Humans: Beauty and the Beasts

Going into this project I knew immediately I wanted to expose the “beast” side to humans. These past few years dealing with Covid-19 have really shown some horrible aspects of humans. From the police brutality, protests turned to riots, the capitol being stormed, and many other horrible events transpiring. It truly shocked me to my core to see the world in this state. For the first time in my life I saw humans as animals, beasts. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “beast” as, “​​a lower animal as distinguished from a human being.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) When looking at this definition, I think modern society has to wonder if humans have sunk this low. Twenty-First Century America is forcing its citizens to ask “what animal exists that could be lower than the beasts that are humans?” We are one of, if not the only, species that actively wage war on each other, and lack the true meaning of community. We kill the people we call our brothers and sisters over paper (money) that we as a society have decided has value. We ostracize and leave many members outcast due to things out of their control such as appearance, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. We commit such horrible atrocities daily, yet we have the audacity to define a beast as something other/lesser than humans. 

Growing up in New York I saw every side and perspective of people one can have. New York is like a country in itself, one giant melting pot of people from all different backgrounds in every category you can think of. Being around all these different people you notice there’s something truly horrific about humans. Every animal on this planet has key features that make them what they are; while all cats might be different, at the base level a cat is a cat. 

Humans are all unique and different, but by natural law there should be something that makes us all innately human. While some might point to love or simply our consciousness, I noticed humans are all connected through their wickedness. Greed, anger, and envy are incredibly common traits, too common to not be human. I’ve seen people make money and lose it, or have nothing and finally make something. When people make money they look down on those without it, showing no sympathy for those who are in a position they were once in, while those who were at the bottom look at the person that was once at the same level as them with anger and jealousy. You can give two humans the same meal, plate, and utensils but one will let their food go cold watching the other eat. Even with equal circumstances, our greed and envy always makes us want what others have simply because it belongs to them and not us. 

The greed of humans that’s within our nature is not hard to notice. It’s even referenced in modern pop culture. For example, the introduction of Kanye West’s song Clique, “What of the dollar you murdered for? Is that the one fighting for your soul?” (West et al.) In the Bible, there is one quote that ties into this theme, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10) Humans have always idolized materialistic possessions as a sort of god. People yearn for wealth so badly that they will gladly kill their neighbor to obtain it. At one point humans viewed other humans as lesser than money; people were bought, sold, and traded for other material possessions. Greed has called brothers to kill one another, causing a cycle of endless violence that stems beyond just that of humans. 

The greed of humans does not only cause the killing of other humans, but of the environment itself. Carbon emissions, deforestation, and oil spills are all examples of the damage humans cause to the world around us. Carbon emissions continue because methods safer for the environment would make the companies lose money and wouldn’t maximize profits so they turn away from such practices. As the human population only continues to rise, we continue to bulldoze and destroy the homes and habitats of countless animals, and their fragile ecosystems. Our oceans are dying as well due to the continued demand for oil. Companies drill into the ocean everyday causing oil to spill which then kills fish, coral reefs, and many other important pieces to the ocean’s environment. The only way for us as humans to continue on with our existence is to put the greed aside. The countless wars we wage in hand with our destructive habits is going to cause our end.

Humans notice and complain about other species behaving as beasts or as lesser, but they never take the time to reflect on the beast-like aspects of themselves. The saying “someone who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones” should be applied more. Slavery is a prime example in the sense that humans viewed other humans as beasts or lesser, but then proceeded to commit animalistic atrocities against said “beasts.” It is a ludicrous hypocrisy, and the most outrageous part is that it continues to this day. Racism, envy, and hate are all too apparent in modern society still, and show little to no signs of improving. We as humans are beasts, we have a destructive nature that not only harms us but everything that has had the misfortune of being around us. 

(song: 916Frosty – Issues)

Works Cited

Bible Gateway. “1 Timothy 6:10 KJV – For the love of money is the root of.” Bible Gateway, Accessed 20 October 2022.

Merriam Webster Dictionary. “Beast Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 October 2022.

West, Kanye, et al. “Kanye West, JAY-Z & Big Sean – Clique.” Genius, Accessed 20 October 2022.

Landenberger, Chad. “Snake Handshake by Chad Landenberger.” Dribbble, 14 August 2017, Accessed 7 November 2022.

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