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Animals: Pay respect

Updated on January 23, 2018

Are human beings really superior to the rest of the animal kingdom?

From a very young age, and with the assistance of my mother, I ended up adopting my own ideology and ethical stance, when it came to the relationship between animals and human beings. I was always amazed by nature and all its creations, but animals of any kind were always at the center of my attention. Mom used to tell me "The only thing that separates us from the rest of the animals, is the fact that we have thumbs, and that is what makes us superior to them. If they had thumbs too, they'd be exactly like us". Talk about giving a five-year-old the wrong information...

Of course, I eventually grew up to realize that this wasn't the case at all. My belief by now is, that our sense of superiority, comes only from the fact that we have vocal cords. The gift of seamless communication abilities...I do not believe we're using this "gift" properly. As much as I don't understand what a barking dog is telling me, the same effect happens when a person is yelling at me...I don't understand any of the conversational arguments, simply because I can only communicate through civilized means.

I would like to distinguish here that, when I say animals, I include humans in that category too. In biology, we learned that people are considered animals as well. Our scientific classification as humans is set in the following order:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Subclass: Theria
  • Infraclass: Eutheria
  • Order: Primates
  • Suborder: Anthropoidea

With very little research, we can all find multiple animals that fit under any of the above categories, and the combination of classifications leads us to the conclusion that the closest species to us humanoids, are Apes (Apes you say? Well, I've never heard of this before!). The fact that we are all "animals", can easily lead to further conclusions. And this means that we are composed essentially of the same materials: hormones (which are responsible for multiple functions in our bodies and to a great extent, control our emotional world as well), a central nervous system, muscles, and bones, among others.

Other animals, are each infused with their own special instincts and act upon what their nature demands them to do. We instead, use our "logic" to deal with day to day situations. But logic is subjective, meaning it is relevant to the overall personality traits we have and our perception usually makes us think that our decisions in life are based on reasoning, while many of times, the basis of our actions and reactions, come from pure sentiment. However, the rest of the animals, make sentimental decisions too, they just don't have the ability to exude the drama we do in our lives because most species lack vocal cords.

With our very special gift of "linguistic communication", we have managed to do both amazing and destructive things to our planet and other beings around us. We have extinguished species and ecosystems, we have taken over and destroyed beautiful lands and territories, we have manipulated our planet and any beings we can get our hands on, all to our "advantage". My belief is that we have actually created a great "disadvantage" for ourselves.

As you've gathered by now, I am an animal lover myself. I find it heartbreaking when I see how people treat the beings that surround them, then again, we're not very civilized as humans either. We can be judgmental, inconsiderate, arrogant and ignorant to another person, and oftentimes, we're not even aware we're doing it, and when we are aware, we don't seem to care about what it says about our own persona.

We keep living closer and closer to each other, and being civilized goes down the drain with this practice. We are territorial beings, much like any other animal out there, we need our space and often we need our solidarity, but that's the way we made our society function, so now we must learn to live without boundaries and territories, in a civilized manner. Yet, we can't seem to do that. I suppose that's why laws needed to be made.

We have no respect for our planet and everything it offers us. We forget we are only a link out a chain that leads to basic survival. I've seen so many animals hurt and scared of their masters, I always feel compelled to do something about it. Our judicial system is such, that punishes the animal for actions it would have never done if it wasn't for the involvement of humans that were surrounding it. I don't understand getting any animal in your possession, without learning all about its habits first, so that you know if you can handle it. Can't comprehend why some people think a dog deserves to be tied to a tree for the rest of its life, just because...I can't find any good excuse for that. Statistics show, that dogs, come first in the list of most "chained up" animals in the world, next to bears and monkeys.

Did you know that several studies showed dogs are similar to young children in behavioral patterns and can pretty much understand and feel the same things children do? One article out of thousands was published on the site Medical News, in June of 2013. Are you aware of the fact that a constrictor snake such as a Boa, never stops growing, thus making it impossible to contain at some point? This is why many people adopt them, but at some point, they have to release them (usually without any concern of the consequences) since they can't find a big enough space to keep the reptile, which also becomes too expensive to feed. Have you educated yourselves as to what exactly declawing a cat involves and why it's considered completely inhumane? Did you ever stop to think how you would feel if you got stuck on a glue trap with no way to escape, until you slowly die, so someone can come, pick you up and throw you in a garbage bin? I don't mean to sound like an activist here, but no, animals don't deserve any of that, much like we don't. Our "living rights" are not different, nor superior to theirs. And they can feel everything we do, just as much as we do. There is no excuse for instilling fear in a dog. Or locking them up in cages to create puppy-mills. There is no purpose in catching a bear, and removing its teeth and nails, just to make it "dance" for us. Did you know a Raccoon can live up to 20-22 years, but their average age of death is 1-2 years? This is due to vehicular death or simply killing the animal on purpose, with a weapon or poison.

Maybe we are here to help bring Earth to its natural end, at a faster pace. We seem to be oblivious to the consequences our actions bring. As a total, we don't realize all the harm we do to our surroundings. We don't stop at animals, we destroy the earth beneath us just as well. All the while forgetting that without nature, we can only bring our demise.

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