Hmmm, how are you defining 'fully aware'? There are all kinds of animals that have superior senses and awareness; our vision is poor compared to most birds, our sense of smell is not even in the ballpark of a dog or a shark, etc.
I think this is debatable. Crows and some primates can use tools, and that seems to be a process that is subject to trial and error. If you punish your dog for getting in the garbage, they can learn not to do it because of the response they get from their owner.
There is no such thing as ethics for other animal species. Humans are one of the only species who has the luxury of leisure time in which to contemplate 'ethics' partly because for many of us our basic survival needs are easily taken care of and we are not constantly under threat of predation. Many animals must spend most of their time tending to their basic survival and reproductive needs, it's not 'unethical' for any animal to kill any other animal. If drinking water becomes scarce and the only way many people could obtain it is by taking it from other people I think you'd see ethics get swept away pretty quickly.
True, but it's a little selective. Drop us in the middle of the ocean or the savannah or grizzly bear country with just the clothes on our back and we're definitely not an apex predator, we're more like 'lunch'.
Yet some of the greatest human losses in history were caused by mere micro-organisms. I'm not disputing your main point, but all animal species are unique, amazingly so. Is our intelligence so much more unique than say a spider's webspinning ability?
Your next point is absolutely true. This is why dogs are so easy to get trained not to do anything untoward. Usually treats and rewards are a good way to encourage them.
It's true that people do get complacent and take things for granted.They truly are comfortable in their own skin. Especially with all the creature comforts we have in the developed world. However some tribes especially in Amazonia have also got to attend to those same basic and reproductive needs which they're done with absolute ease. Btw the only people who go on about how ethical food is are tree huggers. That's true about the drinking water becoming scarce because we do tend to adopt a pack mentality when the going gets tough.But these natives have managed without these creature comforts and you don't see then tearing their throats out,because they are used to the status quo. A normal Joe would freak out if he's put in the same situation.
I don't think lions or bears would have any qualms having us for lunch. However you need to be pretty foolhardy to go un-armed there. Tbh there's a better chance of endemic carrying insects undermining our status as an apex predator.
Fair enough on your last point but it dosn't take much to destroy a spider's web.However it's strong enough to catch flies. That's one of the few things that's worthy in their insular world.
Edited by Walnut Whip, 01 December 2012 - 06:25 PM.