Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Human Parasite

So I was flipping channels yesterday on the TV. And naturally, the channels migrated to one showing videos of, you guessed it, dogs. I had been pulled into the force field of the PBS Nature Special "Dogs That Changed the World". It was the second part of the series, towards the end. After an interesting bit about a German Shepherd trained to signal her young master's blood sugar drops, an older white male appeared with a startling pronouncement. Now since I missed the first part of the show, I don't know who this individual was, but his words instantly revealed that his identity was irrelevant.

"Humans", he happily pronounced, were "Parasites of domestic animals".

There. Do you know the name of every protozoa that inhabits your intestinal tract? You wake up every morning and give your belly a rub... "Hi Fred! how ya' doin? What can I get you for breakfast? What about you, George, Abby, Irene or Fred 2 through Fred 9 million?"

So this person, I'll call him Fred1,099, holds the unevolved viewpoint that predators are parasites. Perhaps rather advanced parasites, since we have succeeded in "farming" our "hosts", but like the lowly lion and the unimpressive jaguar, parasites non the less.

And somebody thought there was enough merit in that idea to put his quote on TV.

Ms. X wisely prefers the evolved viewpoint that we are animal aficionados. We humans have uniquely advanced ourselves to the point where we can and do use and enjoy every aspect of our fellow animals. We love them, we pet them, we eat them, we wear them and we are entertained by them.

They, complete us.

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