Thursday, May 26, 2022

NYT: Scientists Studying Privilege, Inequality in Animal Kingdom

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Scientists, the experts we rely on to tell us how to live our lives, have been studying privilege and inequality among squirrels and other animals, according to the New York Times.

It all began as a conversation among behavioral ecologists at UCLA: “They saw how COVID-19 was highlighting health disparities and other inequalities around the world,” the Times reports. “The scientists began to wonder if they could learn more about inequality by studying it in animals.”

The experts began searching for examples in the animal kingdom of human concepts such as privilege, inequality, and intergenerational wealth. “When we started looking for it, we found lots and lots of examples,” Dr. Jennifer Smith told the Times. “To see this across so many different species was quite surprising. And we’re just touching the surface.”

In other words, a bunch of woke nerds discovered the survival instinct and natural selection. Their findings include examples of “species that share resources such as territory, tools, and shelter between generations.” For instance, baby red grouse who aren’t abandoned by their fathers “are more likely to succeed in establishing their own territories.” Baby squirrels whose mothers hoard food for winter “are much more likely to survive until the spring.” No shit.

“Those young, pine-cone-rich squirrels, the scientists say, are children of privilege,” the Times reports. Those same scientists are eager to expand their so-called research by examining thousands of species across the animal kingdom. They did not elaborate as to whether future studies will incorporate other concepts, such as “whiteness,” “rape culture,” and “voter suppression,” among animals in the wild.

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