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Why humans need to rethink their place in the animal kingdom

SIMON BARNES: ‘Most of our science, philosophy and religion starts from the assumption that there are humans and there are animals – and there could never at any point be any common ground between them. To call someone an animal is as bad an insult as you can offer, and yet we’re all mammals.

For centuries, the notion of human uniqueness was the most fundamental orthodoxy. Now it is being challenged. Book after book ventures into the no-man’s-land – the no-animal’s-land – that lies between our species and the other ten million or so in the animal kingdom. As often as not, they reveal more of ourselves than of our fellow animals.

With every page we turn, we can feel the resistance to any suggestion that non-human animals are even remotely like ourselves. Of course animals can’t think, can’t feel, can’t talk. We resist this not because such things are impossible but because they are unthinkable. Our lives would be horribly compromised if we accepted that we humans were just one more species of animal’. SOURCE…

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