The human animal

Dolphin and man kiss.

Sailors since the Ancient Greeks have considered dolphins riding in a ship’s wake to be a good omen.

Humans are animals — very special ones with a big brain — but still animals.

Zoos are helpful because they give us a chance to see animals that we otherwise never would. The thinking about zoos has evolved a lot in recent decades. The best zoos provide habitats that allow animals to live more naturally, the way they evolved, while still giving them the most up-to-date care.

That’s what humans need, too. Humans need to live in habitats and conditions that better support the way we evolved to live. Eat real food. Move. Encounter others face-to-face, instead of Facebook-to-Facebook. Of course, as a trained physician I have seen science and modern medicine save countless lives. The point is to get the best of science while not forgetting our evolutionary roots.

Man kissing camel near Sphinx in Egypt

Desert nomads consider camel milk a staple food, and can live it alone for almost a month. Photo: David Dennis/Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

In our modern world, more zoo animals live in more natural and healthy surroundings. Ironically, too many humans live in cramped cages and eat processed, chemically enhanced “zoo cake” (manufactured, artificial foods) instead of real food.

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