Humans, a Herd Animal

Earth, teaming with cities filled with people, the landscape crisscrossed by major highways heavy travel with cars and trucks traveling and shipping goods.  Away from the cities folks gather in smaller towns and communities, linked by smaller roads where even the most remote of humans gather from time to time.  As we look at the daily lives of humans, we see that nearly every aspect of the day requires a degree of social interactions.  Everything from our family lives, to our professional is based upon human interactions and social rules of engagement.

Social activity is so much a natural part of human life, no one even thinks about it why that is so.  Young people ache to meet and start new families, and virtually all humans when alone ache to be in the presences of others.  All around us we see over and over again, example after example of the social nature of humans.  Terms like “Friends”, “Family”, “Community”, or “Nation” are everyday examples of human grouping or herds.  We see it on TV; hear it on the radio, even marketing experts play on the human Herd instinct to sell products, a point I will explore later in a separate post. Herd behavior is so well accepted by humans that we see it displayed in almost every aspect of human life.  The social aspect of our lives is so automatic that in our minds we see this as natural as breathing.  Can there truly be any question in anyone’s mind that humans are a Herd Animal?

Humans, as one of the four Great Apes, have a great deal of behavior characteristics in common with the other three.  They are also Herd Animals, with families and they gather in communities.  In fact much about human behavior can be learned and understood by observing the other Great Apes in the wild.  Science has shown how closely we are related to them, having as much as 98% of our DNA in common between the species.  This high degree of genetic and behavior overlap indicates to science that all the Great Apes shared a common ancestor that lived millions of years ago.  Since the herd and social aspects of the Great Apes behavior is so similar, it is very likely that this common ancestor also shared and displayed these traits as well. 

With an evolutionary timeline of so many millions of years, the herd instinct is highly evolved and deeply rooted into the proper functioning of both the psychology & physiology of the human animal.  Studies have shown that humans will suffer psychological and in extreme cases even physiological damage if forced into isolation.  Additionally, other studies of people that had been deprived of human contact as a child showed that many suffered from lifelong issues of socialization and in some more severe cases even psychological issues.  There is a reason why banishment was so effective of a punishment.

The key and most important point to discuss is that because humans evolved as a Herd Animal, we have a deep physiological & psychological need part of human grouping.  In fact, this need is one of the most influential forces within human life.  So powerful that if unfulfilled for extended periods of time, subjects can become both physically and psychologically ill. 

Like all animals, human beings come as a package.  What I mean is that humans are a very complex creation with many feedback loops and cross connections that work together in order for the person to live physically and function interactively (Mental & Emotional) in the world.  So while it may be necessary to discuss any instinct of humans as single topics for simplicity of understanding, never forget that no aspect of being human operates in a “Bubble”.  The Human Herd Instinct is of course no exception. 

In order to simplify and organize these posts in a manner that can be realistically written and understood, we at Dragon Tamers have decided to group related instincts together.  Human Instincts that closely function together are known by us at Dragon Tamers as “Companion Instincts”.  What you need to keep in mind that technically ALL Human Instincts are Companion Instincts to each other!  However any attempt to describe all these interconnected links either verbally or in writing just is not practical, so we have limited the scope within each discussion

The Herd Instinct is tightly companioned by the Nobility Instinct, and the Community Instinct, and more loosely with instincts for sex.  These Instincts blended together with human intelligence and other physical capabilities create a human unique brand of the herd instinct. While this version is VERY similar to the other Great Apes, it is not exactly the same.  Each of these topics will need to be discussed in separate posts for simplicity, but will often refer to each other.  Additionally the discussion named Human Loneliness will take a deeper look at cases where humans are forced to live with unfulfilled instinctive needs.   

Please take the time to read the posts below.  As always, I look forward to your comments and questions.

1) Human Herd Organization 

2) The Nobility Instinct

3) The Community Instinct

4) When Instincts are Unbalanced


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