Humans are animals

Biologically, humans are best classified as animals.

Are Humans Really a Type of Animal?

Humans are animals. Humans have unique traits regarding morality and language, but biologically humans are a type of animal known as a mammal.

FACT: In simple terms: When we say humans are animals we mean we aren’t plants or algae. When we say humans are mammals we mean we aren’t reptiles, birds, or insects.

What Do We Mean By Animals?

Scientists classify life in a few different ways, putting aside simple and single celled organisms like bacteria, one simple way to classify all life forms as animal, plant, fungi, or algae (red and green).

On a cellular level plants, algae, fungi, and animals are all made of complex cells called eukaryotes which have mitochondria in them. Plants and [most] algae also have chloroplasts in their cells, yet fungi and animals don’t.

We can be very certain that humans are not plants or algae with chloroplasts from our cells on up. We can prove this biologically, or we can use reason. So that leaves Fungi (and technically some odd algaes).

Funnily enough, fungi and animals have a lot in common. With that said, we don’t have to go into details to realize that we fit better in the animal kingdom than “the mushroom kingdom.” Thus, we as humans, in terms of classifications based on defining features, are a type of animal (an animal of the species mammal specifically).

In other words, putting aside algae, bacteria, and the rest of the Cavalier-Smith model, one might then classify things like this (in the style of the Linnaean model):

Living Things
Without Chloroplasts With Chloroplasts
Animals Fungi Plants Algae

NOTE: The video below describes the concept of humans being animals by asking, “Are you animal, vegetable, or mineral?” A mineral being a catch-all for non-living elemental based forms.

Are humans animals? Good question, double check you aren’t a plant or mineral and get back to us.

What Do We Mean By Mammal?

Mammal, coming from the Latin word for “breast”, describes a kind of animal that has hair, breasts, a neocortex (the part of our brain dealing with conscious thought and language), and some other unique properties like three middle ear bones and a four chamber heart.[1] In short, we know humans are animals, and we know we aren’t spiders, insects, reptiles, or birds… So we are mammals.


This is essentially true, but it is of course a bit more complex than that.

How Else Can We Classify Humans?

So we know humans are mammals, but what type of mammals are we?

Although I’ve seen different classifications, humans can be said to be:[2]

  • From the Kingdom Animalia (i.e. Animals).
  • From the Genus Homo.
  • From the Species Sapien.
  • From the Class Mammalia (i.e. Mammals).
  • From the Subclass Theria (give live birth to young).
  • From the Infraclass Epitheria (also referred to placental, because mothers carry unborn children nurturing them via the umbilical cord and placenta).
  • From the Order Primate.
  • From the Family Hominidae (which includes humans, greater apes, lesser apes).

NOTE: Wikipedia lists the Suborder: Haplorhini and Infraorder: Simiiformes. The terms order/class are interchangeable.

What Do Evolutionarily Biologists Believe?

Evolutionary biologists believe that we have genetically evolved from other animals; this is roughly where the classifications of different animal types come from. Generally, the closer in the class an animal is the closer relative they are. Scientists don’t just believe this based on Darwin’s ideas, they believe this from studying cells and DNA, which show similarities that would be expected based on the theory of evolution.

Many also believe that all animals genetically evolved from single celled organisms. They believe all organisms are made of quarks, which make atoms, which make molecules, which make elements, which make us. They also believe that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It has always, and will always exist.

What are the Differences Between a Human and an Ape?

Humans and apes are both hominoids and have a lot of things that make them the same like language, communicating, making or using tools, learning, emotion, and more. Humans have a few unique traits that make them different than any other animal including apes.

A look at the difference between humans and other animals from the Royal Institution.

What Makes Humans Different From Other Animals?

Two of key traits that differentiate us from any other animal:

  1. Our ability to use language and written word to advance knowledge intergenerationally.
  2. Our ability to use critical thinking and morality when making judgment calls.


