Saturday, July 19, 2008

People vs. Animals

I love animals.  Let me just start with that.  I love them.  They have no malice towards anyone. I know that at least dogs are as close as it comes to complete, unconditional love.  However, I find a problem with people who put animals above humans.  I am aware that some of us consider ourselves just another animal, but to me being human is quite different.  Yes we need similar things that our pets do, like food, shelter, sleep, and sex, but we are inherently different.

As humans we have the capacity to reason.  We have the capacity to emote at a level that no other known creature has yet proven to be able.  We can choose.  We can create and save life better and more thoroughly than any other known being.  Yet, people still often put animals above humans. Many wealthy millionaires have put their prized fish, canary, or cat ahead of their own offspring on their last wills and testaments.  And the reason why is actually not too hard to see.  While we as humans are indeed capable of extremely intricate creative processes and reasoning, and although we can emote more effectively than any other creature, we often do not use our blessed prowess in the best of ways.  We quite often can become far worse than any of our greatest accomplishments or abilities.  We can destroy, kill, and manipulate far better than any other creature.  And that makes us a dangerous potential.  

But, it is the ability to choose that gives hope.  It allows us to see why we are better than animals.  We can choose an almost infinite good, or an infinite evil.  Animals cannot.  While I appreciate a pet's loving devotion and would never want to see any living creature suffer needlessly, given the choice I will always choose human life.  A human life, because its potential for good and evil is unsurpassed, is always more valuable.  

I see protests and demonstrations by PETA, and by other private citizens and organizations for the better treatment of animals.  And, sometimes they are justified.  But if they ever equate animals with people, putting them on the same level, I turn my back.  We are not animals.  We never will be.  Our capacity for evil and good is too great.  While I hope more choose the good, no one can control another's soul.  We make our choices, and we must respect people's right to choose their own.  Animals are not at that level.  They never will be.

1 comment:

YogaforCynics said...

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain