Can’t we just get along, people?

By John Toth

After hearing all of this negative news - killing, cursing, people disrespecting each other, I thought that I would explore the animal kingdom to see if I could find examples of how other species get along.

I went back to my research and dedicated a few minutes reading up on how we should perhaps behave and be better for it.

Disclaimer: This is not intended as a research paper on human behavior, only to entertain. Do not copy and paste it into your doctorate thesis.

For years I have heard that squirrels mate for life. That’s a good place to start. If squirrels can get along with their mate for a lifetime, then let’s learn from them to see how they do it. Maybe we can follow their example and save the world from destruction.

Unfortunately, the average lifespan of a squirrel is about seven years. Getting along for many decades is probably much harder.

I’m not just talking about getting along as a couple, but as the human race. There has to be a better way than both sides hammering each other politically, or one country threatening to annihilate the other.

But wait. Further research reveals that squirrels do not mate for life. There goes that example.

As a matter of fact, they just hang out together until the kids are born. Then, the guy takes off, leaving the mom to fend for herself and the babies. Humans already know how to do that.

Birds must do better then. They fly around in formations, looking like they really know how to get along in a group. Let’s try birds as our example.

“ About 90 percent of the 9,700 bird species pair, mate, and raise chicks together — some returning together to the same nest site year after year. Males, however, often raise other males’ offspring unknowingly. DNA testing reveals that the social-pair male did not father 10, 20, and sometimes 40 percent of the chicks,” writes

So, while birds fly around, they also fool around. At least they stay to raise someone’s chick – whoever the real parents may be.

We’re sort of headed in the right direction, sidetracking a little into the hanky-panky category. But, at least birds get along.

“Only about 3 percent of the 4,000 mammal species are monogamous (and Homo sapiens isn’t one of them). Beavers, otters, bats, wolves, some foxes, a few hoofed animals, and some primates live together in social pairs but dally sexually much as birds do,” once again quoting

Wait, here is something. Black vultures are always faithful. If a vulture is caught philandering, the others will attack him.

Now we’re back to violence, but at least group pressure keeps vultures on the straight and narrow.
I finally found it. A species that is completely harmonious and works together in a group peacefully to achieve a goal – the termite.

“One of the most profound and defining attributes of the termite family is that it is built on monogamy. Termites are faithful. They are probably the most monogamous group of animals on earth. The evolutionary outcome of this commitment to monogamy is a large and integrated family.” writes

No wonder they are so good at eating houses.

Yes, there is hope for peace and harmony, provided we all start eating wood.