A cow does not become jealous because her sister in the next stall gives more milk than her.
A cat does not become sad because it wants to be a bulldog.
A turkey does not get depressed because it can't fly like an eagle.
A rabbit does not spend hours trying to learn how to fly.
Individual consciousness of the animals is very limited. Though the animals know about their own identity, they do not have any critical awareness of it. Neither do they have any desire or capacity to improve their own life nor the life of others or their surroundings.
This faculty belongs to the humans only.
Critical awareness of the ‘Self’ and the desire to make a change; to improve the self and the surroundings, is what sets the humans apart from the animals.
A shloka in ‘Hitopadesh’, a book from ancient Sanskrit literature, says:
आहार-निद्रा-भय-मैथुनं च समानमेतत्पशुभिर्नराणाम्
धर्मोहि तेषामधिको विशेषो धर्मेण हीनाः पशुभिः समानाः
Dharmo hi teshaam adhiko vishesho
Dharmena heenah pashubhih samaanah
Eating, sleeping, fear and mating; these activities are similar between animals and humans.
Of them, Dharma is the additional and special element
Without the Dharma, man is no different than an animal.
A quite similar Shloka is also attributed to Chaanakya, the most famous politician of ancient India and the Guru of the great King Chandragupta, in which the word Dharma has been replaced with ‘Vidyaa’ (knowledge). So the last two lines of his version are:
“Vidyaa hi teshaam adhiko vishesho
Vidyaa viheenah pashubhih samaanah”
Later, the Hindi version of this Shloka, with exact same meaning, became more popular among the folks.
“Nidraa Bhojan Bhog Bhaya, Eh Pashu-Purakh samaan
Gyan adhik ik Naran mahi, Gyan binaa pashu jaan”
Though the word Dharma (Righteousness) has been replaced with Vidyaa in Sanskrit and Gyana in Hindi version, (both of them meaning Knowledge), the message remains the same; because ‘Dharma’ and ‘Gyana’ are both complimentary to each other.
One needs Gyana, (knowledge) to know and follow Dharma. And Gyana without Dharma; without its implementation in life, is useless.
To attain Gyana and then following Dharma of humanity is not a message of the Holy Scriptures only, but of the Nature as well, because that is what sets the humans apart from the other species.