Closer to the Beasts Than to the Gods

Submitted by Charles Knighton

dolphinOrcas are simply too large, too wide-ranging, too socially complex, and too intelligent to thrive in any-sized concrete enclosure”, […]said Animal Welfare Institute marine mammal scientist Dr. Naomi Rose.

California lawmaker plans law to end killer whale captivity’ – November 9 BarbadosAdvocate

Do animals have feelings similar to ours? To anyone who’s ever looked deeply into the eyes of a dog (especially mine), or watched mother orangutans cuddle their babies or young gorillas roughhouse like teenagers, it’s a ridiculous question. Many hardheaded scientists, however, dismiss speculation about animal consciousness as pointless anthropomorphizing; they view lesser species as furry or finny animatrons, acting out instincts and impulses installed by evolution.

In his new book, Beyond Words, marine conservationist Carl Safina thoroughly dismantles this behaviorist view of animals. Safina demonstrates that wolves, elephants and orcas display complex planning, empathy, jealously, anger—even sheer joy at being alive. People who observe animals closely know them to be individuals, with distinct personalities. Contrarians have to deeply deny the evidence to conclude that humans alone are conscious, feeling beings.

The evidence shows that elephants and apes mourn their dead, becoming listless and depressed. Dolphins can recognize their own reflections, have intricate social structures, and appear to call each other by individual names. Apes and chimps make tools, plan for the future, and display empathy and inferential reasoning. It would seem that it is only human vanity that’s led us to believe we are separate and distinct from the “extended family” of creatures on the great continuum of evolution.

If you doubt our kinship with the animal kingdom, I refer you to the news stories in the pages of local or international media. Evolution is a work in progress: We are still closer to the beasts than to the gods.

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9 Comments on “Closer to the Beasts Than to the Gods”

  1. islandgal November 11, 2015 at 9:14 AM #

    Yes Animals have feelings similar to us. They are happy, sad, jealous, angry and lonely to name a few emotions they have. Dogs are very intelligent more intelligent than some of us humans. Humans are the worst animals that ever existed on this planet.


  2. islandgal November 11, 2015 at 9:18 AM #

    The Political yardfowl is a strange animal. It is one that lacks common sense, integrity and empathy. There are perfect examples here on BU……AC, Bush Tea, GP, Donkey, Alvin Cummings to name a few.


  3. Donna November 11, 2015 at 9:39 AM #

    I must confess that I find animals easier to love than most people. The Tradewinds had a song- Who civilized and who’s the jackass, tomcat, snake, ram goat etc. and I found it to be particularly profound. Humans behave worse than animals. I plan to end my life surrounded by animals with humans welcome only by invitation.


  4. Colonel Buggy November 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM #

    Unlike a human being,an animal never bites the hand that feeds it.


  5. ac November 11, 2015 at 6:25 PM #

    Really never thought about animal consciousness i see them as part of nature creation placed in there own environment and at times can be of beneficial to mankind existence
    i do believe that their ability to react is instinctive but not that of having the same mental intelligence that powers the human brain.
    one would not expect a dog to perform household cores same as a human or have the basic sense of understanding to understand time in hours of a day all of which is an application that must be applied through a genetic process that powers the brain
    AS much as animal lovers would like to proffer a conscientious factor yet based on certain sensory factors that animals display which can be found in humans one should take into consideration and especially put to test all the inherit genetic engineering that applies to man that makes man fully aware and apply them to animals and see if animals can perform at a same level as man


  6. ac November 11, 2015 at 6:27 PM #

    here is an interesting article that gives insight to animal consciousness


  7. Gabriel November 12, 2015 at 11:52 AM #

    The human animal has the same 5 basic urges as all other animals and it would be idiotic for a human to reason with the king of the jungle.


  8. millertheanunnaki November 13, 2015 at 8:00 PM #

    @ Gabriel November 12, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Now please inform us Gabriel (aka Hermes aka Mercury) by expanding on these same “5 basic urges”.

    Are you referring to the “E,S, F, P & S” species survival functions?

    Colonel Buggy made a great point when he said (other) animals do not bite the hands that feed them. Let me add: neither do the other “dumb” animals rape the 97 year old matriarch of the community.
    Human beings might be the most creative animal species of the lot capable of rearranging the natural environment but, by jinks, they are also the most destructive and defective life form that only worms can appreciate. One must ask the question:
    How could a perfect god make such a defective and destructive life form? Is it a result of constant inbreeding?

    Zoe, do you know the answer?


  9. Alien June 6, 2016 at 7:00 AM #


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