Uh oh, I’ve done it again. I’ve gotten all starry-eyed and existential.
But I just couldn’t help it. My latest epiphany was stoked by watching Life and Planet Earth, two excellent BBC documentaries about different climates on Earth and the animals who struggle and thrive in each environment.
I watched lions coordinate to take down gazelle, dolphins trap and eat panicking fish, and bears plop into fresh water to snatch salmon swimming upstream.
What hit me isn’t particularly deep, but it’s something that I tend to forget often in the hustle and bustle of life: humans have it pretty damned good.
An animal is in constant struggle to find food, to mate, to care for its young, and to survive attacks from predators.
Sure, humans do the same, but whereas that’s all there is for an animal (or plant), it’s only one layer of our existence.
I mean, we’re blogging. Think about that for a second. We’re writing, painting, sculpting, posting videos, telling jokes, “liking” things, typing on a keyboard, staring at a screen.
There’s just no equivalent in nature, anywhere.
I sometimes think about what a documentary on us would look like, a real documentary about our species with footage taken just like a nature show.
Then, what would our footage look like side by side with documentaries about animals. I’d guess the differences would be pretty amazing.
I understand the tendency of some people to try and draw connections between ourselves and animals, to show that we’re largely the same, all Simbas in the great the circle of life if you will. It helps to create a unified global community where we care for everything around us because we’re all one.
Or something like that.
But at the same time, the complexity of our lives is astounding compared to how Spartan animals live. Even that expression, “Spartan,” is such a loaded concept when compared to how animals seem to communicate.
I look at rows of books on my shelf, the television that sits on the stand behind me, even something as “simple” as the knife in my kitchen, and it just boggles my mind how far we’ve come.
Ok, I’m going to stop now before my head caves in on itself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on humanity and what we’ve achieved so far compared to animals.
Or any thoughts you may have had lately about anything. 🙂