“Beyond sanitary reasons for avoiding certain parts and products of animals, these things disgust us, Rozin suggests, because they confront us with the reality of our own animal nature. so much of the human project is concerned with distinguishing ourselves from beasts that we seem strenuously to avoid things that remind us that we are beasts, too– animals that urinate, defecate, compulate, bleed, die, stink, and decompose.” (Pollan 457)
When I read this passage it made me very aware of something that I always knew but never really thought about. I can see what Pollan is talking about when he says that we, as humans, want that differentiating line between animals and us because they gross us out. We tend to disassociate ourselves with them because we know we are so similar. It is true that when these animals stink or defecate we, as humans, are disgusted but never really think that we too stink and defecate. It’s different within our species because we try to hide it, while animals don’t. This binary between humans and animals is one that is quite absurd because we do very similar things, but choose not to highlight them because it is seen as a reduction of our species.
We as humans have in inherit animal’s qualities or traits and that can be seen in its most basic form through this quote because it makes us realize who similar we truly are. There are many people who are disgusted by animals and their natural way of being, never really realizing that we are the same way. When I think of this I think of speciesism and how we view ourselves above any and all animals regardless of the fact that we are very similar. This goes even deeper than that because we are disgusted with them and not ourselves, which leads to the question of why? Why is it that they are disgusting and we are not? Why is it that we are grossed out by things animals do, that we do as well? Why is it different? I think a lot of this goes back to how these things unfold. As a society we have evolved and kept many of these things hidden, locked away, covered, and masked with fragrances. I find it very interesting that we see animals in a different way, even when it comes to things we do the same.