- CRITTER TALK
- NEWS I FIND INTERESTING
The thing is, we, humanity, tend to put our ‘human values’ on our animals. We talk to them as though they have the vaguest idea of what we are saying. Clearly they don’t. Usually they sit there looking at us as though we are nuts and, generally speaking, they are correct.
Of course dogs in particular are supposed to understand what we are saying but they don’t. They are very clever at understanding the sounds we use and, for want of a better description, sensing how we feel.
We can train a dog to ‘sit’ by saying ‘sit’ and, probably, using an arm movement as we speak. The dog actually has no idea what ‘sit’ means but, due to training, it identifies the sound and arm movement and, as often as not, gets a doggie treat for performing so, not entirely surprisingly, said dog will think – in a doggie way – ‘Hey! I’ll get a doggie treat if I respond as the idiot human wants me to’. Not daft dogs are they?
The only animal that challenges dogs as the number one human preference for a pet is the cat.
There is a clear similarity between dogs and cats. They both have fur.
That is where the similarity ends.
A dog will live in your home and behave as you want it to. You will live in a cats home providing you do what it wants you to do.
That is why, whilst adoring dogs and, indeed, all other creatures, I do have a particular preference for cats. Cats don’t give a fuck. I can identify with that and, as a result, whilst I have long wanted to own a dog, I have settled for being owned by cats.
Mind you, dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils and so forth are naturally associated with human connections albeit that they all exist in the wild too.
Most animals exist in the wild whether they are related to so called ‘domestic’ beasts or not.
Animals exist and live within the natural order of things – I nearly said ‘the circle of life’ but Elton John might have sued me for copywrite so I thought I should avoid that – oops.
The more I think about it the more I realise that animals are far more important than humans and I include non-human life forms who are classified as creatures that don’t come under the umbrella of ‘animals’ as such. Insects for a start.
Ants, for example, are incredible life forms as are spiders. Whales and sharks are quite magnificent albeit sharks are bloody frightening for obvious reasons courtesy of Mr Spielberg.
In my mind, or, if you prefer, what passes for my mind, I consider all life forms on the Planet earth more important than humanity and for one simple reason.
No other life form on this planet ever destroys the planet. No other life form on this planet ever kills in remotely the way that humanity kills.
The only life form on this planet remotely capable of destroying this planet is humanity.
We have reached this awesome place due to the fact that we, unlike other life forms on this world, have intelligence.
Now, before I go into a tirade against intelligence, I accept that intelligence has given humanity heart transplants and brain surgery. Intelligence has given us art and books and films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – ok we’ll bypass films then – and ways of saving species on the verge of extinction (albeit that it’s probably us who pushed them to such a brink in the first place).
Intelligence is, in my view, rather like religion. There’s nothing wrong with it in principal but, almost invariably, when humanity is involved, it isn’t used as it should be all of the time. Sometimes it is used to fuck everything up.
Intelligence built the atomic bomb. Intelligence destroyed natural environments and, as a result, destroyed entire species of various creatures.
Intelligence is not something that should have been entrusted to humanity. We are far too good at fucking everything up – usually because there is some kind of profit at the end of it. After all, intelligence, as used by humanity, created money and, therefore, created greed.
There is only one life form on this entire planet that is capable of ending all life on this planet and it is only capable of doing so due to it’s so called intelligence. That life form is humanity. Aren’t we the clever ones eh?
Whales, Polar Bears, Apes, Wolves, Sheep, Goats, Cats, Dogs, Lizards, Fish, Elephants, Deer, Crocodiles and on and on et al. There is no other life form on this entire bloody world that has any intelligence in the way that humanity has intelligence and guess what?
There is no other life form on this entire bloody world that has the capability through intelligence of ending everything. The only other way it is likely to end is a large meteor hitting us and, as far as I know, meteors are big bits of rock so intelligence doesn’t enter the equation. Well? Have you ever met an intelligent rock?
Mind you, come to think of it, rocks probably do have more intelligence than humanity. Apart from occasionally falling on some unfortunates head they generally don’t kill anything at least intentionally.
I would, if I may, like to dedicate this contribution briefly to Billy No Mates.
He was one of our cats. He had a terminal heart condition and survived for 10 months after diagnosis rather than the days predicted.
He wasn’t intelligent in the sense of human intelligence but, on the other hand, he didn’t invent the atomic bomb nor did he shout ‘Allah Akbar!’ and slit some innocent’s throat. Come to think on it, neither did he participate in the extinction of any species – well, he probably made a dent in the Field Mouse population over the years but there’s still plenty around.
Billy No Mates was a very handsome white cat who clearly loved life and, apart from the odd Field Mouse, lived his relatively short time in this world not actually doing anything that hurt or damaged said world.
Billy No Mates is gone now and we mourn his loss.
Billy No Mates was more important than you because you are part of humanity. He wasn’t a virus on the face of the Earth. You, and I are.
Intelligence your way out of that one then.