«If animals did not exist, would it not be even more difficult for us to understand ourselves ?»
by Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1707 – 1788).
Today the old distinction between what is man, and what is animal, is crumbling. That distinction was set by earlier workers such as Charles Darwin, Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the p
rimatologist Jane Goodall's studies on chimpanzees have changed our perception of the animal world forever, continually confirmed by the most recent works:
most of the characteristics once regarded as specific to
(use of tools, complex social life, communication, emotions, culture, empathy, creativity, ...) are also found in the animal kingdom. We are entering an “animal revolution”.
For, as primatologist Frans de Waal asks: “Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are?”. The science of ethology, fascinating in its own right, also helps us to understand our own condition.
Photography is a great way to immerse oneself into the world of these autonomous living beings for many of them, sometimes with their own personality, which we could then consider as « non-human persons ». A visual contribution to a new universal declaration on the duties of humanity towards those who can not speak it for themselves. We should always keep in mind what an incredible combination of factors were necessary for Life to develop on Earth. Contrary to what was first assumed, Life on planet earth is the exception, not the norm. E
lsewhere in the universe everything is possible and it's just a matter of time before having confirmation that life is widespread, but this is another story...
This gallery is a celebration and a re-awakening of our child-like curiosity about animals; from chimp to puffin, from seal to gannet. Our pursuit of that curiosity may, instead of diverting us from the human condition, bring us closer to it.
Grey heron portrait
Eye to eye
A bird life