De lyckliga djuren

Nietzsche skriver i ”On the Utility and Liability of History for Life” om människans sätt att, konstruktivt och destruktivt, förhålla sig till historien. En sak jag fastnade för i hans framställning rör djuren:

Observe the herd as it grazes past you: it cannot distinguish yesterday from today, leaps about, eats, sleeps, digests, leaps some more, and carries on like this from morning to night and from day to day, tethered by the short leash of its pleasures and displeasures to the stake of the moment, and thus it is neither melancholy nor bored. It is hard on the human being to observe this, because he boasts about the superiority of his humanity over animals and yet looks enviously upon their happiness — for the one and only thing that he desires is to live like an animal, neither bored nor in pain, and yet he desires this in vain, because he does not desire it in the same way as does the animal. The human being might ask the animal: ”Why do you just look at me like that instead of telling me about your happiness?” The animal wanted to answer, ”Because I always immediately forget what I wanted to say” — but it had already forgotten this answer and hence said nothing, so that the human being was left to wonder.

Jämför med Walt Whitmans och John Stuart Mills syn på djur kontra människa. Vad vill vi helst vara? Jag lutar åt djur — det tilltalande i att leva i nuet utan grubbel och bekymmer! — men det lär bli svårt att fixa till.

Not: Givetvis är människan också ett djur, så när jag skriver ”djur” menar jag ”icke-mänskliga djur”.