A response to Mark Twain’s “The Lowest Animal” (1896)
By: Thanusha Sritharan
Is the human race cruel or just selfish? The human race is one of many distinct species in the world. Human beings share most of their traits and behaviors with other animals. The act of cruelty and violence to one another is one of the behaviors that humans differ from animals. In the essay “The Lowest Animal” (1896), Mark Twain claims that man can be cruel and wasteful in his lifetime. Although his statement does not imply to all humans, the moral sense enables us to do wrong. With the proof of news reports and media it is evident that man is cruel to animals, the society and to their household. When compared to people, dogs are known as a man’s best friend. Even though they are four-legged canines, dogs have a heart like gold. Dogs are also known for their ability to help people with visual impairments. They are very loyal and lovable to their owners and others. A study conducted by Mark Franz states that dogs happen to have a higher level of decency when compared to humans. In Toronto, a 32-year old woman, Alice Marcial, strangled her pet dog Jacob to death. This news article is very relevant to Mark Twain’s quote “Of all animals man is the one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it” (pg.238). Not only do humans find pleasure by inflicting pain on animals but they also engage in public killings as a source of entertainment. Many people in the world live their life according to their sets of beliefs and values. In the world we live in today people feel the need to judge and have a say in others life choices. In Papua New Guinea, a mob tortured a group of woman who was accused of witchcraft. This mob tortured this group alive in front of hundreds of horrified witnesses including their family. To support this news article a quote my Mark Twain can be used, “Man is a religious animal” (pg.237). This quote proves the fact that a man loves...
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