A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Posts tagged ‘the human animal’

The Tree of Knowledge

In the story of the Garden of Eden, our early ancestors find themselves confronted by a choice.

They’re already developing an increasingly complex self-awareness that gives them the ability to think in terms of good and bad. And they’re acquiring an existential understanding of their personal mortality.

As this awareness grows, they find themselves hearing two voices: one calling them back to a state of innocence in paradise; the other beckoning them forward to a future where they might become “as gods” in their own right, taking dominion over the world, freeing themselves from their animality, and even becoming immortal.

(Second in a series about how and why our relationship to our fellow animals has deteriorated to the point of an unfolding mass extinction.)

“I Am Not an Animal!” – the video

It’s surely the most important question in the world today: Why are we humans driving the Earth into a Sixth Great Extinction – an extinction event that will likely include our own species?

Why, despite the fact that there are more animal protection groups and more environmental organizations than ever before, is the situation for our fellow animals and the whole world of nature getting worse by the day?

And why do we humans, a supposedly highly intelligent species, continue hurtling down this catastrophic track?

On Banning Bestiality

What exactly makes it a crime, punishable by potentially many years in prison, to have sex with a goat, a sheep or a cow, while, for example, it’s perfectly OK to kill that same animal and eat her? Or, indeed, to be entertained by her in any number of other ways?

Why You Lie Like an Ape

Next time someone catches you telling a small fib, just explain that, as one of the great apes, it’s just part of your cooperative nature. After…

Did Bunnies Kill Off the Neanderthals?

What brought about the demise of the Neanderthals? Was it the arrival of the Cro-Magnon early-modern humans? John Fa of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust suggests that it was rabbits – or more precisely, the Neanderthals’ lack of skill in catching them.

Of course, those of us who studied ancient history under Prof. Monty Python know that killer bunnies were wiping out whole armies of humans well into the Middle Ages …

"We’re Humans, They’re Animals"

The comments of soldiers at a checkpoint between Israel and Palestine are a classic example of what has been called the signature cry of all humanity: “I am not an animal.”

In this case, as one of the soldiers puts it, “They’re animals; we’re humans.”

Will Humans Become Hobbits?

A hobbit in the movie, and what real-life hobbits (homo floresiensis) looked like when they flourished on the island of Flores in Indonesia for about 80,000…

Why the Gun Lobby Always Wins

It’s hard to argue that murdering children with an assault weapon is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they said that a “well-regulated militia” could protect a “free state” at a time when the newborn nation was fighting for its life against the British Empire.

But this is not about rational arguments. Something much deeper is going on. Why are so many Americans afraid of losing their “right” to carry around practically any weapon of their choice? Why are they so emotional about it?

Elephants and Slavery

The mindset that has permitted atrocities to be inflicted on humans is the same mindset that allows the abuse of animals to occur. Just as my…

From Albert Camus

“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.” From “The Rebel” by French novelist and philosopher Albert Camus.

How Nonhumans Vote

How do nonhuman animals vote for which direction to go in? The animal “kingdom” turns out to be much more of an animal democracy – and, in many respects, a lot more democratic than most human so-called democracies.