Social Psychology Final Paper

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I’ve had my moments questioning my existence; do I not exist as anything more than

science functioning as part of society? Or does my soul actually exist and stand for something

unique? But I have decided for myself that a soul exists within the science that I am made up

of, and somewhere in there my ancestors have left me with the idea of a controlling society. A

society, a culture, which labels you human and sex. A society that hands you everything you

need to survive. But not everyone is that fortunate. In non western culture people must fight to

survive. They don’t have the luxury of a grocery store to collect food at, a variety of clothing to

protect their skin, or an education system to ensure their intelligence. What it is is survival of the

fittest at its best; western tradition has taken advantage of the earth and the animal way, in order

for its own people to survive. Sometimes it is difficult for us to see the flaws in our society, but

that is because we are trained to ignore society. We see through “western” lenses. We see the

world the way we do, not because that is the way it is, but because we have these ways of

seeing.

We see ourselves as better than others. Not just as Americans, but as humans. Our

caveman ancestors must have seen animals, noted that we are different looking, and decided

from then on that we will be. Since then, throughout our history we’ve built a system which

degrades animals and holds humans on a pedestal. Animals are no longer beings that roam the

earth and exist in their own world interconnected. They are on display for humans to look at

in zoos and in their homes as pets. They exist in our text books as something to learn about

and something that humans live separate from. Animals are stupid, not nearly as intelligent at

humans. They cannot talk speak or dress or shop or take care of themselves. This is how animals

exist in our world. This is our world, this is the view we have of animals; this is not the reality.

Animals live as humans do. Just as I am to me as you are to you, that cat over there is to itself. It

has its own world, its own family, its own society, its own language. It does not live as a subject

for humans, it lives for itself.

In the wild, animals hunt for their food, the same kind of food that humans eat: meat

and plants. In non western culture people hunt for their food similarly. In Africa the Dinka

and !Kung hunt for their food, they do not buy it in a grocery store already prepared. Perhaps

westerners are in a zoo of their own society. We have a way of beautifying what we eat to

disguise it. We don’t eat cow, we eat stake. We don’t eat bulbs dug up from the earth, we eat

potatoes. We don’t slaughter pigs and burn their flesh, we cultivate animals in farms until we can

process and cook them for their nutrients. In our culture we love the idea that we are not animals,

and so that is the way we have of seeing. If you watch the recent movie castaway, you will see

that actor Tom Hanks, once removed from society “turns into” an animal. As his character goes

into survival mode, he resorts back to basic animal instincts, and he is able to do this in order to

survive with absence of society, without his western lenses.

We love being the best, we thrive on competition, and as humans we’ve climbed to the

top of the ladder. Our society has engrained it in us that we are not animals. We live day to day

in such as to deny the fact that we are animals. It goes beyond our eating habits. We are taught

from day one that we should be clothed. Nudity, our natural state, is only acceptable when we

are babies. Once we are old enough to physically clothe ourselves (not that our mommies and

daddies didn’t do it for us earlier) we are expected to be covered at all times. We are taught

that our bodies and our private parts are something to be ashamed of. This is...
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