Monday, 2 March 2015

Our Younger Cousins

A friend of mine once wrote, “Animals are people too.” The thought stuck with me. Of course the Bible, written by and for very primitive people, no matter how inspired, couldn’t conceive that if God could create man from dust, He could also breath ‘higher’ consciousness into a ready-made simian, and save Himself the trouble of starting from scratch.
Likewise, I can think of no reason why God couldn’t invent physical evolution. After all He/She/It is almighty, and therefore He/She/It could do whatever He/She/It wants, or in case of our past, wanted. Looking at some of my distant friends, I think it likely that they, indeed all of us, began as amoebas, and then, over millions of years, slowly developed into species who like to murder each other. Wars, armed conflicts, military interventions, and other forms of wholesale murder are, nowadays, run of the mill.

Cats and Dogs don’t do that.

They are our younger brothers, much more advanced than amoebas, but not quite up (or perhaps down) to our dismal, depraved, degenerate level. All right, we do have a Mother Therese now and then, but lets face it, they are few and far between. The rest of us do not necessarily kill other members of our species, but we think nothing of slaughtering countless millions of other animals, other not-as-yet human people, to stifle our need to sate our gluttonous appetites. At best, if we are not actively murdering each other, we accelerate our physical demise through rampant obesity. 

Cats and dogs don’t do that either.

Cats and dogs are our younger brothers. So are countless other species who have not sunk, as yet, to our level. There is ample evidence that animals at large, with few exceptions, love one another. Great many are vegetarians. Others kill only when hungry, and rarely achieve level of obesity cultivated by rapidly increasing number humans. Even our social networks are replete with numerous examples of such amity among different species of animals, let alone their own, as is seldom seen among humans.

Cats and dogs have slowed their evolution by contact with human beings. Again, not all cats and dogs, and not with all human beings. But some are trained to become vicious, to sniff drugs, to attack on command. None of these acts are natural to them.
Cats are natural born hunters. Even with a bawl of dry biscuits waiting for them, they do bring home an occasional rodent. Now and then—a bird. But the last six or seven birds my cats brought home were alive and well. They brought them home as presents, and released them into my hands without much struggle. I strongly suspect that they wouldn’t catch them if they had no one to give them to.
That’s my personal experience. What’s yours?

Also available at Smashwords and other outlets.
Your thoughts are important to me


  1. All creatures in nature develop behaviors they need for survival. They fight their own kind mainly for mates and alpha position and not to the death. The only species I've heard of that go out on raids and war paths against their own kind, besides humans, are dolphins. Is there something about higher intelligence that leads to murderous habits?

    My theory is that it takes higher-level brains to become complex enough to develop the glitch in the software, the deformation of the template of motivation and behavior, that leads the species to treat its own kind as inimical. The problem is not in the meat part of the brain but in the electro-magnetic fluctuations that operate the cognitive and emotional programs. My forthcoming book on meme theory will explain all that.

    Dogs and cats, and even horses, that are domesticated and become beloved pets, are naturally selected for their human-friendly character, especially dogs. Cats are too independent-minded and imperious. They own and train their humans. They are also capable of being extremely jealous of other animals in their household and territory.

    Aside from their war obsession, humans are quite a fine species. I have high hopes for their future.

    1. I do not quite share your optimism about our future. However, I do not identify myself with my body or brain, but treat them as means through which I find my expression. Our brain is a magnificent computer, and it might well have glitches in its electro-magnetic wiring, yet, contrary to the illustrious scientists I do not accept that it generates thoughts but rather it translates thoughts into symbols or words which enable us to communicate with each other. There is considerable evidence that other animals communicate by direct perception, sometimes referred to as telepathy. Thanks for your fascinating insights.

      PS. I am looking forward to your book.