“You are an animalist”, Mark told me when he’d read my long rambling post about life, the universe, and everything. “What is that,” I asked. “Haven’t you read your Orwell? One who thinks humans are like any other animals.”
I have to ask, is there any other way to view the human? As an animal the human has a chemistry, a biology, a set of characteristics that limit and inform. Knowing about those things seem to suggest where the boundaries of knowledge are, and how to go beyond them.
I mean, if we didn’t know that our eyes could only see in a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum, could we conceive that there was radiation outside that band? If we didn’t know that our hearing, or smelling, were limited – could we then construct aids to get beyond those limits?
If we learn the limitations of our thoughts, our perceptions, and our memory – can we not devise ways to expand those limits? Haven’t we already done so throughout our technological civilisation by way of writing and maths?
It seems to me that the correct approach to humanity, and the individual human, is to see him or her as the animal. Only then can we understand, and only then can we transcend the understanding to a new plateau.
The animal dictates our technology and civilisation. We do not built touch screens for creatures with flippers. We do not create keyboards for creatures that only has teeth. The animal limits civilisation to work with the characteristics of the human.
It seems to me that the only way to fully understand the human is to look at him as an animal, and learn what makes that animal function biologically and chemically. Also, I kind of like the term “animalist”. Maybe I can build a new art movement called ‘animalism’. We need a new one of those, don’t we? Where are we now – in post-post-quasi-post-modernism?
Of course, I still have to explain away George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where the term has specific and distinct meaning.