The Difference

Humans and animals are not as different as we once thought. Many animals use tools. Many show skills we thought only humans had, like humor, empathy, even artistic skills. This chart talks about some of the similarities.

Not to get all PETA on you, but I do think animals are more sentient than we once believed. I won’t give up carnitas, however.

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  1. There have been some interesting discoveries. That elephant who paints pictures of other elephants (even discerning between adults and babies, etc) was a jaw-dropper. To heck with chimps learning how to count to three, that seemed to be better evidence of animal intelligence than anything I’ve seen before or since. Symbolic representation is a requirement of any real intelligence.
    But so what if a chimp digs out a few termites with a sick, or cracks a nut with a rock (an accomplishment so amazing, the scientist I saw talking about it say it took him 20 whole minutes to learn how to do it himself–and he wasn’t making a joke).
    We build space shuttles, develop quantum electrodynamics, and write Romeo and Juliet.
    Sorry, PETA, but the gap between a jellyfish and a chimp is nothing compared to the gap between a chimp and a human. We can do everything on that list–via the use of our intelligence–tens, hundreds, and even millions of times better than any animal. And our intelligence is just as a valid a characteristic as the legs of a cheetah.

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