For instance a human might think, given the above, eating mammalian muscle tissue (meat) is morally wrong and decide to get the bulk of their nutrition from soybeans. This may be true even if that person doesn’t like soybeans and has to order them from Amazon by communicating with a call center in India. A monkey would probably not take these actions. Although to be fair, the monkey isn’t a meat eater in the first place.


Below are the author’s opinions on how to reconcile what we know about evolution with belief systems.

What if Evolution Conflicts With My Belief System?

Aside from being at odds with very specific beliefs, evolution does not in anyway contradict the majority of beliefs in major religions or spirituality.

The first page of the Old Testament all but explains evolution from the Big Bang until our first ancestors and other creation stories are similar. The Tao te Ching does the same thing. The iChing essentially works like quantum mechanics. Generally, the only things that actually conflict with evolution is people’s specific interpretations of their religion.

A spiritual person looks at how morality is unique to humans.

If you feel that you need to know humans are separate from apes, then you are in luck. We have no time machine to prove we evolved from them. We have no time machine to prove that universe wasn’t created yesterday. Reality could be a computer program. We could be in the Matrix. Indeed, we can’t prove fully anything that happened in the past. So we can always just say God made the universe 6,000 years ago to look like it looks today and placed humans and apes and all life there; that life all looks like it evolved from each other because that is just what God wanted. It’s just as plausible that God ignited the Big Bang with full knowledge of the outcome over billions of years.

Einstein believed in God and no science yet has provided definitive proof of the non-existence of God. There is all the room in the world for faith and science today, just like there has always been.


Humans are animals. Semantics aside, there is no rational argument to be made otherwise considering what we know about biology.


  1. Mammal classification“. Nov 24, 2015.
  2. Mammal Subclasses and Infraclasses“.

"Humans are Animals" is tagged with: Evolution, Meat, Theories

Vote Fact or Myth: "Humans are Animals"

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LMF on
Supports this as a Fact.


Thomas DeMichele on

*Chirp, chirp*

Kelas Manistetsky Chanamananastan Qawr on
Doesn't beleive this myth.

We are just too complex to be considered Animals. Sorry Biologists, there is sincerely proof of God sooooooo.

Thomas DeMichele on

The fact that we are animals and the idea that there is a a God are not mutually dependent ideas. We are animals according to the way lifeforms are categorized AND, as an unrelated note, many people believe in God and attempt to prove the existence of God. One subject is the categorization of material things… the other is a thing of theology and ontology. Both are valid, almost pointless to try to argue for an apple by arguing against an orange though.

joe mama on
Supports this as a Fact.

obviously humans are animals

Leo on
Supports this as a Fact.

Humans are animals

Biblical on

i’ll go with what god says instead of some half cocked weird atheist scientist that hates himself and the world and has zero concept of morals or right and wrong. we don’t need all this stuff, just read the bible and see what it says about the world.

Thomas DeMichele on

Animal is a classification, a category that man created to classify living complex things with a specific cellular makeup (as described in the article).

Nothing about this speaks to the Bible, and in fact the Bible never claims things like “humans are rocks” or “humans are vegetables.”
If a thing is not fugi, plant, algae, bacteria, but it is alive, then it is animal. Doesn’t conflict with the Bible as I know it.

As to the question “what do evolutionary biologists believe?”…. well this is good to know despite your belief system. To understand what others think is part of a well rounded education, even the Pope takes the time to understand what others who have different beliefs think and what science (or other system) they use to back up their claims.

