Jan 10 – 3 Things to Know about Humans as Animals

Humans are competitive, omnivores and violent BUT do we have to be?

Modern humans are a hybrid species – Robert Sepehr @ blogspot.com

COMPETITION in the world is seen as a natural aspect of our “struggle for existence” and a basis for natural selection. See Population Biology: Ecological and Evolutionary Viewpoints https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-642-74474-7

  • What is the competition between species? Food, shelter and water.
  • What is the competition within the same species? Food, shelter, water and mates.

And it was Sigmund Freud he reminded us of our sublimation: In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defense mechanism, in which socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are transformed into socially acceptable actions or behavior, possibly resulting in a long-term conversion of the initial impulse. Sigmund Freud 1926. Or in other words, we divert or modify our instinctual impulses into more socially acceptable activity. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(psychology)



Humans, as omnivores, (meaning they eat both plants and meat) may have developed larger brains as a result of meat-eating behavior. “Animals have been part of human diets for more than 3 million years” and “we do know that meat-eating was one of the most pivotal changes in our ancestors’ diets and that it led to many of the physical, behavioral, and ecological changes that make us uniquely human.” (See Briana Pobinar’s article https://www.americanscientist.org/article/meat-eating-among-the-earliest-humans)


“Some argue that humans are inherently aggressive, violent, and competitive, cooperating only for personal gain, while others believe that humans are inherently compassionate, peaceful, and loving, acting aggressively and violently only in unnatural circumstances or when they are afraid.

Isn’t it more reasonable to perceive humans as capable of horrific cruelty and violence as well as astonishing altruism and peaceful collaboration (and everything in between), and to notice that the great majority of the time? Humans can even be cooperative and competitive simultaneously. Think of team sports, in which we collaborate peacefully with our teammates to compete (sometimes violently) with another team.

But what remains true, no matter where one falls on the “What is humanity’s essential nature?” spectrum, is that we are capable of nurturing, reinforcing, and cultivating our more peaceful natures, and that we can also become violent based on the situations and systems in which we find ourselves.” Zoe Weil, co-founder and president of the Institute of Humane Education

(See https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/becoming-solutionary/201910/are-humans-naturally-peaceful-or-violent)

Today’s senryu: 3 Things to Know about Humans as Animals

we compete, eat meat

and kill each other – and yet

we can learn and love

2 thoughts on “Jan 10 – 3 Things to Know about Humans as Animals

  1. Patrick Cole Post author

    Thanks for your feedback, Dr B. I’m not sure if/when the tipping point was passed but we sometimes appear hell-bent on a sixth mass extinction. It’s mind-boggling to see how vicious we can be to our own species and all others.



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