The Lowest Animal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Lowest Animal is an 1896 philosophical essay written by American author Mark Twain. Twain describes fictional experiments he did with animals in which they showed greater civility than humans.[1]


In the essay Twain satirizes human nature by describing a series of experiments he supposedly conducted at the London Zoological Gardens. Twain takes Darwin's evolution theory that humans evolved from earlier ancestors, or “lower animals,” and turns it upside down. He describes deeds done by powerful people against the helpless, and states the many ideas that made him ponder about the lack of humanity. He ends the essay with these words: "Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim."