Please note: I do make gross generalizations in this article.

I was pondering over the thought that humans are animals, and what separates us from the other animals?

The opposable thumb?

Uh, no. Other primates have that.

I know! Language!

Nope, sorry. Most every creature (as well as plants and minerals) has a language.

The most common language – world-wide, and for all species – is mental/energetic (aka telepathy) communication.

Most animals also have a basic vocal or sound-based communication. Some even have additional ways to communicate: body language. For example, a rabbit will thump its foot, loudly, to alert others of a danger.


Well, no, not that either. Non-humans eat to survive. Humans (very generalized) eat to survive also, but then add on eating for pleasure…some even to the extreme of gluttony. Maybe the gluttony separates us?


Some people believe non-human animals are not intelligent. I personally disagree.

Just because they don’t have degrees, read, don’t engage in computation, or build massive buildings, etc. does not make them lacking in intelligence.

I believe they are a lot smarter and wiser…they live in harmony with Earth and their environment (unless interfered with by man).


For the social creatures, I’d have to say, “No, the ability to have relationships does not separate us.”

For example: A lot of social groups have an alpha male and an alpha female. Humans also fit this whether it is as a family unit, or on a larger scale.

Alpha Female
(This is generalized and not all inclusive)

– She handles/directs day-to-day operations
– Oversees whole clan/troop/pack/family unit
– Perhaps producing and rearing offspring
– Nurturing
– Setting boundaries
– Training
– Keeps everyone else on track

Alpha Male

(Again, generalized and not all inclusive)

– Has final say, when needed, in disputes
– Protector when female is overwhelmed or outnumbered
– Is brought in by the female when all else failed or did not get expected results

Both alphas fight to protect “theirs”.

Both will turn away / turn out any from within the unit/group/pack if that being created severe disharmony – and had likely ignored repeated attempts at re-directing the behavior, warnings, etc. Creating and maintaining chaos is not permitted.


Humans make and consume chemicals, and many force their animal companions to consume chemicals as well.

We (humans) allow chemicals to poison ourselves, and to poison the Earth, water and air.

Humans are the only ones to poison their, and everyone else’s, environment.

Humans – Animals

Humans are animals. We are part of the animal kingdom.

And sadly, I came to the conclusion that the main differences between us and the rest of the animal kingdom is that we – the humans – are gluttonous (and not just food wise) and we destroy.

Yes, we are also creators in every sense – but, to me, that makes our destructive tendencies (again, very generalized) more the shame.

Very sad, indeed.

by Jan Toomer


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