My 7 year old is studying "Animals including Humans" this term. It's all about habitats and diet. I think that her teenage brothers natural habitat could do with tidying and their favoured diet of Dominoes Pizza leaves a bit to be desired!
It's an interesting title, because it reveals the way our world is going in thinking about people. That we are simply the most evolved animals. This means logically that people have no innately greater value than any other animal. Which is why a piece on the BBC website today surprised me.
The headline was "The man stuffed and displayed like a wild animal." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37344210
The article was about a the remains of a black man which had been brought back to Europe at the end of the 19th century and displayed in a variety of exhibitions and museums before ending up in a museum in Spain. The author had been horrified to come across the rather morbid exhibit in the the 1980's. It was only removed from public display in 1997 before being returned to Botswana for burial in 2000.
It was clear from the article's tone that we, the readers, were supposed to be horrified by the barbaric treatment of a human being by our forefathers. The question I had was, "Why?".
If we are simply highly developed animals then why not stuff us and put a few of us on display for future generations. I admit that the taxidermist would need a lot of newspaper or cotton wool to fill out my ample form! But why would that be morally wrong?
The reason that the idea of stuffing people seems repugnant to a world that thinks we're just animals, is that we're not. We're created in the image of God, and as hard as people try, that sense of our unique place in creation is woven into the fabric of our consciences.
Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
That's why it just feels wrong to stuff people...even if you've decided that the God who gives you life and value doesn't exist, and you're just a bit further along the evolutionary spectrum than your guinea pig!