Monday, September 14, 2015

The civlisation and question of love: Part I Brutality on Animals

Kaleidoscope plans to write a series of short entries to reflect on the reasons for which he thinks, and he thinks for quite some time now that human beings are yet to learn to love. Alternatively, they knew to love but over the years in making this civlisation stand they have forgotten the very nature of love. There are several symptoms of loss of love in human species, viz. incompatible expectations, heteronormativity, equating love with sex, stigmatising body, culmination of trust with sexual absenteeism, so on and so forth.

To begin with Kaleidoscope wishes to present the brutalities on animal with an archaeological perspective.

The background:

Kaleidoscope wishes to thank one of his friends Sourav Bakshi. A discussion with him on a couple of days before, after several rounds of whisky has fueled this idea and ultimately Kaleidoscope has managed to begin the writing. The discussion was about capitalism and why it is becoming increasingly inevitable that we are falling more and more in the trap set by the system. Kaleidoscope could not remember how the question of love came, but he can remember quite well that he said "the loss of love is linked with the advent of agriculture, or may be before and we are still heading towards a wrong pathway." Sourav smiled and they started smoking again. On that night Kaleidoscope before going to the bed decided to write a series of messy texts tracing the loss of love. So, here it goes. 

The mass extinctions:

Although it is difficult to discover the rafts and sea going canoes simply because of the lack of preservation, there are evidences suggesting that human beings started sea expeditions as early as 45,000 years ago especially between New Ireland and New Britain (O'Connel and Allen 1998, 2007). Somewhere around this time human beings were able to reach Australia, which was a greatest movement from the Afro-Asian continent to a completely new and isolated place. 

Just imagine what would have happened to an advanced brain sized, colour visioned Homo sapiens. S/he would encounter completely different sets of animals. If it was Kaleidoscope and his friends today they would definitely like to take snaps, take selfies and then start documenting them as if these animals are from outside world. However, all that the Homo sapiens  had was advanced flint weapons, co-ordination skill and a hungry body. Hence giant Koalas, Dragon sized lizards, Diprotodon, two tonned Wombat, Kangaroos giving birth to tiny and helpless fetus like youngsters all marsupials with abdominal pouches became targets. There is no direct evidence to prove but it is highly likely that we have made them extinct within a few thousand years. Most of giants about twenty four species were annihilated within this time period (Flannery 1994, Miller et al. 2005, Brook and Bowman 2004).

About 16000 years ago Homo sapiens have finished sloths from Alaska and Siberia. 16000 years ago North America minus the New York or Los Angeles meant thick forest, huge variety of animals to be an excellent laboratory for evolution to operate in isolation from other parts of the world. Yes there was Mammoths and Mastodons, Bear sized Rodents, Giant ground Sloths. Within only 2000 years of human habitation all of these unique species were gone (Koch and Barnosky 2006).

The taste of domestication and stupid evolutionary theories:

From the perspective of evolutionary theories most successful species after human beings ought to be chicken and cattle. Calculating the sheer number of offspring that these two animals have would definitely conclude that these two are the most successful in terms of “survival of the fittest.” The dairy industry almost always separate kids from their mothers immediately after birth. The mother cattle is supposed to be pregnant or lactating all the time (Pinkas 2009). The beef steak we dine on our weekends over glasses of quality wine or beer is actually taken out of a calf which was immediately separated from its mother and locked up in a cage almost the size of its body so that little movement is possible, thereby generating soft and juicy steak that we enjoy. The day it is released to stretch out, or touch other calves, smell their kinds is the day it is approaching towards the slaughter house. In evolutionary terms these domesticated animals are the most successful
A typical raising of cattle to make soft beef steak. 
animals but are at the same time most miserable too.

