what is an animal?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by wallyj84, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. wallyj84

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    I know what an animal is in a technical sense. That's not the question, I mean when you use the word "animal" in casual conversation, what do you mean?

    I ask, because I had a conversation with a coworker today where she claimed that fish weren't animals, they were just fish. This seemed stupid to me, because my personal definition, outside of the scientific one, for the word "animal" is something non-human that is unintelligent, or at least less intelligent than humans, and part of the kingdom Animalia.

    But I understand that not everyone uses that same definition. Some people use animal to refer specifically to land animals or mammals. So, I ask you when you use the word "animal" in a conversation, what do you mean?
     
  2. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Humans are absolutely animals, we're just a particularly advanced member of the Ape family.

    But yes fish are most definitely also animals.
     
  3. Kotchanski

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    If it isn't a plant or bacteria, lives and breathes, I consider it an animal.

    (I just bet I missed something really obvious that I'll work out sometime tomorrow!)
     
  4. Industrialsize

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    ANIMAL
    –noun 1. any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.

    2. any such living thing other than a human being.

    3. a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.

    4. the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of human beings; animality: the animal in every person.

    5. an inhuman person; brutish or beastlike person: She married an animal.

    6. thing: A perfect job? Is there any such animal?


    –adjective 7. of, pertaining to, or derived from animals: animal instincts; animal fats.

    8. pertaining to the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of humans, rather than their spiritual or intellectual nature: animal needs.
     
  5. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Isn't it odd, and shows our peculiarly conflicted nature I think, that the first and second common usages conflict with one another?
     
  6. wallyj84

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    I know. That's why I created this topic. That contradiction is very interesting, to me at least.

    Also, thank you Industrialsize for totally missing the point.
     
  7. Endued

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    He's the best muppet of the lot.
     
  8. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Are you talking about Indy?
     
  9. luka82

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    An animal is everything I can eat or wear!:):):)
     
  10. Endued

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    Hey, if he also spends half the day with a hand up his arse that's just a coincidence.
     
  11. helgaleena

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    Bacteria are also animals. That's why the Jains and Hindus sometimes eschew fermented foods including yeast bread. If it is alive and not a plant, it's an animal. Fish are simply not mammals. Why they even have bones, which insects and most sea critters do not! They are just as alive as birds and reptiles, other big groups of non-mammals.

    To sum up: she's an idiot. How do magnets work?
     
  12. helgaleena

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    agreed. :love:
     
  13. B_Nicodemous

    B_Nicodemous New Member

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    You forgot fungi. And protazoas. And if you really want to be picky you can split the bacteria into two groups [Bacteria (Eubacteria) and Archaea (Archaebacteria)]:tongue:
    Oh, Animal is totally the best Muppet!
    Check out Jim Henson's Muppets...Specifically Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.:biggrin1:
    ROTFLMAO!!!!! But then all muppets are into fisting lol!
    A lot of people see it that way, though scientifically speaking, yeast belongs to the kingdom Fungi.:wink:
    Oh, Animal is the hottest muppet!:biggrin1:
     
  14. B_Nicodemous

    B_Nicodemous New Member

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    I have heard people make the distinction between animal and insect...which is wrong form a biological level.
     
  15. mexdude

    mexdude New Member

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    There are 4 realms of living creatures, animal, plantae, fungi, and microbiotical or something like that, and fish fit in animal, its elementary school bioology xD
     
  16. mexdude

    mexdude New Member

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    Humans have concience, thats the real advantage over animals, cause many are as smart as humans like the elephants
     
  17. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    My disclaimer: I am well aware of the scientific definition of the word 'animal' and agree with it in a scientific sense.

    But usually I use it to include non-human mammals, birds and reptiles. For some reason, fish and insects don't get a look in. Occasionally I include humans in the animal grouping.
     
  18. Gillette

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    My use of the word is context dependent. If I'm talking about the animal kingdom then I'm using the scientific classification definition. If I'm using it to describe a person then I'm referring to them being primal.
     
  19. midlifebear

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    A long-time colleague and full-time vegan defines an animal as anything that has a mouth and and asshole.
     
  20. Drifterwood

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    Funny. I was thinking, if it shits it's an animal.

    I'm not a scientist :biggrin1:.
     
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