Monday, 19 July 2010

Ants

According to Caryl P Haskins Of Ants and Men, humans ‘have domesticated perhaps fifty species’ of birds and animals; ants have domesticated ‘some three thousand species of insect.’

This is offered as a kind of ironic testimony to the superiority of the ant (go to the ant thou sluggard, and consider her ways ...) But it ignores the fact that we humans are one kind of beast; and that ants are legion (there is one specie of human, but 22,000 species of ants). Besides, talking about the 'birds and mammals' we have domesticated does not cover the very many types of insects we have enslaved to our uses, from silkworms through bees to ... yes, ants.