Harlow's experiment showing infant monkey clinging to its cloth mother while sucking milk from the metal mother. 
Do we even care to think about what animals feel? Harlow’s experiment with infant monkeys where he keeps two artificial mothers proves that animals do seek love and care, more than we think they do. Harlow provides two artificial mothers to young monkey. One made of metal another one made of monkey far identifying clothes. The one made of metal also carried milk with artificial nipples attached to it which the cloth mother did not have. It is seen that young monkey sucked milk from the metal mother but still cling to the cloth mother. It spent rest of the time with the cloth mother (Harlow 1958). Later on several scholars have performed such experiments on other animals and have found similar results.
The brutalities on animals have only increased over time. Today even many of those who claims that they love dogs have abandoned them when sick, or simply have beaten up out of frustration coming from other issues. A simple google with such key words as brutality on pet dogs would show hundreds of results. People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals  regularly show the ways in which advanced civilization is treating animals which is more brutal than before.

Objectivity and the loss of love:

One of the main reasons for which Kaleidoscope feels that Human beings are yet to learn to love is their failure to understand and incorporate subjective dimensions. When we see animals or even when we claim we love animals what we do is we tend to identify an object in an otherwise subjective being. Kaleidoscope claims that the question of love is a subjective domain, i.e. when you love you love a conscious being that has its own choices. Perhaps learning to accept their choices is not given in our genes. When we engage in a relationship we tend to do the same. We seek self satisfaction from subjective beings, objectively. In order to control other person we have elaborate rules like heteronormativity, marital stereotypes, blah blah blah. The question is why Kaleidoscope claims that his species is heading towards a wrong direction when the question of love comes. One response from the write up is that even when their craving for food is satisfied, there is no shortage of examples of torture on pets. The issue of mass extinction of animals even when Homo sapiens only had stone weapons and its continuation even today when poachers are killing endangered species like Rhinos and tigers indicate a continuation. Therefore, it is quite obvious the memories that we inherit through our genes or the practice that we have in our everyday life is of a brutality which has no space for soft emotions like love. Yes, of course there are exceptions. It is indeed of a great ray of hope that at least people have idealized (no matter how diverse it is) the feeling of love.     


Brook, B. W., & Bowman, D. M. (2004). The uncertain blitzkrieg of Pleistocene megafauna. Journal of Biogeography, 31(4), 517-523.

Flannery, T. (2002). The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people. Grove Press.

Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American psychologist, 13(12), 673.

Harlow, H. F., & Zimmermann, R. R. (1959). Affectional responses in the infant monkey. Science.

Koch, P. L., & Barnosky, A. D. (2006). Late Quaternary extinctions: state of the debate. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 215-250.

Miller, G. H., Fogel, M. L., Magee, J. W., Gagan, M. K., Clarke, S. J., & Johnson, B. J. (2005). Ecosystem collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a human role in megafaunal extinction. science, 309(5732), 287-290.

O'Connell, J. F., & Allen, J. (1998). When did humans first arrive in greater Australia and why is it important to know?. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 6(4), 132-146.


  1. Never thought our trivial conversation will produce such a great & unique writeup. The article reflects on our clear and distinct thought process. Well done my friend. Loved it to the core. Hope our milieu will inspire you to write such great articles in future too. Egarly waiting for your next post.

  2. Wow...I have never thought regarding evolution , cattle's, and archeology like this. The way you churned all this in a literary masterpiece and a treat to intellect.

  3. Thank you Sourav (i misspelled you in the blog!). Of course I will write more. It is going to be a series.

    Broken Arrow(SD) thank you

  4. I don't agree with the idea that domesticated animals are the most successful animals in evolutionary perspectives. These animals are bred for one purpose -money. They are sold if they fetch money, otherwise they are discarded, left to die or even killed if they are too weak and sick to even reach the stage where they can be butchered for steak. The same animals, when put in the wild, will not even have the chance against predators, for obviously, they have lost the survival abilities in the wild. Their food itself is brought to them. Most of these animals don't even know the taste of fresh grasses or the smell of a carnivore waiting for a kill.

  5. Why do we need to put the issue of environment here. Yes they can only survive in a built-in-environment, but that is true for a substantive part of Homo Sapiens Sapiens too. Moreover, do you think that animals surviving in a particular wild environment can survive in a different environment. The answer is no. It is same here too.


  6. Interesting, expecting more on next parts .... Kalido, the evolution 'mochord' is beautifull...
    Great to see you back.