By: Locke Afton
So, the human body-- a product we’re all supplied with at birth and continue to use until death, whether we like it or not. Each body is unique, yet we all share the same general form. A “gift given to us from God,” as some might call it-- but how useful and effective is this gift, really, when compared to other forms of life?
Personally, as someone who’s been inhabiting a human body for 17 years and 32 weeks now, I feel qualified to review this product. I reason that when one is a human, they should be happy that they aren’t an animal, because humans are the dominant species on earth; therefore, one would expect that for that reason, the human body would be superior to all others. This would naturally set my standards pretty high. We should have better features and our bodies should be more useful than all other forms of life. Yet as I truly sat down to give an honest review, I’ve found that human bodies are horribly overrated.
Let’s begin with the flaws of the human body’s basic functionality: humans in general typically have four appendages (two arms, two legs), a torso, a head with two eyes, and an assortment of other bits and pieces. Some of which, speaking of, serve no purpose at all-- the appendix and tonsils are all organs that make no difference whether you have them or not, according to the article “15 Human Vestigial Organs and Functions” from Facts Legend. By having them, they are only prone to injury and serve no purpose other than to be something else that can be infected. For these reasons, they’re commonly removed in humans when they do become damaged instead of bothering with trying to fix them. Why should our bodies have parts that are useless at best and possibly fatal at worst? It’s simply a poor design choice, and these aren’t even aesthetic as no one ever sees them.
Instead of having useless organs, we could have had more extremities. Take spiders, for example, they have 8 appendages whereas we only have 4, two of which we have to use for standing or walking. That leaves only two measly appendages for us to actually use, but spiders get all 8 of theirs because surprise! Spiders also don’t have to bother with wasting any of their extremities on movement by dangling from their webs. Their web spinners allow them to hang from any surface and keep all of their legs free, which also negates the unfortunate issue that we have of being confined to walking only on the floor. Spiders, as well as most other insects, can crawl and fly on any surface in any direction-- imagine how productive society would be if we had the ability to fly!
Jax Layton had a similar opinion on the matter. “I mean, yeah, humans, but… imagine if I could be a dog all day. I could have a tail and little ears! And best of all, no responsibilities!” Here again, just as aforementioned with spiders, we see the pattern of animals being superior for traits that we as humans don’t have, and people wishing that they could leave their human bodies and trade them for those of animals.
Another set of animals I’d like to mention are shrimp: they have two eyes, just as we humans do, however, they have more color receptors than we do, according to the article “Aggressive Mantis Shrimp Sees Color Like No Other” from Live Science. We can’t communicate with colors to alert others of danger (as mantis shrimp see the world the same way as a satellite sensor, where certain colors mean danger and others mean safety), which would be much faster and more efficient than verbally warning someone. Yet other creatures with the same number of eyes can-- aren’t we supposed to be the dominant species?
Cows have four stomach compartments, each to help digest food more thoroughly and gain more nutrition from it (see ScienceLine’s article “What Does a Cow Need All Those Stomachs For Anyway?” ). We only have one that can’t digest some of the things we insist on eating anyway, and this makes us incredibly ill. Jesse Rowan is very familiar with being sick all the time, and described his experience as, “My body sucks! I haven’t been off of antibiotics for 6 months. My immune system is trash.” Rowan said, gesturing to the many prescription packages from Walgreens on his desk. “Being healthy? Don’t know her.”
Rowan brings up a good point that I have yet to discuss; people get sick incredibly easily. If you just happen to be an unlucky human, you can be born with all sorts of diseases that make your life harder than other peoples’. Some animals, however, don’t get the same diseases that we do. They’re immune to some of the things that plague us humans. This again shows that it’s possible-- and again shows how our bodies could have been better, but unfortunately aren’t.
Further evidence to this can be seen in Anna Ritter’s response. When asked about her thoughts, she responded, “There are general aches and pains that I think are highly unnecessary, but I’m still alive and functioning, so... My legs ache at night for no reason. If that like didn’t happen it would be great. Oh and eyes that don’t just go bad?” Ritter again agrees that the human body’s design comes with unnecessary downsides. Annoying and useless pain it seems is just part of being human-- but it shouldn’t have to be. Why do we have to just settle for “still [being] alive and functioning?"
In conclusion, I rate the human body 1 out of 5 stars, which is quite generous-- I didn’t even get into how fragile and soft our little fleshy sacks of meat are compared to other more well-armored animals like crabs and turtles. We could have been something truly beautiful, a masterpiece of functionality, capability, and aesthetic design. We could have been a collage of every best feature of every animal to create the ultimate being, yet here we are, miserably human.
The results are clear based on the information gathered. None of us like having human bodies. However, perhaps not all hope is lost-- even as unfortunately human as we are, we are the species that has learned to improvise and overcome more than any other. This shows our integrity and perseverance, unlike any other being before us. We didn’t have any of these amazing features, yet we prevailed regardless. It’s because we as a species didn’t need the crutches of shells and multiple appendages and extra-color-seeing eyes; we had our hearts, and our willingness to never give up.