When you combine animals and mirrors, you really do get the best results don’t you? They don’t have the bloody foggiest.
While I’m not the most ardent carnivore, if a vegetarian or vegan comes up to me in the street – which they often do anyway thanks to my literary fame – and tell me our furry friends are equal to us, I say to them, ‘Put ’em in front of a mirror and see how f***ing clever they are.’
Animals have roamed this planet for millennia and not one of them has had the know-how to say ‘hang on a minute, I’m looking at myself here.’ Not one.
I mean, look at this video. Every single one flabbergasted:
Is that cute? Maybe upon first viewing, but this isn’t the first of its kind I’ve seen. At this point in the game it’s difficult to sympathise. Minus the angry jaguar, most of these Amazonian critters treat the mirror like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Which reminds me, remember that video of the gorillas reacting to a random mirror? Went semi-viral in around 2015?
If not, look at this silverback stamping its hands all over the shop cause it can’t understand its own reflection. Over and over to no end. It’s almost as if punching the floor and running away isn’t solving anything. But, hey, let’s try it 1,429 times just for good measure.
Look, maybe I’m going too hard on these guys. Maybe I’m still upset about Harambe. Maybe deep down I have a superiority complex when it comes to gorillas and I’m actually jealous of their ability to kill anything with one swing of the arm. It’s no coincidence the only gorilla I like is Ape from George of the Jungle, because he wears glasses and is capable of critical thinking.
Generally, especially when compared to chimpanzees, gorillas are calm, reserved and patient. They are less adaptable and curious than chimpanzees and they don’t show the same inclination to imitate.
According to Berg Gorilla, whether gorillas are conscious of their own identity is still disputed. ‘Scientific experiments have been conducted where a mirror was presented to the animals and their reaction was observed. The results were contradictory: In some experiments the gorillas were reported to have recognised themselves, in others they didn’t,’ they write.
Behavioural scientists study the mental abilities of animals by observing their natural behaviour. Every ape species has its own specific intelligence, which developed as an adaptation to the environment it lives in.
At the risk of sounding Amish or something, I’m gonna shun this ‘science’ and stay grumpy for the rest of the day.
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