The other day I watched a “Nature” program called “Animals Behaving
Badly” on Public TV. I quote from their TV Listings: “Presents new
examples of animal/human conflicts based on the highly popular “Animals
Behaving Badly” format from 2000.”
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this, because it sounded
like more animal-bashing propaganda. At the end, I was left with mixed
emotions. It underscored my concerns for the fast diminishing future
well-being of all creatures, both humans and animals. Many of the
dilemmas covered in the program are being played out right here where we
Why, you may ask, have I chosen “Arrogance” for my Blog title? As
well-meaning as some of the people in the program appeared to be, others
were real jerks. I couldn’t help but think that it is human arrogance
that is causing these problems.
We humans think we are so superior. Sure, on one hand, we’ve come up
with technological marvels. But on the other hand, we’re also causing
We inadvertently introduce tree frogs and insects (an example from
the program) to new areas, then place blame and scapegoat those
creatures. We take over more and more land and then feel angry with the
animals who are trying to survive.
And we talk out of both sides of our mouths (to use an old
expression): We arrogantly choose to believe Descartes’ garbage about
animals having no feelings and that it is ok to use them like machines;
then when it suits our purpose, we describe their actions using
human-like terms: clever, sneaky, resourceful.
Some people bash non-hunters as Bambi lovers who anthropomorphize
animals. Then they claim (as a hunter did in an article on the front
page of a newspaper) that a deer deliberately attacked. Isn’t this
hunter anthropomorphizing the deer’s character? Wow! Attack deer and
geese are on the loose! (Yes! A goose attack – claimed by another man
not far from here.) What next? Attack rabbits?! Any propaganda to
promote the killing of God’s creatures!
Yes, animals do have personalities and God-given characteristics that
were meant for their own well-being and enjoyment, as well as our
peaceful interaction with them. Think of our relationships with our
companion animals. We wouldn’t consider these relationships as being
arrogant; then why are so many people arrogant in describing sensitive
people’s concerns for other animals?