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Theory:

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.
 
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession
 
I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?
 
~Walt Whitman
[From ‘Song of Myself’ in Leaves of Grass]
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Animals - Walt Whitman (pp. 83-84). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.