The Pitfalls Of Not Knowing The Whole Animal Essay

The Pitfalls Of Not Knowing The Whole Animal Essay

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This can be answered in Frans. B.W. de Waal’s essay, “The Pitfalls of not Knowing the Whole Animal,” where Waal emphasizes on why humans should connect with animals emotionally in order to truly understand the animal. He compares the ridiculous claims that some scientists made about an animal based on what they know about other animals in general, but they never once tried to connect with the animal. Scientists that had worked with animals for a while understands that “care of their subjects is a round-the-clock business,” and not something that can be done half-heartedly (247). Waal acknowledges that, “only those scientists who try to learn everything there is to know about a particular animal have any chance of unlocking its secrets” (252). In order to completely understand an animal, one would have to spend a great deal of time with the animal and emotionally connect with it like Jane Goodall, for example, who spent twenty five years with chimpanzees in order to completely understand the lifestyle of the chimps.
This idea of trying to understand the animal is also emphasized in Lewis Thomas’s essay, “Crickets, Bats, Cats, and Chaos,” where Thomas asks the reader to consider humanity’s relationship with the other animals on this planet. Thomas connects the way crickets, bats, and cats think to human’s way of thinking. The animals have a sense of “chaos” in the way they perceive information. Everything follows a set sequence until something abruptly disrupts it, chaos, and the animal reacts instinctively. Thomas described how a cricket sensing the echo soundwaves from the bat from a dangerous distance breaks out into frantic movements in order to confuse the bat. Humans on the other hand had lost this sense of chaos, and instea...


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...arly twice as likely as males to say they would save a dog over a person” (Herzog, 1). For some people, the emotional benefits that a pet or an animal offer outweighs anything a human can offer. With all this evidence about how much people care about animals, some caring more about animals than humans, you would think that humans and animals could easily coexist, yet today, humans are still destroying nature at an alarming rate and pushing many animals towards extinction. If we don’t learn to coexist with nature and the other inhabitants of this planet, we will only annihilate ourselves in the long run. We will run out of resources or raise the level of carbon dioxide to the point of no return, and thus killing off the planet and ourselves. Only if we put coexisting with all animals, without discrimination, and the environment in juxtaposition can we save the planet.

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