The Human Animal

May 1st, 2005
by Alfonso Ebanks

[private] v3-5-Our IslandsFor many centuries man has been trying to divorce himself from the animal kingdom. Even today there are only a few people that will admit that we as a species are nothing special and that the only two things that we have different than the other mammals are our ability to reason and our bipedal locomotion.

Most people will maintain a closed mind when their beliefs are questioned concerning an omnipotent creator who made man in his own image. Let’s examine this creature man and maybe we’ll find out what he is made of: at first look he (man) is a woefully inadequate animal. Most other animals can out-run him, they can out-climb him, they can out-swim him, they can out-jump him and some can fly circles around him.

The physical abilities of man are so limited that there is always some other animal that can beat him at nearly everything he does. The falcon has sight so perfect it can spot an object the size of a mouse from a mile away. The dog has an olfactory sense so keen it can detect particles in a mix of a few parts per million. The owl has a hearing so good it can locate and capture its prey in total darkness. The lizard can grow back its severed tail. The lobster can grow back a lost leg. Some snakes can postpone becoming pregnant after mating until the food supply increases. The shark has the ability to replace its teeth whenever necessary. There are turtles that out-live man by hundreds of years. The elephant and the whale have the natural ability to communicate with others of their species over huge distances, and when it comes to sexual prowess the lion makes man look like a non-participant.

Considering all this, we can see that if man was created he was not given very much to start with and that he has survived at all is in itself an astonishing feat. His only attribute is his brain and for thousands of years it only worked in survival mode; after his survival was guaranteed he started using his brain for other purposes such as developing his newly found imagination. Wherever man is found on this earth no matter if in the cities or in the most remote areas and it matters not if he lives among millions, or if his tribe is limited to only a few dozen people, there are two things he will always have: some sort of deity and some kind of substance that produces stupefaction when it’s ingested or inhaled.

These are the two things that he believes separates him from his true cousins: he is the only living being that has a god and the ability to alter his senses at will, and since animals can’t do these things then man could not possibly be an animal.

In his continued effort to distance himself from his real nature, he has invented many and varied potions and perfumes to rid himself of his own body odors and rid his abode of the smells of his bathing area and the scent of cooking. Our bodily functions have been given many names in an attempt to hide their true purpose and the smell of urine will offend our delicate nostrils even if it’s our own urine; most of our homes have bathrooms decorated with colored ceramic, polished marble and toilets of gleaming white porcelain all in an attempt to nonchalantly distract the user into overlooking the real reason that the room was built in the first place.

We probably would look at our animal friends in another light if we could accept the fact that the only difference between our toilet habits and those of our pet dog is a roll of bathroom tissue and the lever we press to made everything disappear down the drain so we can get back to pretending that nothing ever happens in the bath room. After all, we are not animals. [/private]

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