This white paper, entitled “’I Am NOT an Animal!’ Denial of Death and the Relationship between Humans and Other Animals”, we explore the psychological dynamics of our treatment of nonhuman animals in the context of our deep fear of death.
At a time when we are dealing with a viral pandemic that began with our exploitation of other animals and nature we continue to abuse other animals to solve the very problems we create. In this case it is the horseshoe crab whose blood is used in biomedical research and now being considered in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine despite the availability of a synthetic alternative.
Humans are emotionally invested in ensuring that, whatever happens, the spotlight of blame never shines directly on us. So we blame wet markets in Asia for the spread of COVID-19 instead of ourselves.
Let’s be clear: the root cause of the COVID-19 pandemic is humans’ consumption of other animals—in this specific instance, bats and possibly pangolins.
Only a few years ago, this young student could have become a scientist OR an advocate, but NOT both.
But all of this is now changing. And the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy has been at the forefront of this change.
Our mission is to bring academic science and animal advocacy together.
As a young faculty member at Emory University, I had the honor of working with Clint, the first chimpanzee to have his genome sequenced. But Clint taught me a lot more about our own species than about his.