The Human Zoo

Last week, I started a 30-day audio course called Seeds of Success by Eben Pagan. In the course, Pagan talks about the “Human Zoo” (which is a concept that I think he got from another author). He explains that when animals get taken out of their natural environment and put into zoos, they become depressed, lethargic, sick, and overall, fairly unhappy. Why? Because thimage42ey’re out of their natural environment. They don’t have to search for food, evade predators or do anything that they are instinctually designed to do. Their new zoo environment looks “real” and has many of the same plants, food and other elements of living in the wild, but this fabricated world is so far removed from a life of freedom. And it’s in this environment that their whole purpose in life has been stripped away from them and their health and well-being suffers.

Switch now to the “human zoo”. Pagan says that humans are the same way. Over hundreds of thousands of years, we were living similar to animals. We hunted for food, evaded predators and had basic social interactions with other people in our immediate tribe that were mostly based on rank and sex. It’s only in the last few hundred or thousand years (a tiny little blip in time) that society as we know it has changed to such a degree that we are now living in a human zoo. Everything around us has been fabricated and manufactured for us. We have complex interactions with our fellow human beings that’s been distorted by technology, social media and the press. And we eat food that’s reversed engineered to only satisfy our taste buds, but not to increase health in our bodies. Our modern society is so far removed from what our human genes have developed to deal with.

So what happens? Well, we have become depressed, lethargic, sick, and overall, fairly miserable.

This might be one major reason why you’re unhappy in your 9-to-5 job….because humans aren’t meant to work in a 8×8 cubicle with no windows, stale air and a blinding computer screen for hours upon end. This is like being in a tiny cage in the human zoo—one of the ones that is made of concrete and bars instead of natural landscaping and water features. No wonder you’re unhappy. All of your human genes are screaming at you to break free of this confining enclosure and escape out into the freedom of working for yourself and living your life the way YOU want to live it.

Here’s the problem though—there is a level of comfort in your tiny cage in the zoo. When you’re receiving a regular paycheck, you feel safe. You know where your next meal is coming from. When you do the same work every day, there’s no uncertainty about the future or worry about the unknown.

In fact, when you look at animals in the zoo, they seem to have a pretty sweet deal. Catered meals. No predators. No problems. Carefree living, right?  But there is a price to live this “carefree” caged lifestyle. Many times, you have to give up your happiness, dreams and purpose in life to do it.

Truth is, it’s scary to quit your job, work for yourself and go against the grain of modern society (check out one of my recent posts It’s Freakin Scary, Man). And by no means is it easy. But if your gut instinct is telling you it’s time to fly the coop, maybe you should grab the bolt cutters and break free. Just sayin’.


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