Non-human and Human Animals: More Similarities Than Differences

Image courtesy of braindamaged217
via Creative Commons.
For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent post I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from Non-human and Human Animals: More Similarities Than Differences:
"It’s common to read books about issues related to human psychology, sociology, behavior and history and find references to and comments about the essential differences between humans and other animals (more often referred to as just “animals”). It’s as if in every era and from every author, a new fundamental difference must be named. I generally find these irritating.

I realize that humans are, in a very obvious way, quite different from all other species currently residing on Earth (but imagine if we still shared this planet with Neandertals!). Our built world is a far cry from a termite nest. Our ability to adapt to every clime by creating and wearing clothes, building elaborate structures, and harnessing energy sources for warmth and light certainly stands out. The complexity of our languages and our ability to use representational symbols to convey information through writing (and now computing) doesn’t have a counterpart among other species; and yet, these lie along a spectrum, and what essential quality do humans really have that does not lie on a continuum with other species?"

For a humane world,

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"

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