20 Differences between Man and Animal


1. Humans bury their dead out of respect. When a human dies, we all feel sad emotions if we felt a strong bond with that person. We often have elaborate burial ceremonies to show respect for our dead. However, animals rarely do such a thing. Only a few animals have been observed to throw a few leaves on their dead. But animals do not routinely bury their dead like us humans.

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2. Animals are mostly driven on instincts. We humans also have instincts, however, we can control them much better. We are mostly driven by reason. Animals are driven much more by instincts, and only use some reasoning. They have it pre-programmed in their minds from birth on what to do in most situations. Isn’t that amazing? Most animals from birth know what foods to eat and how to eat them. They know how to reproduce, where to migrate, and more. Even a baby turtle comes out of it’s shell and immediately knows to swim towards the ocean. Incredible.

3. Humans are aware of “self,” and contemplate the afterlife. Other animals do not think of the afterlife. They tend to live in the “now.” They live in the heat of the moment. Their main goals all day long are to eat, sleep, mate, and survive. Humans, however, spend a lot of time thinking of the future, past, and present. We think about ourselves and how we relate to life. We think of what happens when we die.


4. Humans feel a sense of right and wrong and good and evil. We all have a basic conscience. Animals kill and never think twice. They kill for food, and they kill based on instincts. They do not stop to think about if they have “sinned.” When a human murders another human, it is out of evil pre-meditation. We know better, but we murder someone anyways. That is a huge difference. Most animals kill purely to eat, or to defend themselves.

5. Humans have a complex language and communication method– Humans can talk, write, read facial expressions, gestures, and more. Some can even speak multiple languages. Animals do communicate, but they cannot communicate with the level of a human.

6. Humans use their brains in much more complex ways– The cognitive abilities of a human compared to an animal is incredible. Humans can critically think, invent, find solutions to problems, and much more. Animals are much more simple-minded. An anteater looks for ants all day. A bear gets in the water and slaps salmon out. They never stop to think of a more efficient way of doing things. The bear never creates a net or constructs a fishing pole. They find something that works, and will continue doing it. Humans will always seek out more efficient ways, and even invent complex tools. Again, this gets back to our more complex mental faculties.


7. Technology– We humans have the ability to quickly learn new technology, and adapt and use that technology. We can create machines and computers that help us to do work more efficiently. Even the most complex animals do not share this feature. The only tool you will likely ever see an animal use is a stick or a rock. And even then they look confused and clumsy with it.

8. Capacity for symbolization. The human being is able to communicate through symbols while the animal can only through natural signs.

9. Life in reality. Humans can see the reality of the world and their own reality, while animals only capture what surrounds them as stimuli to respond.

10. Awareness of one’s own body. It is to know that we know of our existence, situation, impulses, pretensions, limits and power. Animals, on the other hand, only live without being aware of their freedom.

11. Free will. He is the only animal capable of choosing, of being able to say no.

12. Inconclusion. He always has the desire for more or something else. To project towards the future.

13. Absorption. Acting from themselves and not from external factors, it is said that those who act due to circumstances or by others, have ceased to be human.

14. Imagination. The human being can dream, fantasize and have ideals.

15. Reasoning. The human being can think, reflect, analyze and evaluate.


16. Humanity and compassion: Even the word humanity shows that it is believed that only humans have the ability to act humanely. Meanwhile, however, we know that humanity and charity are not an exclusive privilege of the people. Compassion and cohesion can often be more pronounced in animal groups than in many groups of people

17. Self-confidence: To be aware of oneself and think about oneself. This has long been considered a major difference between animal and human consciousness. Today, many psychological studies have shown that even in this respect, human consciousness differs only slightly from the animal. Especially with monkeys and dolphins one established undoubtedly a self-confidence. The often asked question, whether animals can recognize themselves in the mirror, could definitely be affirmed, at least for the great apes.

18. Physical superiority: Man has a very universally usable body. Man can do a bit of everything, but he does not master anything better than any other animal. The cheetah runs much faster, the eagle sees better, the dolphin swims better, the birds fly better, dogs smell better, a gorilla is much stronger etc. In no field of physical ability is man superior to animals. Here one may argue that people today can fly thanks to their technology and can move faster than all other animals. However, most of these technical achievements have been developed only in the last decades to centuries. But man was already a man before that. After all, no one claims that people 1000 years ago were not real people because they did not yet have the current technical means.


19. Human Language: No other specie has a language like the human language. Vocal reactions in animals are not connected with intellectual reactions, i.e., with thinking. It originates in emotion and is clearly a part of the total emotional syndrome, but a part that fulfills a specific function, both biologically and psychologically. It is far removed from intentional, conscious attempts to inform or influence others. In essence, it is an instinctive reaction, or something close to it. For humans language is something else than an instinctive, emotional reaction. It is objective and social, connected to thinking and the correspondence between thought and speech characteristic of man is absent in (other) animals.

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20. Thought and Language: As mentioned in the preceding there are qualitative differences between the psyche of man and that of (other) animals. The key to man’s psychological functions is cultural- and social-genesis, the transformation of culture and social relations, through interiorization, into the individual’s psychical acts and with language the most important cultural and psychological tool. We do not find this language mechanism in animals since they do not have the biological prerequisites, the brain and the voice tube nor a culture maintaining a language. Animals are not able to think using a language and therefore not able to develop higher psychological functions in the same way as humans.

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