TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


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What have you learned from animals?

I was thinking about squirrels and how they eat pine nuts and acorns, and this led me to watch YouTube videos how I could harvest pine nuts and acorns.

Hearing how animals emphasize smell led to me to read books and articles about perfume.

Sometimes I'll get down on all fours and walk like an animal to exercise my arms.

Hearing how jackals eat bones on the African plains helped me realize you can eat hard things. I used to think you couldn't eat a snail live because the shell was too hard. But now if I find a garden snail on my walk I'll eat it, shell and all. I discovered the shell really isn't all that hard.


Closing Statement from greg dahlen

I concluded that people do watch animals and think about what they do and learn from them but I wondered if they could go farther. For example, I wish there weren't "indecent exposure" laws, I wish we could go nude in public like when I want to go out and hang laundry on the line to dry.

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  • Aug 17 2013: Almost everything I know worthwhile I learned from animals. Loyalty, compassion, law, philosophy, common sense, dedication, perseverance, logic, happiness, courage, contentment, bravery, love, embarrassment, camaraderie, brilliance, perfection, I could go on for hours... Don't ask me what I have learned from humans it is to painful to dredge up. Some humans are capable of expressing beauty beyond definition and if it were not for those rare occasions I would return to live all my life in the animal world, the sane world.

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