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I am the dumb animal who speaks.

Updated: May 21, 2023

One of my least favorite terms is “dumb animal.”

I believe that the term comes from animals being “dumb,”

In the sense that they cannot speak.

But it sounds like we are disparaging their intelligence,

And we have no right!

My cat appears to think a lot, maybe he is solving equations and not telling me.

He is a sheer genius at finding ways to wake me up in the morning at 4:30 a.m.

The red-shouldered hawk appears to have a better grasp of aerodynamics than I understand.

How is it that the mother freetail bat leaves her cave,

With millions of bats and millions of pups,

And still, amid that din and crowding, she can always find her own baby?

People lose children at a shopping mall.

My friend’s dog seems to know what time he comes home every day.

And doesn’t wear a watch.

Animals easily find something to eat,

While my wife and I spend hours trying to decide where to eat.

Dolphins and whales can solve puzzles, I am told.

Monkeys use rudimentary tools,

While I am trying to figure out how to put a child’s dollhouse together.

The squirrel knows where he stored the acorns gleaned from my yard,

And I am looking for my keys.

So many birds fly from Canada to South America and back and never lose their way.

While we get lost even with GPS.

Despite all of the genocides that our dictatorial human fiends can devise,

A virus can exceed their horrifying numbers and cause as many tears.

And can we call humans “human” when we kill humans?

But we are “humane” when we are kind to animals.

It isn’t fair to animals to call them “animals´ with an arrogant sneer of self-proclaimed superiority.

A natural predator usually has better grounds for predation than a human leader.

Not even raptor animals taking prey can surpass the killing horrors we do to each other.

Our intelligence is so great that we have even devised ways to exterminate our own species.

Now, find me another creature that is that brilliant!

You may attribute it to “instinct,” but instinct is an intelligence of its own.

No, the difference between us and them is that we can tell you about it.

When I see how smart our “biocompanions” are,

Our alleged superiority is based on our capacity to hurt each other and keep better records.

I realize that I am just the dumb animal who can speak.


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