Of flesh and blood I’m made

23 08 2013

I’m a regular reader of The Daily Dish (tho’ I still haven’t gotten out the crowbar to subscribe), and a semi-regular clicker-on-ner of the “Mental Health Break” vids.

I am, as you know, a sucker for critters and, especially, of critters doing awesome things. So, naturally, I clicked on the “Animals are Awesome” MHB vid.

It was not awesome (which is why I’m not linking to it).

I made it almost two minutes before I stopped the vid. It wasn’t a compilation of animals being awesome in their animality, but animals (mostly) imitating humans.

Now, if they had done this on their own, I’d think “Awesome!” and give them a bravo for their perspicacity and/or slyness at mocking we Homo sapiens sapiens. But they weren’t, of course, acting as bears or monkeys, but as trained bears or monkeys, as critters whose behavior had been shaped in ways to please humans.

I’m not a purist: I own cats, and even if felines may only ever be semi-domesticated, they are nonetheless at least somewhat trained in how to live with with humans (tho’, as cats, they at least somewhat train us in return). But watching a walrus or giant seal or whatever the hell sea creature that was doing sit-ups was not amusing; it was sad.

I like critters because they aren’t us, and while I can delight in finding parallels to our behaviors in them, I like the fact that they exist apart from us. They’ve got their own groovy critter-things going on, and some are funny and some are scary and some are weird, they’re their own.

Animals are awesome—just not when they’ve been trained to act like humans.