What can we humans actually learn from animals? A fair question, don't you think? Animals are emotional creatures with central nervous systems that feel pleasure and pain just as we do. And even though we humans may be able to think in a more abstract and complex way, animals are still ahead of us in many ways.
So let's use this moment to philosophize about what lessons we can gain from the animal kingdom and use them for our personal development! In this article, I'm going to introduce you to 10 things that I think we should learn from animals. Let's go!
1. align to joy of life
"All animals know it, except man, that the highest goal of life is joy." - Do you know this quote by the British writer Samuel Butler? Animals want to enjoy life to the fullest. That's certainly true for most people, too. But between tax returns, business meetings and workshop visits, we seem to forget that every now and then, leaving us stressed.
Animals only get progressively worse when they are deprived of the pursuit of vitality. For example, in the Factory farming to observe. Of course, we humans have to set priorities. But the Joie de vivre should always be high - this will also have a positive impact on all personal areas of life.
Tip: More inspiring Joy of Life Quotes can be found in the linked article!
2. being faithful
Jackass penguins, Seahorse and Elephants for example, are among the animal species that love each other forever. They prove loyalty to their partners throughout their lives. Among typical pets, the dog certainly best describes the nature of a loyal animal. If you have a dog, then you also know how loyal he is. He doesn't care what hairstyle you wear or what clothes you prefer. As long as you treat him lovingly and faithfully, he will return this loyalty and love to you! And that all his life long. So just be the person your dog sees in you. These are values that we should learn from animals.
3. focus on the essentials
Animals simply do what they do best. When a cat hunts, it is absolutely concentrated and does not allow itself to be distracted. Perhaps this is also something that we humans can learn from them.
In the world of animals, nothing has to be perfect! Let's just take pigeons as an example - there will always be someone who doesn't like them. But there will also always be someone who respects and likes them. And just like the pigeons, we humans would do well to focus on respectful and loving people.
4. keep together
A single ant may be tiny and maybe not sooo intelligent -. but collectively with many others of their kind it is huge and smart - and can move great things! Do you know people who say "I alone can not change anything anyway"? Perhaps it does these people incredible good to consider humanity as a collective - and not just themselves and their own little, tiny world. Very few animals reach their goal through selfish behavior - it is often only cohesion that makes them really strong.
Another example: A single wildebeest is also powerless against a hungry herd of lions. But even there, the cohesion of the wildebeest herd reduces the lions' probability of success. Can you think of other examples from the animal world of cohesion?
5. allow SChlaf
Admittedly, it requires little effort to learn this lesson from animals. Did you know that Cats allow themselves between 12 and 16 hours of sleep per dayAfter that, they do what cats do, completely relaxed and unagitated. Jumping, chasing, eating, scratching and so on. For us busy humans, however, sleep comes rather too short. In addition, we sleep even worse, because so many things of everyday life still occupy us, when we finally come to rest. More and especially Sleep better, is certainly something we can learn from animals.
6. learning on a regular basis
Crows for example, simply drop nuts on the street to let cars run over them and crack them. On crosswalks or at red lights! In the next green phase they observe the whole thing. At the next red they eat. Animals are extremely adaptable and capable of learning.₂ An important lesson from the animal kingdom for us humans. Because instead of grumbling about circumstances, we too should learning to make the best of it. As Gandhi said: you yourself the change you want for this world.
7. stay calm
Whether cow, dog or domestic cat - when giving birth to offspring, playing ball or hunting, all muscles may be tense and the mind fully concentrated. But in the lives of all animals there is also plenty of time for complete relaxation and serenity. Animals can also live completely in the moment, focusing on their joy of life and becoming one with their own actions. Completely no matter what difficult days and situations may come -. they enjoy the here and now. Quite meditative and spiritual, isn't it? But I'm sure you'll recognize the essence of this lesson from the animal kingdom.
8. find the right tempo
There's something else we can learn from animals! Animals then give full throttle when it is appropriate. The cheetah when chasing the gazelle - and the gazelle when being chased. When the hustle and bustle is over, they rest, eat and gather new energy. The wolf prefers to walk at a trot on man-made forest trails than to run at full sprint through the densely overgrown forest. What I want to say with it: Animals do not spend the whole day in absolute tension - but only the moments when it is appropriate.
For us humans, too, stress and a hectic pace can be dangerous and even deadly in the long run. "Less is sometimes more" and minimalist thinking and acting, can therefore also be a lesson from the animal kingdom.
9. MAINTAIN CURIOSITY
Animals like dogs, cats or pigs are extremely curious - not only when they are young, but also late in life. When they see, smell, hear, feel or taste something new, their curiosity is evident. And if our dog gets the same food all the time and follows the same paths in the Walking marches, he is bored.
We humans, on the other hand, love consistency - Change tends to be difficult for us. This is also one of the main reasons why it takes so much patience to get people to support an environmentally friendly, animal-friendly and sustainable life to inspire. I'm sure that it will also do each of us good to be able to to think outside the box in a targeted mannerto discover something new. Another lesson we can learn from animals.
10. show love & TRUST
Swans remain together with the same partner for life and also move into the same nest every year. Anyone who has a dog knows that it trusts you 100 percent and is happy to return this trust to its owners. Animals need love and tenderness, just like we humans do. Have you ever seen a mother cow run after her calf that has just come into the world, when it is snatched from her in a factory farming facility immediately after birth? She runs after her offspring for miles - until she is finally prevented from doing so by a fence. This is unconditional love - and must leave an incredible mental pain. That, by the way, is also one of the reasons, why i live vegan.
Love and trust are the basis of peaceful coexistence of many animals. And that's how it should be with us humans, don't you think?
What we can learn from animals? So incredibly much!
This list of lessons from the animal kingdom is basically endless. Animals, for example, don't leave trash behind either - they live completely naturally. All they leave behind are footprints in the sand. What, on the other hand, does the human footprint on this earth look like? We live rather artificially. Consciously living naturally is therefore certainly something that we can learn from animals.
Perhaps most animals do not think as complexly as we do - but in many things they are still ahead of us by quite a bit. But we too are capable of learning and can take the "animal lessons" to heart.
So, what have you learned from animals in your life? I am curious about your insights, experiences and stories!
Stay animal friendly,
PS.: Do you already know the environmental problem of species extinction? In another post in the Animal welfare blog I'll show you, what you can do yourself every day for more biodiversity.
₁ A Heart for Animals Media GmbH: How Cats Sleep and What They Dream About (as of February 11, 2021), available at https://t1p.de/sa4r. [01.03.2021].
₂ Thomas Willke: Clever Ravens (as of 1609.2008), available at https://www.wissenschaft.de/umwelt-natur/schlaue-raben-3 [01.03.2021].