I was outside yesterday watching a pair of geese across the street. I was admiring their simplistic beauty;  pondering on how they mate for life, and admiring  their dedication to one another. If their partner dies the other one will live out the rest of their lives alone. I explored this thought deeper and wondered why humans are incapable of such pure love and dedication to their partners. It is believed that we are the highest form of species on this planet, yet we are trumped in many areas by our animal brethren. What is it about humans which causes us to act like complete ass fucks towards the people we love? Did we lose this type of loyalty somewhere along our evolutionary road? Is it even possible for humankind to reach such stages of love and respect?

All species were designed with the primal urge to mate with the purpose of continuing the survival of their species. This is one of those things which is so deeply rooted in our DNA we are not even aware of it. As humans with evolved thought and complex emotions we experience this intense emotion called love. This emotion called love causes us to enter into something called relationships, which takes us beyond the urge to just fuck. If we look at the animal kingdom we see such examples of love towards one another. In fact these animals care so much for their partners they make the commitment to mate for life.

To my knowledge there are 12 species in the animal kingdom which make such a union with one another. I know there are more, but this is not a school paper so I am not going to spend the time researching it. This type of behavior seems to happen most with bird species; in fact over 90% of bird species are monogamous. This compared to the 3% of mammals which share the same commitment (humans are not in that 3%.) I just wonder what it is about birds that makes them such faithful lovers? What can we learn from our feathered friends?

Here is a list of the 12 animals I am aware of that live faithful lives.

  1. Gibbons: our closest relative and the only primate to practice monogamy.
  2. Swans: The image of two swans intertwining necks to form a heart is a famous symbol.
  3. Black Vultures: Being unfaithful is looked down upon by this animal. If a member is caught they will be attacked and sometimes killed. This is not just done by the mate, it is done by virtually complete strangers.
  4. French Angelfish
  5. Penguins
  6. Geese
  7. Albatross : These birds do not spend their lives together, they only come together once a year to mate. These birds travel immense grounds when they migrate, and without fail they will always find the same partner.
  8. Termites
  9. Turtle Doves
  10. Bald Eagles: Female’s will break this faithful bond only in death, and if the male becomes impotent.
  11. Wolves: The perfect example of a functional family structure
  12. Prairie Voles: This is a type of rodent who share life responsibilities evenly across the board.
  13. There is another fish, but I do not know the name. The male fish finds a mate and bites her. Once he bites her he becomes a part of his mate. He shares the same blood flow as the female. In time he transformed and essentially becomes an organ used only for sperm. Now that is sacrifice.

Is it love that causes these animals to be so faithful? Are animals even capable of such complex emotion? Is this behavior embedded into their DNA? These are questions which are worth deep thinking about. If the answer is that these creatures are capable of love, then what does that say about our ability to love? If the answer is that it is bred into their DNA, then why them?

I think the answer may be a little bit of everything. I think as people we can experience genuine love, but it is then perverted by greed and self-interest. I also think media plays a huge role in our acceptance of being unfaithful. Although we condemn such behavior; it is some how normal. Take the time to watch some movies or tv shows and see if you can see where this behavior is acceptable, or done without any portrayal of destroyed emotions.

If you are able to find it, and recognize it… then so shall our children.

  1. johanna says:

    I think one of the major problems today is that artificial contraception has ruined the procreative aspect of human love. Man and woman were meant to join in an unselfish union, not holding back anything, including fertility. When one selfish act enters the relationship, more are sure to follow.

  2. I don’t know if it’s fair or not to compare the mating habits of different species. We each evolve at different rates and what works for one species might spell the end for another.

    It is obvious that pairing for life has helped the species you listed to continue to survive. This tells me it must involve some sort of biological imperative.

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