Man and Animal
Is Man an Animal?
Science has classified man as belonging to the animal kingdom. This has sparked lengthy debates in various sectors because of the great pride humans take in considering ourselves superior to animals. Let us try to examine if the identified similarities and differences can lead us to a logical conclusion with regards to this question.
Man and animal find themselves categorized as both belonging to the Animalia kingdom basically because of the very definition of an animal. Animals, by accepted definition are multi-cellular organisms having a defined shape and endowed with voluntary motion and sensation, as distinguished from plants. In this sense, we could probably understand the categorization.
In a book entitled "Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing", the author identifies a number of diseases which animals share with man. These include heart disease, breast cancer, skin cancer, osteosarcoma, obesity and diabetes, STDs, and erectile dysfunction. She goes on to say that physicians and veterinarians have a lot of things which they can learn from each other.
Some observed animal behavior are said to be very similar to animals including bone structure, sexual behavior, and eating preferences. We have seen and heard how scientists compare skeletons of apes with men. Scientists have also recorded animal behavior that supports the theory that animals also practice monogamy, polygamy, and promiscuity. Humans have been classified as omnivores because of the consumption of both animal and plant food. It would appear that we have omnivore-brothers among animals such as pigs (gasp!), bears, and wolves.
Do these similarities therefore form the basis and reason for animal testing and other procedures that make use of animals to provide answers to humanity? Medicines, skin products, and medical procedures are first performed on animals to determine if they can be safely applied on humans. This gives rise to the morality issue of this aspect of human and animal connection.
Evolution of Man
Another definition is given in the dictionary. An animal is any such creature as distinguished from man. Synonyms provided include beast and brute which humans obviously wouldn't want to be called since such terms tend to refer to a lower level of being.
Theological writings put the main difference between man and animal in the former's ability for reasoning and thinking, some abilities that animals are believed to have none. For to compare man with animals is like saying that animals have well-formed faculties that would allow them to speak, reason, argue, or see logic. They would also have to display some form of spirituality, ethics, and yearning for answers.
Although it stands to reason that humans eat plant and animal food like their animal counterparts, we obviously do not want it the way they do. We do hunt animals but we do not eat them raw using our teeth. As of this time, humans still consult physicians while sick animals are brought to veterinarians.
Related Points of Interest
In my search for answers to the question I have posed between the similarity or difference between man and animal, I came across a unique website: Ningen-pet.com which "offered" to change humans to animals. It simply asks for your name ( nicknames will do), birthday, and blood type. After a few seconds, you are shown the animal which you have become complete with description.
The book "Human Animals" by Frank Hamel explores the belief that some men and women have the capability to transform themselves to animals. It comes from the point of view of folklore and occultism. It appears that man's search for connection between himself and animals spawns a whole range of aspects to talk about.
So Are We or Aren't We?
And so we ask, are humans animals or not? We have to recognize the fact that humans behave and are constructed a lot differently from animals. In attributing a lower hierarchy to animals, we associate the worst human traits to our animalistic instincts. It would really be interesting to know how animals think of us if they were the ones doing the analyzing in their own way and language. It is quite possible that they see us as the inferior life form as we display our human traits. Until we know the definitive answer to this question, we can accept the scientific categorization as part of the animal kingdom for the scientists' sake and try to live like humans who are superior beings as we like to think by being more compassionate to our fellow humans and the other living things we share our world with.
Leah on August 19, 2020:
Humans are animals under the Family of Mamalia. Humans can be worst than some animals. And some animals are better off than most humans.
shaziya on June 05, 2014:
Teresa Martinez (author) from Philippines on September 29, 2012:
Man's worst behaviors are the very things that put our claim for superiority over animals in question. Thanks for the social share.
Rema T V from Chennai, India on September 26, 2012:
Good hub making the reader curious to know more about the subject. Whether or not human beings have evolved from animals or are superior to them in thoughts and actions, one thing is certain. Man sometimes behaves worse than the most dangerous animals despite his so-called 'advanced traits'.
The website link given here is very interesting. Sharing the hub socially. Cheers, Rema.
Teresa Martinez (author) from Philippines on June 20, 2012:
The evolution drawing will always be used as reference one way or the other when talking about the origins and classification of man. This is even if this theory turns out to be totally unfounded in the future. That is how we learn, by looking backing into proven falsehoods to get us nearer to the truth.
Thanks for your insights.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on June 20, 2012:
Evolutionists continue to post that image, as you did, of an ape transforming into a human, then they have a hissy fit when creationists assert that humans did not evolve from apes.
There are hundreds of pro-evolution articles insisting that man did not evolve from an ape, but man and ape have a common ancestor. That drawing implies otherwise and you keep using it.
You can't have it both ways.
Teresa Martinez (author) from Philippines on June 19, 2012:
Isn't it interesting that the more we seek answers about human existence, the more mystery seems to unfold? Thanks for stopping by.
noturningback from Edgewater, MD. USA on June 19, 2012:
Man as animal that has evolved from apes I know is a great theory, I say theory because there may be evidence to support and there is likely evidence to show a separate path that started for man as well and I found that here
I just can't fathom either as a conclusion, man image of God or of apes and to make this even more difficult, why have or is there evidence showing today's apes are evolving and man is evolving still?
I would believe that in order to accept this theory that this statement of continuing eveolution must be true and if true was man the most developed or was there another humanoid as well?
Teresa Martinez (author) from Philippines on June 19, 2012:
Point well taken. Still, it still is a mystery to me why among animals, man appeared to have adapted to its best advantage to the extent we see now. Thanks for your comment.
scottcgruber from USA on June 19, 2012:
There's really nothing mysterious about this. We are animals, unquestionably. We are eukaryote, chordate, mammalian, primate, and great ape. We share the vast majority of our genes with all other animals, and some highly conserved genes with all other life forms.
Sure, we have some differences in our behavior from other small-group primates. The invention of cooking has changed us immensely, allowing us to devote less energy to digesting food and more to our brains. We have also adapted to living in a larger society, possibly by a self-selection process similar to domestication. These two major adaptations have given us the food security and social stability to accomplish the rest of the things that make us unique.
Even our uniqueness doesn't set us apart. Rousettus bats and bottlenosed dolphins and willow trees and saccharomyces cerevisae are all unique, too, in their own way. The fact that we like to think of ourselves as superior is just one of the traits we've evolved.