Mom and I went to see the movie today. We loved it — the photography and the storytelling were great, and it was very heartwarming.

We had been talking about going to see the movie for a long time, and I was waxing philosophical about it last night as I was going to bed. Jane Goodall proved through her research that chimpanzees use tools to acquire food, thereby dispelling the notion that the difference between animals and humans is the ability to use tools. The idea that animals didn’t have the capacity for memory has also been dispelled — elephants have been observed rejoicing when reunited with former friends and grieving the loss of fellow members of their troop.

So, what separates humans from animals?

I would propose that we are separated from animals by our ability to base our actions on our sense of what is right and wrong. Animals act on instinct — a lioness kills a zebra because she needs to eat; a tribe of chimpanzees invades the territory of another tribe because the natural resources they depend on for survival have been depleted. It’s not right or wrong — it just IS.

Any thoughts?


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