You’ve heard that dolphins sometimes rescue people from shark attacks? That’s true. It’s also true that they kill for fun. Yeah, who knew? It turns out that evolution has a dark side. As animals grow more intelligent, they also grow more evil, or at least more morally complex. Honestly, I’m kind of glad that I learned about this. I’m getting really sick of animal lovers glorifying some animals while demonizing others. Louis CK has a hilarious routine about how obnoxious deer can be, and while I can’t remember any specifics, I definitely remember reading an article in one of my undergraduate classes about how harmful deer can be in the wrong environment. Yes, they’re majestic, but they’re also animals. And animals, when you get right down to it, are all about one thing: their survival.
I like snakes. Most people are either creeped out or repulsed by them. I honestly think they’re awesome. I also prefer dogs to cats, although I’m not ready to fight over it. Is it just me, or do cat lovers generally seem more defensive than dog lovers? Maybe that’s because they, deep down, realize that they prefer the inferior animal. (I kid, I kid.) But in all seriousness, I could never live with a cat, and not just because I think I’m slightly allergic. Dogs are cute, playful, and all-around lovable creatures. Out of all the adjectives that I might apply to cats, “lovable” is not one of them. Maybe for people who prefer pets who always seem to be withholding their approval, cats are fun. But even though I never liked the dog I grew up with (really, I think she was just stupid), I have far more tolerance for dogs’ antics than cats’. Dogs are sweet. They may make a mess, but they’re animals. What else can we expect?
I hate kids. They make a mess as well, but since they’re human, I feel like I should expect better out of them. Some people think kids are cute. I suppose they can be mildly amusing in small doses, but the thought of wanting to spend any prolonged amount of time around one repulses me. Yes, I was a kid once myself, but I grew out of it. I find it fascinating that there is no graduation ceremony for adulthood. I realized that I was an adult when my parents told me that they were no longer going to pay my rent. That was it. I feel like I should have gotten a ceremony complete with speeches by my teachers and mentors about all of the great things that I had done and all of the things I was going to do. Then everyone sends me gifts. Come to think of it, they should do that every day. It would make paying the rent so much easier.
It’s odd that while lolcats have become a phenomenon, there is no such thing as loldogs. I guess dogs just lack that air of mystique that makes everyone wonder what they’re thinking. That’s why I like them. There was never any doubt in my mind what my dog was thinking. At any given moment, she was hoping I would pet or her. I really don’t think she had much else on her mind. Occasionally, I was mean to her and she would shit in my room. Maybe she was smarter than I gave her credit for.
My dog died when I was in high school. She got cancer, and since my siblings were no longer living with us, it fell to me to let her out to use the yard every morning. No matter how long I had to wait by the door for her to step back inside, she always came back in the instant I set foot outside. Then one morning, she laid down in the yard. I came right to the edge of the deck and whispered her name. She took a few steps closer and looked at me. I went back inside. She laid back down. My father found her body in the backyard later that day. I’m pretty sure I was the last person to see her alive.
I’ve heard that zebras cannot be domesticated. I haven’t bothered to Google it, so maybe I’m wrong. I wonder how we happened upon cats and dogs as our household pets of choice, though. Why not weasels or squirrels? I’m sure there’s an answer, but I’m too lazy to research it right now. I’m going to talk about The Offspring now. Remember them? They were a pretty popular pop-punk band in the 90s, and I mention them here because they put some of my preconceived notions about evolution to the test. If we get smarter (or at least, wiser) the more experience we accrue, why does The Offspring’s latest single sound like a hollow and pathetic attempt to sound youthful? Furthermore, why do at least two of the band members look like old lesbians? Shouldn’t they be entering a more reflective period–you know, like Paul McCartney did a while back? And if Darwin’s theory favors those who are most able to adapt to the unique challenges that life is constantly throwing at them, why can’t these has-been fuckheads just die already rather than inflicting such pain on the rest of us? I get it: they’re trying to put their kids through college. I just wish passing on one’s genes didn’t involve so much dirty work.
Humans are not the only species with the capacity to distinguish good from evil. We might, however, still be the only species with the ability to record our own history. That’s worth something. At the very least, it probably keeps us from shitting on the floor.