The Animal Side


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The Animal Side

By Bobby Neal Winters

I am haunted by a story. It’s a true story about a three-year-old boy who was killed. The boy’s father was out of the picture somehow. Maybe he was only there for the boy’s making. The woman then took up with another man, a man who had a dark, violent side. One day the man became angry and killed him. I may have written about it in this space before, but it is a topic worthy of repetition.
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Awesome post, as always Okie!

Sorry to take so long to respond, but yes, I agree we have an "animal side" to us that requires taming in order to become civilised. Marriage is only one form that taming takes, speaking only as an observer having not crossed that bridge yet. I think our religious faith and morality are other things that tame us. And that taming is not such a bad thing, when it works.

Thanks for your insights, keep up the great work! :)
do we have to sign up to read it?

I have been married and divorced 3 times. so I dont know if that is because my animal side is too wild or too tame, or just not balanced enough.
I've sold the online rights to that piece to that newspaper so I took it down here. Sorry.
I can't think of anything specifically animal about killig a child, or young. There is something modern-industrial about the claim to ownership that creates situations where people kill theirr own or other's children.

Oedipus was left on a mountain to die, which was not an uncommon practice at the time, there being too few resources for more than one child to be managed at any one time.

I would argue that there is something particularly human and modern about the way we kill now and we should not be looking at the non human world to place the relationship outside of ourselves.

I disagree. From man, who is made in the image of God, I expect more. Though I I could also write that killing one's offspring is an unnatural act, it is an act that animals do.
What I'm arguing is that I can't think of a society in which killing is entirely unknown - although it seems somewhat more common in industrial societies, or if you give everyone a gun.

If killing is passed off as an 'animal' response, are we claiming that it is not 'human', that those that kill are in error, or mentally ill? How much responsibility does someone have for an act that is 'alien to their species'?
What I am arguing here is that man is a creature of nature, and it is being in the image of God that differentiates him from the other animals. One might refer to it as the Animal Core rather than the Animal Side, but the language is metaphorical anyway.

I am not for a moment saying that allowing ourselves to fall into the animal side abrogates us of responsibility for our actions.