Quote for Today: Frans de Waal

While restraint is apparent to anyone in daily contact with animals, Western thought hardly recognizes the ability. Traditionally, animals are depicted as slaves of their emotions. It all goes back to the dichotomy of animals as “wild” and humans as “civilized.” Being wild implies being undisciplined, crazy even, without holding back. Being civilized, in contrast, refers to exercising the well-mannered restraint that humans are capable of under favorable circumstances. This dichotomy lurks behind almost every debate about what makes us human, so much so that when humans behave badly, we call them “animals.”

 Frans de Waal, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

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