Time 100 Animals

Cecil_the_lion_at_Hwange_National_Park_(4516560206)2In case you missed it, Time magazine recently published its first-ever list of the year’s 100 most influential animals. Absurd? Maybe. Probably. But that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. As one who studies the history of animals for a living, I welcome any effort to shed light on our complicated relationship with other creatures. Especially since those efforts almost always reveal more about us than them. Consider, for example, that 57 of the 100 entries are domestic animals. Among them, only CRISPR-edited laboratory goats (#4) and Triple Crown-winning horse, American Pharoah (#9), ranked in the top ten. There are 29 dogs on the list (the highest number of any species), and 15 cats. The highest ranking dog is Diesel (#16), a Belgian Shepherd who died fighting terrorists in Paris, while the highest ranking cat is… Grumpy Cat (#21). Proving that some animals are more equal than others, 11 of the animals on the list do not have a proper name, while 8 of the animals are fictional characters. Lest you’re curious, the panel of experts (which included Joel Stein, Ingrid Newkirk, Rich Ross, Philippe Cousteau, Gene Baur, Chelsea Marshall, and Phil Johnston, and Moby) ranked Cecil the Lion the #1 most influential animal of the year. You can read the list in its entirety at this link.