Where do you place yourself on the animal kingdom ladder? Near the top? Odds are that you’re living inside the “we're so god-kissed and unique” human story that we all seem to march to versus thinking of yourself as a talking, organized ape. I mean, look at all the tests we’ve done on animals to prove how wild their violent, beastly kingdom is and how civilized and advanced we are. Wonder why we win those tests every time? But what if we’re very, very wrong. What if our us-centric frameworks keep us from knowing ourselves and connecting with the world around us in a way that completely destroys that hierarchical "nature ladder?"
When I started the Grow Big Always podcast, I made a list of dream people to have on the show and Frans de Waal was on that list. He is a world-leading primatologist and Biologist, a professor at Emory University and has been named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people. Frans has a ton of awesome books, the one he just released is "Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are." Why was he on my list? His 40+ years of work with non-human animals is critical and needs our attention. It will demystify and shatter the story you tell to sabotage your point of view of how you fit into the world and how connected we are to it.
(Header photo credit: James Balog; Episode music credit: Smash Mouth "I'm a believer")
mentioned and related media
- How Orcas Work Together to Whip Up a Meal
- The Brains of the Animal Kingdom
- Animal intelligence has been widely underestimated, says primatologist Frans de Waal
- Are we just talking animals? Frans de Waal re-orients the backwards conversation on animal cognition
- Chimpanzees Pass the Marshmallow Test
- How animals think
- Why a famous ape expert is looking forward to a Trump vs. Clinton matchup
- Are Humans Definitely Smarter Than Apes?
- Ritualized behavior? Chimps all throw rocks at the same tree
- Chimp "Girls" Play With "Dolls" Too—First Wild Evidence
- Bonobos Have Lots of Sex, Are Awesome, May Hold Key to Our Past
- Why Do You Care About Fairness? Ask A Chimp
- How fairly do chimpanzees play the ultimatum game?
- Anthropologist Says Trump and Alpha Male Chimp Play the Same Political Game