What Is the Difference Between Humans and Animals?

Humans have long been the rulers of all creation. We are above all other animals on this Earth. We completely and totally rule over all creatures. Even though we may share some characteristics, and even some anatomical similarities, humans and animals are vastly different.

Differences Between Humans (homosapiens) and Animals (Beasts)

There are several things that make humans different from other animals. Most of these differences are easily seen. Here are a few small differences:

  1. Humans bury their dead out of respect. When a human dies, we all feel sad emotions if we felt a strong bond with that person. We often have elaborate burial ceremonies to show respect for our dead. However, animals rarely do such a thing. Only a few animals have been observed to throw a few leaves on their dead. But animals do not routinely bury their dead like us humans.
  2. Animals are mostly driven on instincts. We humans also have instincts, however, we can control them much better. We are mostly driven by reason. Animals are driven much more by instincts, and only use some reasoning. They have it pre-programmed in their minds from birth on what to do in most situations. Isn’t that amazing? Most animals from birth know what foods to eat and how to eat them. They know how to reproduce, where to migrate, and more. Even a baby turtle comes out of it’s shell and immediately knows to swim towards the ocean. Incredible.
  3. Humans are aware of “self,” and contemplate the afterlife. Other animals do not think of the afterlife. They tend to live in the “now.” They live in the heat of the moment. Their main goals all day long are to eat, sleep, mate, and survive. Humans, however, spend a lot of time thinking of the future, past, and present. We think about ourselves and how we relate to life. We think of what happens when we die.
  4. Humans feel a sense of right and wrong and good and evil. We all have a basic conscience. Animals kill and never think twice. They kill for food, and they kill based on instincts. They do not stop to think about if they have “sinned.” When a human murders another human, it is out of evil pre-meditation. We know better, but we murder someone anyways. That is a huge difference. Most animals kill purely to eat, or to defend themselves.
  5. Humans have a complex language and communication method– Humans can talk, write, read facial expressions, gestures, and more. Some can even speak multiple languages. Animals do communicate, but they cannot communicate with the level of a human.
  6. Humans use their brains in much more complex ways– The cognitive abilities of a  human compared to an animal is incredible. Humans can critically think, invent, find solutions to problems, and much more. Animals are much more simple-minded. An anteater looks for ants all day. A bear gets in the water and slaps salmon out. They never stop to think of a more efficient way of doing things. The bear never creates a net or constructs a fishing pole. They find something that works, and will continue doing it. Humans will always seek out more efficient ways, and even invent complex tools. Again, this gets back to our more complex mental faculties.
  7. Technology– We humans have the ability to quickly learn new technology, and adapt and use that technology. We can create machines and computers that help us to do work more efficiently. Even the most complex animals do not share this feature. The only tool you will likely ever see an animal use is a stick or a rock. And even then they look confused and clumsy with it.

These are just a few examples, but there are so many differences between humans and animals. These differences range from anatomical structures, physiology, and even brain power.

One thing, however, remains clear: Humans are very different from animals. Why? Humans were created in God’s image. When God created Adam, he gave a little something to Adam that he didn’t give to any other creation. He created Adam in His image. He gave Adam dominance and higher intellect. He gave us the ability to think, conceptualize, create, reason, and spiritually connect with Him.

Our minds are set up in a way so that we are radically different from every animal. Even monkeys pale in comparison to a human being, and no other creature will ever rival our human intelligence.

After watching several movies about animals, one thing is clear, they are designed to do specific things for the Earth. From birth, they immediately begin doing things that have been pre-programmed into their minds.

Many animals can stand and walk just minutes after birth. Yet it takes humans up to a year or more to learn how to walk. Animals can hunt and kill food almost immediately in many cases. Some breast feed for only a few days, weeks, or months. They can then go out and capture their own foods. Humans, however, must be fed for years by our parents.

In contrast, most humans would die if they were not provided for until the age of about 12-16. We wouldn’t know how to do anything. How many 10 year old children do you think could survive in a forest or desert island? I can’t think of any at all! In fact, most teenagers would struggle. I always found that a bit strange considering that we are the most intelligent creatures alive, yet we require the most care up until about our teenage years.

I think the reason is because God created us to be social, to have a family unit, and to love one another in fellowship. He wants us to have a strong family. He wants us to have strong bonds. He wants us to love one another and seek His face. He wants us to rely upon Him.


I always think about how strange it is that humans don’t have any other species or animals that are even close. We are by far more superior than any other insect, animal, or plant on this Earth. While animals may be able to do things humans can do, and even share some of our DNA, the differences between the most complex animal and the average human are enormous.

Comparing a human to an animal is like comparing a car to a bicycle. We can do so much more. We have the brains that are superior and allow us to accomplish all of this. We were created in the image of God. Animals are very fascinating creatures. They are very interesting to observe, and are even fun as pets. But we humans have the upper hand.