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View Diary: Republican Senate candidate in South Dakota compares poor Americans to animals (190 comments)

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  •  Well... (18+ / 0-)

    I'm definitely on the left, study (and teach) evolutionary biology, and am pretty sure that 'humans are animals--just another kind of ape."

    I always think of Pratchett and Cohen's argument: we should change human's bionomial name to the more accurate Pan narrans, the 'story-telling ape.' One of the stories we are oh-so-fond of telling is that we aren't apes.

    Anyhow, what offends me about her statement is not that poor people are animals (we are), but rather that she thinks animals aren't worthy of respect. Also that she implies some people (presumably those not on foodstamps) are somehow inherently superior to those that are equated with animals. So much for the 'wise man,' eh?

    •  On the other hand (1+ / 0-)
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      thanatokephaloides

      The entire foundation of all human society is the idea that humans are different from other animals.  This is why we don't let chimps vote and don't make dogs pay taxes and don't send bears off to war.

      It's also why we take steps to control animal populations to protect humans, while at the same time considering it an affront to humanity to similarly control human populations via measures like forced sterilization, euthanization, starvation, razing, etc.

      •  On the third paw, rrr, hand... (0+ / 0-)

        You should be careful about generalizing to the level of statements including 'the entire foundation of all human society is the idea that...'

        There have been many societies that haven't made clear distinctions between human and animal, and yet had perfectly valid civilizations. The eastern regions of N. America had a number of pre- and post-contact civilizations, including Iroquoian, that referred to other 'animals' as tribes or clans equal spiritually, physically, and sometimes even politically, to people. Thus, you have the Ani Yun Wiya (The 'Cherokee' People) and the Ani Awi (The Deer People) from the Cherokee language.

        Incidentally, if you're convinced that it is necessary to distinguish between animals and humans absolutely in order to avoid the horrors you list in the last sentence, you might consider the colonization of the Americas. Which people, the Europeans and later Euro-Americans who distinguish absolutely between human and other animals, or the various native societies, which often make no substantive distinction between human and other, have historically been  more likely to engage in 'forced sterilization, euthanization, starvation, razing, etc?' You can add genocide, systematic rape and torture, and enslavement to the list if it helps you.

        Amazing how humane we humans who like to separate ourselves from the 'animals' can be, isn't it? I'll take being an animal amongst animals any day over being a lord of all creation laying waste to the earth.

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