We’re Really Not That Different

| April 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

As humans, we take pride in our intellect. We observe, study, hypothesize, and test everything in the world around us so that we can learn. What makes us so different from the other animals on Earth is that we have a unique capacity to retain vast quantities of knowledge and information– Homo Sapiens is truly a unique species, a distinct entity from the rest of nature. And it is with this intellectual superiority that we assume the role of nature’s creator and ruler. The trees, the animals, the soil, and the land all belong to us and it is our undeniable duty, our divine calling if you will, to take advantage of nature so that our lives are more comfortable and worry free.

Hold on. Have we forgotten that WE are products of nature, of random genetic events occurring over millions of years of evolutionary history? We have adopted such an anthropocentric perspective on nature, the environment, and our fellow animals that we have concocted a seriously dramatic, almost farcical definition of a human being and what it means to be human. It is true that we are the smartest, most cognitively and socially complex species on the planet. I mean come on, look at how big our heads are! We have the largest cerebral cortex mass per body size ratio in the entire animal kingdom, and with that an astounding ability to learn, solve problems, and essentially create anything from nothing. But, these big heads of ours come with a debilitating price: we think WAY too much. Our level of intellectual pride skyrockets to such an altitudinous level that we trick ourselves into believing that we are at the apex of the natural world – true masters of our environment.

Even walruses get emotional over a birthday gift.

Even walruses get emotional over a birthday gift.

But we’re not. We think that we are the rulers of the natural world as a result of the deforestation, animal species control, intense agricultural systems, and city and suburban developments that are products of our unique ingenuity. Because of these things, we have come to believe that we have complete control over every ecological system in the world. But on a much more mundane level, a level in which our large brains are considered mere characteristics or advantageous traits, we aren’t much different than other animals. We breathe, need food to survive, interact with our environment, and display emotions. Much like us, animals have specific cultures, use forms of language, portray humor, use tools, have various degrees of intellectual capacities, and possess the ability to build things. Now I’m not saying that all animal species can be associated with each attribute stated, but rather that every task that we can do, within reason, some animal out there can as well.

So much can be written about how similar humans are to animals, but I’ll leave you with this. Homo Sapiens are animals, really smart, creative, complex animals. We have such a grandiose potential to create good in this world, both for human animals and non-human animals. So let’s use these big heads of ours to direct all of our intellectual energy towards improving the environment for all animals, including ourselves. So, think about the puppies! Do it for the puppies!

Come on, how adorable is that.

Come on, how adorable is that.

Just click the words below and start saving the environment and the animals!

WildLife Conservation Society
Environment About
International Fund for Animals Welfare
World Wildlife Fund

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Category: featured, Nature, Philosophy and Religion

Andrew Lacqua

About the Author ()

One of four, Andrew likes to think that he's the coolest. After all, he's an avid long boarder and ukelele player, an ardent animal lover, and proud owner of a fish tank (he used to have five but then he had to go to college). When Andrew isn't busy watching Discovery Channel, flaunting his brightly colored beanies around campus, or pondering the mysteries of life, he's busy studying biology (his one true love). If this were a perfect world, Andrew would probably live in a hut in the rainforest with monkeys somewhere in Central America.

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