The human species is compared to the other species of life on Earth via the concept of work. In particular, the question of why the human species works so hard is addressed. Could it have turned out that the human species did not work hard? Could our distant ancestors have not mastered fire, not invented the wheel, not developed complex tools? Could they have instead just taken it easy and lounged around all day en masse? If this situation pertained then clearly the human species would not work very hard. But could this situation ever have transpired? And is it true that that the human species works hard? The answer to this question seems to be dependent on how 'work' is defined. These and other issues are addressed. It is concluded that non-human species work but that the human species does work very hard; the reasons why this is so are also explored.
From the Publisher
"Why do all the wonderful non-human life-forms take it easy, while the human species works hard? This question might not be quite correct; it might be anthropocentrically biased. After all, it might appear to us that, compared to us, other life-forms are 'taking it easy' when in fact they are working hard. We will return to this issue. To start to address the question of why humans work so hard we clearly need to explore the nature of 'work'. One might already be bemused by the very idea that non-human life-forms could 'work'. We tend to very often think of work as something that only humans do. We have our Mon-Fri 9-5 work routines. We get dressed up in our uniforms, jump in our cars, speed to the workplace, then work, work, work! Evening off; then sleep. Then up and off we go again - work, work, work - with a break for lunch in the middle. Humans who are able to work, but seek to avoid work, are typically looked down at. Contrarily, hard workers are cherished and applauded. Our work routine is often, particularly in contemporary Western societies, very regimented. Set hours, set expectations - a human is typically a cog in a greater mechanism. We typically have particular clothes that we have to wear depending on the nature of the work - police constable, airplane pilot, Big Issue seller, investment banker, and clown. This is understandable. Imagine how you would feel if you saw your airplane pilot turn up to your airplane dressed as a clown!"