Are You An Anthropocentrist?

Thanks for the article. I immediately thought of reverse anthrocentric arguments, the human things we do that no other species does.

1. Humans Are the Only Species to drink the milk of another species without the need of an orphan.

2. Humans are the only species to continue drinking milk after being weaned.

3. Humans have caused the extinction and devolution of many species ; plant, animal, and insect by such things as clear cutting the rain forests, overfishing, air pollution. We have caused more ecological damage than any natural event or species.

4. Humans are the only animals that murder in cold blood not for food or protection.

Laura Grace Weldon

animal intelligence, anthropocentrism, Paradise, by Gillis d’Hondecoeter circa 1575

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings. Our textbooks, illustrated with stereotypical images of “cave men,” proved the assertion with a long list of what our species could do that others could not. The list was so smug that I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of my fellow homo sapiens. A skeptic even then, I thought the list was somewhat prejudicial. Worse, it didn’t acknowledge what feels obvious to young children, that we are all things and all things are us.

I don’t for a moment dismiss our many human accomplishments—among them language, science, the arts, and shared rules meant to advance mutual compassion. I simply mean to point out that we’re not better, we’re different.

Besides, what I was taught as a kid doesn’t really hold up. Here are…

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