In short, I do not find it necessary or helpful to go on the attack against a system of categories due to your belief system.

uStoopid on

to anyone disagree, u cray cray, look at ur self, u got titties and female humanoids give birth without an egg/have the egg in her belly, wich is the exact definition of mammals. yall christians need to go to school a bit more or maybe just read ur own book, the bible says humans just was another spiece of animals god put on earth, and the adam and eve guys bit “the apple of wisdom” so we came superior. this is not even way off what actually happened, the scientific truth is just that we won the gene lottery, any one way we just mammals gone smart… yall useing gods name to fight this theory should be ashamed of how ur disrespecting gods will of all species to live together equally and peacefully. y

Diana on

There maybe some similarities between animals and humans but since animals lack critical thinking skills (the most important trait) I believe humans just fit in their own separate category as Humans. I disagree with the evolution theory since humans existence shouldn’t be based on the existence of animals. It is more credible that God created life since in spite of the advance in technology scientists arent able to decipher how the human body works. Specifically the neurologycal system. They have no answer to many questions (the universe, illnesses, cure, human brain…)in spite of their efforts.

Lancer kartin on
Supports this as a Fact.

Humans are animals,There’s no way were plants so, that narrows it down,My cousin thinks humans ARENT animals because we do not have 4 legs,like 20 different eyes.

Thomas DeMichele on

If you aren’t a vegetable or mineral, you just might be an animal.

That is the overly simple version, but essentially it is also the simple truth.

The long answer is explained above.

Michael on
Supports this as a Fact.

Fact: Humans are animals

Pops on
Supports this as a Fact.

If we are not a rock, nor a plant, then we are animal. It’s really not that complicated.

Thomas DeMichele on


Dr. Raymond Whitham on

Humans are animals. The classification of living organisms is NOT just a grammatical means of classification. It is now based on genetics which proves we are RELATED TO other animals.

The belief in a god has nothing to do with genetics or the classification of living organisms. There is no proof there is a god but there is no proof there isn’t a god.

The Vatican accepts the existence of one god, believes in the Bible, and accepts Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Simisola Omotoso on
Supports this as a Fact.

This makes sense.

Rawson B. Harmon on

As far as “Are humans animals” is concerned, I will believe it as far as he scientists take it but THAT’S IT. Maybe we have similarities to the “animal word” in the biological sense or whatever BUT what makes us different from the animal world are again: Those two things that were mentioned…
1) Our ability to use language and written word to advance knowledge intergenerationally.
2) Our ability to use critical thinking and morality when making judgment calls.
IMO – This also includes thinking LOGICALLY and ANALYTICALLY. the “animal world” doesn’t do that They do things based on instinct ONLY. “Humans have the ability to do BOTH.

I disagree about the GOD “thing”. Non-believers don’t need to prove that GOD doesn’t exist. Believers have to prove that GOD DOES exist. Unless there is actual PROOF that GOD exists, we can safely assume that GOD doesn’t exist unless PROVED otherwise. There is NO actual PROOF that GOD exists IMHO. I strongly believe that believers of GOD believe it because of their faith. Even my mother, who is extremely religious admitted to me one day that there is NO actual proof that GOD exists. She just feels in her heart that he does. In other words…her faith. She has FAITH that he DOES exist. And, obviously, that’s good enough for her. To me personally, it’s NOT Scientifically, Physically, Logically or Realistically possible that a “GOD” up in the heavens did EVERYTHING that was claimed he did.
It’s like in a court of law. The burden of proof is with the prosecution. The prosecution (believers in GOD in this case according to me) have to prove that the person(s) committed said crime(s). All the defense has to do is counteract and/or de-funk the prosecutions evidence/theories and/or prove otherwise if possible OR needed.
Even two of the Natural Phenomenons that happened according to the Bible, did actually happen BUT were totally explained scientifically that “GOD” didn’t do it BUT that THEY WERE ACTUAL NATURAL CLIMATIC EVENTS THAT HAPPENED AT AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THE BIBLE CLAIMS. The two events in which i am referring to are the “parting of the red sea” when the towns of Sodom & Gomorrah were burned down by fireballs from the sky and destroyed the town and killed most of the people in it. “GOD” supposedly punished the people in the town for something (I think it was bc of the immoral acts that happened in those towns).
The parting of the red sea could have been what’s called a “setdown” in which extremely strong winds can move water sideways or whatever, away from an area to expose dry land. This of course is temporary and the winds will eventually die down and the water would return.
The burning fireballs were balls of burning sulfur and it is STRONGLY believed that the towns were mostly destroyed by a bolide(a type of meteor which explodes). But in this case it was a superbolide (a giant exploding meteor).

