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Would you like to be an animal of your choice rather than a human?

Sometimes being a human is hard. So many weaknesses and of course strengths. Humankind is making a bit of a mess of managing the planet on which it depends for everything. In the West, nowadays, humans tend to live long lives because of advancements in medicine. Walk into a hospital in the UK and you’ll see rows and rows of old people being kept alive. In truth the majority of humans are kept alive beyond their sell by date. From 75-years-of-age onwards most individuals suffer from chronic illnesses which make life hard to enjoy. Perhaps humans live for too long nowadays. Wild animals die when it is time to die. Humans die when the medics say so.

Toru Ueda wants to be a wolf for a while. Image: MikeB

Sometimes you can look at an animal such as your dog or cat companion or a wild animal such as the wolf and in admiring them you might like to be them. On some days, I can look at my cat and say, “I’d like to be him.” He lives instinctively. Not a mind clogged with human baggage. He enjoys the simple things. He is loved and well cared for. He is warm, safe and he eats well. A good life. A short life by human standards. But not a bad thing to have a short, pleasant life.

Why the obsession with extending the human lifespan? In job interviews employers sometimes ask, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” They are probing the mind of their candidate to see if they have the right mentality for their business. The candidate needs to understand what the business is looking for and tailor their answer accordingly.

If the employer wants independent-minded employees who can think on their feet and good survivors, you might say that you’d be a domestic cat. In this instance you are imaging being a cat and the characteristics they can bring to an organisation.

That’s a fiction and it is all in the head. There is a Japanese man in the news yesterday, Toru Ueda, a roadway engineer, who commissioned Zeppet, a film costume manufacturer, to make a very high-quality wolf costume for him to wear outside in public places. It cost £19,000 (3 million yen). It took four people 7 weeks to make. Extraordinary.

Ueda said:

“When I wear my costume, I feel I’m no longer human. I’m free of human relationships. All kinds of troubles relating to work and other things. I can forget about them.”

He added:

“When I look in the mirror, I see a wolf and that is very moving. I’m not a werewolf. That’s a kind of monster and I am not a monster”.

No, he is just a guy who wants to escape being human for a while. He wants to be an animal of his choosing and he obviously loves wolves. I can understand why. Enigmatic and competent. The forerunner of the domestic dog. They are admirable which is ironic seeing as for many years they were hunted mercilessly for fun and to protect livestock.

Humans don’t like competition from animals. They think they have dominion over them as per Christian beliefs as reflected in the Bible.

None of us have a choice about being born. It is unfair. We are thrust onto a planet we call Earth and on independence from our parents we have to find a way to survive. Many struggle. It is just too hard for them. They can’t cope. I understand their troubles and struggles.

They might have been better being born a kitten who was adopted by a good family who loved them for the 15 happy years of their lives with no desire to take drugs or alcohol for self-medication of mental torment.

Or being born a wolf. Or perhaps a snow leopard. A majestic wild cat with hooded eyes and the world’s greatest tail. They live in the high plains of the Hindu Kush and the snowy mountains of the lower Himalayas far from humans. It is a harsh, dangerous life on the edge. For me it might have been a better life than the one I am living.

Below are some articles on the human to animal relationship.

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