Where do we fit?

I’m interested these days in the relationship between human beings and other animals, how we fit into the fabric of nature, how we managed to get from a mediocre position in the food chain to top spot, and what we have done with that position.

Today I was thinking about two traits that seem to me distinctively human and wondered if I could disprove that theory or if they are indeed defining traits: greed and wastefulness. I found this very interesting article on wolverines that suggests greed, at least, is not limited to human beings: “Wolverines Give Insight Into The Evolution of Greed.”

I can find nothing about wastefulness among other animals, although there’s plenty about the appalling 30-40% waste in the human world. I imagine this either means that no one has researched this particular issue — or that there’s nothing to research, that is, animals don’t typically waste. If anyone finds an article or a report on some research, I’d appreciate knowing about it. You can email me at leslie@vegetatingwithleslie.org or share to my Facebook page. 

On the theme of more desirable traits, Sierra Club featured this beautiful article in their March / April 2019 issue: “Does A Bear Think In The Woods?”

A side note: in the past five years, there have been more than 190,000 publications about various aspects of animal intelligence.


2 thoughts on “Where do we fit?”

  1. I’m just relating 2 things I have experienced in my ‘life on 5 acres’. When a mink or ermine gets into a pigeon shelter, they will go around and take a bite in the neck vein of the birds and leave them there, not taking any ! …..Some little animal, chipmunk, etc. will take 1 bite out of each ripe tomato on the vine and then not eat them. Seems pretty wasteful to me. I know this is just in my little corner of the world, but there is a much bigger picture to take a look at….

    1. Thank you, Barbara! Just what I’m looking for. Anecdotes – research – articles. So maybe that, too, is a shared trait. And that makes me wonder about the evolutionary purpose of it.

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