• Question: Do you think humans are superior in our world or are animals superior?

    Asked by potatochild to David, Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Ryan, Ross, Rebecca, Rachel, Patrick, Nina, MattyB, Matthew, Marianne, Lorena, Kate, Kaitlin, James, Ettie, Emmanuelle, Deepak, Anabel, Ambre, Alex, AlexAgrotis, Aina on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I think that humans are definitely the dominant species, as we have evolved greater intelligence compared to animals. However animals can have feelings; for example they can feel pain just like a human would. This means that they should always be treated with respect and kindness.

    • Photo: Deepak Chandrasekharan

      Deepak Chandrasekharan answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Depends superior at what – I don’t think I could beat a cheetah in a race for example! And New Caledonian crows can fly, are pretty clever and can even figure out tool use which is amazing https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/00000161-1f56-d972-a3ff-dfde7b1d0000

      However, humans are generally considered the ‘apex’ species as we have created amazing things and learned so much from our discoveries.

      With this comes a responsibility though to look after the world though and this is becoming ever more important as is evidence by the impact of things like climate change.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Technically, humans are animals. I suppose we’re more advanced technologically than animals but we’re also doing a lot of damage to the planet. So it depends what you mean by ‘superior’!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      To be honest I see all living things on this planet as equal in terms of their importance; we might be the most technologically advanced, but we wouldn’t last very long as a species without other animals and plants. We all ultimately depend on each other, and the loss of just one species from an ecosystem can be devastating. If we have any superiority at all, it’s in our ability to question our own actions and existence in the context of everything else that evolved before us – and this gives us the power to disrupt the ‘natural course of things’ (within limits). From a moral stand point though, I have more solidarity with my own species than any other – and if I had to make a split-second decision to save a human or a non-human animal (and if I knew nothing about the integrity of either of them, or what the repercussions might be for others), I would save the human.

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I think that humans are by far the dominant species, especially when you look at how much they have colonized and changed the world. However insects are hugely adaptable an example would be ants that thrive in a lot of environments. Insects have also been around for much longer than humans….

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      Interesting question…clearly we all have different attributes which, for most animals, allow us to survive in this world. As far as we know, other animals are not advancing knowledge in the way that humans are, but maybe that is just because we aren’t intelligent enough to understand how they are changing too???

    • Photo: Alex Blenkinsop

      Alex Blenkinsop answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      It’s all subjective. I think a lot of humans think we are the superior species, but I’m sure the average lion thinks they’re cream of the crop in the environment they live in!

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I went to have a look at the definition of Superior. One way it can be used is “having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; conceited”. I would rather not feel like that about anyone or anything.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I think the others have covered this – it depends on what we are judging. Animals now have been shown to feel empathy, which was once considered a very “human” trait, and dogs are so good at smelling that they can often sniff out cancers from human wee samples long before we can detect the cancers on scans. You can read more about the amazing work of medical detection dogs here: https://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/about-us/ – they are even able to detect malaria! I think animals are pretty amazing!

    • Photo: Anabel Martinez Lyons

      Anabel Martinez Lyons answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      Curious question – as others have said, the answer depends on what you mean by superior. I am a pretty lousy swimmer, for example, whereas a fish would be much better; however, in terms of intelligence and abilities I’d like to think it was the other way around ;-).

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      Well, we’re animals too. But I think that our impact on this world has been far bigger than that of any other animal. Both in good ways and bad ways. But ‘superior’ is a difficult one, because it implies some kind of hierarchy. Like we’re more important than other animals. To us, I think we’re definitely more important. But to an elephant, elephants are probably most important. It all depends on your point of view, I guess.

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      This is interesting, on a spiritual basis I would have to say we are all animals and need to treat every creature with respect. In some aspects humans are much less ‘superior’ than their fellow inhabitants of the earth because we exercise a lot less respect for the planet and are generally a destructive force. In terms of the ability to learn and potential to better ourselves – we definitely could consider ourselves superior, however, that potential needs actual action for the ‘superior’ statement to be justified!

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