November 18, 2004
Quality of Life
The term 'quality of life' is a very human term. Only humans seem to have developed the capacity, or perceived need, to judge the condition of their situation during their stay on this plant covered rock. Usually this judgment isn't an honest assessment; it is merely a comparison to another human done out of jealousy or pity. Complaints abound if one's life comes up short when compared to a majority of neighbors. Guilt creeps in and makes us feel uncomfortable if it's been too much better than an entire country in Africa. (Nothing better for guilt than choking down the last of that double bacon cheeseburger and bucket of deep-fried potatoes while watching children starve to death on television).
Animals, on the other hand, seem content to have survived. Life is its own reward not something to complain or feel guilty about. They don't mope. They don't gloat. They most certainly do not feel guilt if another animal dies. (There are those that would argue with me on these points. Most pet owners project their emotions and motives on their animal companions. I know. My cat has been seen plotting the destruction of the world.)