Donald Mull on
Doesn't beleive this myth.

Human beings have a divine nature that no animal has. We also have an eternal spiritual body. Communists teach that human beings are the same as animals and can be herded and sacrificed for organs just like any other animal.
All of our money says “In God we Trust”. Only divine beings are capable of trusting in God. So the Federal government says human beings are not just animals but capable of trusting in God.

Thomas DeMichele on

Not all communists, I’m sure. I’ve read some communists texts. Odd ideas there for sure, but never found any section on humans being animals and therefore… what you say.

Billy Kidd on
Doesn't beleive this myth.

Well, here’s an interesting perspective. The State of Texas had filed a lawsuit against Al Adask, actually an indictment. The state had charged Al for Manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, Colloidal Silver. The previous owner had spent 160,000 dollars on a hotshot attorney and had zero to show for it, then sold out.

The long and short of it is that the state and federal government defines the word “drug”! in various ways. One uses the term for “man and other animals”. Al’s response to the court was “I am a man created in the image of God “. So, I must ask what scared the state so much that they would drop all charges and court fees? Mind you, this was after spending 500,000 million on investing the case. If the state didn’t want the public to know that we are considered animals. Then the state doesn’t have the courage of their convictions.

Lisa on

If humans are animals, are animals human? So, how did the male ape (animal) and female ape (animal) come into existence? Minerals? Petri dish of pond scum? Were they first an aphid and evolve into a skeletal structure? Did a male or female ape appear first or both at the same time? Did the first ape that was born from pond scum minerals first appear as a baby ape and grow up by itself? Or was the first ape already an adult as it walked out of the pond mineral mixture-concoction. If it was an adult, would it have been a male or female or one of each? Or were there two males and they were good friends for a while until a female appeared out of nowhere and surprised them and they had to fight over her like cavemen. If it was only one adult (male or female), how did it germinate to produce baby ape? Did the lonely male or female have to wait for a long period of time before the opposite sex ape came along. Hopefully, they were attracted to each other and had no fertility problems. Or did these apes replicate babies like a virus without male/female interaction? I do get peachy type hair on my toes sometimes so that explains my great…grandfather having fur previously. But as for me and how I have evolved into who I am today, it just makes sense that it would be far too hot for fur in this climate especially with global warming/climate change taking place that is sure to kill everyone very soon. Climate has always been the exactly the same since the first ape appeared but recently some days it is more hot than others. And some days is colder than the day before or last week or last month. That would explain why my skin burns from the heat and gets cold sometimes. I am still trying to find ape on my family tree as a great, great…grandfather and grandmother on Probably because they did not have names yet.

Obviously, it is not “fact” because this subject is still being debated after all this time. Why? Because our existence has never been proven and if it has not been proven by now it will remain as a question only. Therefore, this discussion is, has been, will always be merely brainstorming with no exact evidence to prove our origins without a doubt. There is really no reason to try and convince anyone that their great, great grandfather is an ape. In other words, humans have still not been proven to be animals. Wikipedia is informative! However, it is not a reliable source. It uses contributors and is edited at any time. The time and resources spent putting this together, for me, is not SUSTAINABLE and cancels all informational purpose. Therefore, a waste of brain activity. . Below are examples of different viewpoints that logically explain Wikipedia’s reliability.

Copied from:
Humans are Animals Fact

Researched by Thomas DeMichele Published – November 24, 2015

1.“Mammal classification“. Nov 24, 2015

Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong.

Citable is one thing; valid is another, and this parallels the whole Wikipedia thing in academic writing. Only primary sources are citable, and neither a Google definition nor Wikipedia is a primary source and hence are not citable. They are, however, as valid (in the sense of being trustworthy) as the sources they use.