goes on. Humans no longer need to worry about the bare essentials. They’re the only animal that have been so industrious to the point that the basic ingredients for survival (food, water, shelter) are taken for granted by virtually everyone. Because of this Humans can look beyond merely living through each day and add all sorts of extra luxuries to their lives. They can eat tasty foods, knock back fancy drinks, live in flash houses and they can attain all of these things from other Humans through payment or barter, another concept invented by Humans. Yes, Humans have built, invented and accomplished so much over the duration of their short time on earth; however they’re not just notable for their technical innovation but also their intellect. Humans are the only animal capable of contemplation. They even invented the word ‘contemplation’ as well as every other word in this article. They theorize, philosophize and debate each others theories and philosophies. Humans are the only animals that question the world around them on more than the most basic of levels. By all accounts Humans are simply the most fascinating and accomplished animal the planet has ever seen.

Yet despite the fact that they are, by any conceivable standard, the best animal on the planet many Humans have somehow convinced themselves that they’re the worst. There are a large percentage of Humans that blame the Human race for everything. Humans blame themselves for mistreating each other although in comparison to basically every other animal, Humans have proven to be exceptionally compassionate towards one another. Humans blame themselves and each other for living in nice houses and driving fancy cars no matter how hard any given human worked to attain those possessions. And Humans blame themselves for destroying the environment and interfering with nature often forgetting that Humans are animals too and therefore anything they do to other animals or do with the land that surrounds them is, by definition, a part of nature.

Humans guilt trip themselves and each other for things no other animal would ever be expected feel guilty about. Humans currently sit at the top of the food chain, something many animals before them unapologetically strived (and in some cases succeeded) to accomplish. You guessed it; many Humans blame themselves for that too. For some reason Humans just can’t stand to win. Many Humans have taken it upon themselves to lecture anyone silly enough to listen about how Humans don’t care enough about other animals. Once again, in comparison to all other animals regard for other species this couldn’t be further from the truth. Humans adopt dogs and cats, feed ducks, rescue hedgehogs from their pools, attempt to avoid hitting animals on the road, try to preserve wild life and basically do far more than any other animal would be expected to do for a Human. So far there has been no documented case of a Lion making a conscious effort to preserve a Human.

But still some Humans go even further in guilt tripping their fellow man about their ‘attitudes’ towards other species, some going as far as to say Humans should regard other animals as equals. A strange proposition considering the fact that Humans do not apply that attitude in their own society. When Humans race each other the 1st to cross the finish line is the winner and is regarded as the superior athlete. Same goes with any other competition. Yet in the competition of life where Humans have so clearly won and other species have so blatantly lost some Humans have still managed to convince themselves that they do not deserve to regard themselves as the superior species. They look at other animals, some of which could be accurately described as incestuous cannibals, and see something far more noble in those animal’s way of life than the way of modern Human society.

It’s a curious way to react to being the most successful creature in the known universe, that’s for sure. And although there are some Humans who don’t regard their existence as something to feel ashamed of they are unfortunately about as common as a pink dolphin or a black tiger. However these fallacies in logic shouldn’t diminish the Human race’s accomplishments as a whole because although many of them don’t want to give themselves any credit, the Human race is still undoubtedly, quite brilliant. Curious…but brilliant.

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