Are Humans Just Fancy Animals ??

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I have heard it said that human beings are merely “fancy animals”, yet I know some people may tend to disagree.  We all know that humans have developed an advanced ability to reason and to use language.  People sometimes display an air of arrogance due to our rank at the top of the food chain.  Many humans have also developed a sense of superiority to our fellow creatures and have become insensitive to their needs.  I think most of my blog followers, however, would be happy to consider themselves as “fancy animals”.   My readers are loving and responsible caretakers; many of whom have dedicated their lives to animals.  Hopefully, we do not take offense to being referred to as animals, fancy or otherwise. 

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The word “animal” is of Latin origin and means breath or having breath. The modern definitions of the word “animal” when used as a noun are as follows:

1.  any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animal like nutritional modes.
2.  any such living thing other than a human being
3.  a person whose behavior is regarded as devoid of human attributes or civilizing influences, especially someone who is very cruel, violent, or repulsive
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I don’t know what you think, but from my perspective, humans are most certainly categorized by   definition number one.  Definition number two discounts the notion that humans are animals and the third definition is actually insulting to animals and humans alike.  When we find the behavior of humans to be cruel, violent, or repulsive, we refer to them as animals?  Our animals may beg to differ.  They have an innate moral and ethical code that any human would do well to aspire to. The very origin of the word animal means breath.  We all breathe.  In my opinion, the people who concocted the latest dictionary definitions of the word “animal” seemed to have been suffering from hubris and pride.

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The debate at hand is really not about whether or not we are animals.  The real issue for consideration is why we feel entitled to treat our animals with arrogance and insensitivity.  If we do not value the special gifts that our animals bring to us, we can allow our false sense of superiority to manifest thus creating an imbalance of power.  I was recently at the checkout counter of a local store and overheard a man talking about his encounter with a raccoon on his property.  The man said he had aimed a gun at the raccoon but “decided” to let him live.  He seemed proud of himself for his noble gesture.   As I left the store, I made eye contact with him and said with a smile, “It’s lucky for the raccoon that you did not have a knock down drag out with your wife this morning!”  The man jumped back and was speechless as I floated out the door.

It really struck a chord with me to hear the man say that he “decided” to let the raccoon live, as if he was doing it a huge favor.  Personal safety is one thing, but to take the life of another living being just because you CAN is senseless.  Due to our advanced capacity to reason, we have a RESPONSIBILTY to treat animals with dignity and respect.  It matters not to me if it offends you to be referred to as a “fancy animal”, an animal, or a human being.  You are free to refer to yourself in whatever manner you like.  As for me, I love the label “fancy animal.”  It serves as a reminder that animals have taught me to be more caring, compassionate, sensitive, and humane to them and my fellow humans as well.  “Humans say that humans are the most intelligent of all the species; and our animals are patiently waiting for us to prove it to them!

Have a great rest of the week!  

Love Linda (AKA fancy animal)

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Linda SalinasComment