Updated: Aug 22
What is laziness? And is it a term we can use to describe the behaviour of a wild animals?
The definition of laziness is the unwillingness to expend any energy — it is the lack of motivation to do anything, even if we could have done something, we chose to do nothing. It is a term that we use all the time to explain the behaviour of individuals who seem not to want to work or get up or do anything. We have put a very negative connection towards what we call laziness or towards a lazy person. If someone is deemed lazy in our world, they are deemed to be unproductive, unresponsive and possibly useless or a waste of time.
Now is laziness a term we can use to describe the behaviour of wild animals?
The short answer is yes, we can use this term to describe animal behaviour, but it needs to be explained. If we were to look at it from a human perspective then the term comes with a lot of negativity. But this is because we have forgotten that the basis of survival, in the wild or in our world, is to conserve energy, and that being lazy is to conserve energy. To waste energy is to slowly deteriorate. In the wild losing more energy than is being consumed could be called dying, whereas we may call it dieting. Animals are masters of survival; they will not expend any energy uselessly and will do their best to conserve their energy by using any means possible. Lions are possibly one of the laziest animals in the African wilderness. We could change that sentence a little and say lions are some of the best at conserving energy in the African wilderness. Most people who have seen lions have seen them sleeping under a tree in the shade, for hours at a time. They are smart, they wait for the cool of night, helped by darkness, where hunting is most successful and least expensive in terms of energy. A leopard walking down a road will not expend any unnecessary energy, when it gets to a bend in the road, instead of going on the outside of the bend, they will go on the inside of the bend, making the distance travelled shorter, and energy used less. Herbivores will chose the most nutritious plants to eat, rather than waste time and energy on eating plants that will not give them enough energy in return. All these animals could be called lazy, as laziness is the best way to survive in the hot and harsh African wilderness.
Perhaps we should become more lazy, and efficient, not with our time but with our energy.
Julien is French and Scottish, born in 1988 in Nairobi Kenya.
He's a professional Nature Guide and Trails Guide speaking both French and English. He has been lucky enough to have worked in some of the most amazing destinations Africa has to offer, from East Africa to southern Africa, as well as some time in central Africa.
From a very young age he knew he needed to work with animals, big or small, and somewhere in nature. He was always picking creatures up and trying to see the world from their perspective, trying to understand them as much as possible, mesmerized by their shapes and colors. He liked to share this passion with everyone around, always trying to get them involved in his discoveries. Nature is all around us, in Europe, Asia or Africa, all we have to do is realize it.