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You've Got To Laugh

I was watching some people with their dog walking in the countryside yesterday. Let’s be honest, I am not nature boy, and the reason for me being in the green area, grass I think is the name, is because they were selling me an ice cream cone with a Cadbury’s Flake in it. In England we call this concoction a 99, and it was what God invented for sunny days. Forgive the interruption. I looked at these people with their dogs and I compared to other families with their children.

No question, the people were treating the animals better than the other families were treating their kids.

What sets us apart from the animals, our ability to laugh, to see the funny side of things? Animal lovers will always insist that their pet dog, cat, mongoose, fish or lizard is laughing, smiling or expressing angst. But, and I am sorry to have to insist, this is not true.

Leibniz, the early 18th century German philosopher said, “It is the knowledge of necessary and eternal truths which distinguishes us from mere animals, and gives us reason and the sciences, raising us to knowledge of ourselves.”

Animals are lovely, if you like that kind of thing, but they don’t have any sense of humour. They are, in fact, very limited intellectually. You could say the same about many of their owners, or if I am to be politically correct, keepers. Please be aware any animal nuts, that I do like animals myself, and that I have had many pet dogs, fish and even a tortoise or two when I was an ankle biter. I just don’t ascribe human abilities to the little beasts. I also don’t, and you should whisper this, hug any trees.

They’re really nice to look at, but they don’t look cuddly to me. Humans don’t learn to have a sense of fun and the ridiculous; we are born with this ability. There is something attractive about us when we smile, and that’s why almost every photograph you see has a smiling face in it. We look at our best when we’re happy. Animals can be happy or sad, but that is based purely on their basis needs being met or otherwise. They can’t express emotion facially or verbally; they don’t have the mental agility. Their brains simply don’t have the capacity or the synapses.

You could think differently had you watched the recent episodes of Britain’s Got Talent, or America’s Got Talent. Both these television shows featured dogs with immense ability. Dogs that could dance backwards, and in one case stand on a rope and seemingly, take a bow (wow)!

Of course one does have a slight suspicion that these might be very small people in a dog suit, but that aside. These were very talented dogs. The one in England was probably able to quote Shakespeare. It was a great dog. But it isn’t a person. Please stop going berserk whenever you see a cute animal, you’ll only encourage the balls of fur. Happily the animals did not win the contests and although they might consider litigation I for one was gratified that they were left to bark in the dark.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others, as George Orwell stated in his book, Animal Farm. We should all look after fellow humans first and animals come somewhere down the list. Please remember, humans are the animals that are more equal.

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