Our expirements backfired. We tried to give a couple great apes consciousness intelligence, and sapience and we thought we failed and released them back into nature. Turns out, our experiments had succeeded and they developed extreme and rapid intelligence, and found a way to make other mammals conscious, sapient and intelligent, all in the nature and under the hood. Years later, they made their appearance with a big army of mammals with weapons we had never seen before. Soon enough, they conquered our lands and made us their lab tests and pets.

My boss told me all about the aforementioned story. He provided me with the latest technology and assigned me the mission to take back earth for the humans, and revert or eradicate intelligent conscious sapient animals.

Here's the catch, he is a mammal himself, a dog to be precise. He was living his whole life as a pet to humans, and now that he is rich, smart and powerful, he wants to revert it, not for himself but for every animal.


Why does a conscious sapient intelligent mammal want to eradicate all conscious intelligent mammals (or remove their consciousness/sapience/intelligence), including himself, and give earth back to humans?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Most animals already are conscious. Evidence suggests that "consciousness" refers to higher-level processes in the brain stem - that is, a clocked circuit in the brain that combines inputs from multiple unclocked circuits that handle sensory inputs into inputs that handle motor outputs. Even spiders plan ahead. Hunters plan a path to their prey, while web builders choose the best spot for their webs. I believe the word you're looking for is "sapience". $\endgroup$ May 30, 2020 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnDvorak Thank you, going to edit it $\endgroup$
    – Offtkp
    May 30, 2020 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ Please see this meta discussion regarding character questions: the motivations of a single character is something the author must decide on. Voting to close as off-topic story based. $\endgroup$ May 30, 2020 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ Because the intelligent animals are terrible blunderers and suck at running things. Humans back on top! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    May 30, 2020 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ Three words: "ignorance is bliss". Why do some people prefer the blue pill? You're just dealing with an extremist that thinks everyone would be better off and wants to make the choice for them. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    May 30, 2020 at 15:02

4 Answers 4


Loyalty and Contempt

Your boss loved the carefree life that was provided for him when he was a human pet. Regular food, regular walks and no decisions to make - who would want to leave that behind?

Naturally as a sapient being this would be a shallow reason for de-uplifting himself and all of the other sapient mammals without their consent. However, he is also horrified by the excesses of the anti-human war. Chemical/biological/nuclear warfare, massacre of civilians on both sides and dangerous weapon experimentation were rife. The defeat of the humans just drove the war underground and made the resistance even more fanatical while the mammals adopted brutal counter-insurgency tactics.

He fears that the war will eventually lead to the extermination of all life on Earth. A return to non-sapience for himself and the other mammals starts to seem like the better option.


Natural consequences:

Humans evolved over a very long time with a very sophisticated set of processes to allow them to be human. We are "made" to be sapient, intelligent beings. Whatever process has made every mammal on Earth super-smart must have some dreadful consequences for the Earth and for the mammals who aren't equipped to handle it.

  • Overheating - All these mammals are constantly generating vast amounts of heat as tiny brains run like massively overclocked processors. Whole equatorial species have already died out, but the gorilla overlords don't care as long as their ideology of enslaving mankind is fulfilled.
  • Religion - All that processing needs calories. Carnivores have started brutal religions of offerings and sacrifices to justify their lust for the flesh of fellow sapients. The Aztecs have nothing on these folks.
  • Famine - It's not just predators who have problems. Animal bodies aren't well adapted to tool use, but the demands on agriculture are massive as every mammal on Earth wants what humans have - steady food for their out-of-control metabolism.
  • War - Humans have had millenia to evolve getting along with intelligent species. Have you heard the expression that if you put a hundred monkeys that don't know each other on a plane across the Atlantic, you'll land in London with 99 dead monkeys? The rats don't care about the rights of cats, and the Marsupial Alliance has started a campaign of genocide in Australia.
  • ecological collapse - Mankind is arguably responsible for the largest mass-extinction event in recent geological time, and that's ONE sapient species with tools and maybe a few more like dolphins. Magnified ten thousand-fold, the Earth is in mortal danger and the apes don't care. All land is being converted to agricultural land worked by starving slaves, all seas are being fished to extinction, whole species are being given as offerings to hungry gods. The end-times are here!
  • Slavery - Your dog could be deeply philosophical. Slavery is wrong, and he'd rather have animals be less intelligent and unable to distinguish slavery from servitude. Maybe the unexamined SAPIENT life is not worth living, but if you eliminate the sapient part, it's okay.
  • Love - We've all seen schmaltzy movies about the dog and his boy. Now imagine the dog watches his boy, the focus of mutual unconditional love, brutally tortured, castrated, and eventually murdered by vengeful animals. The boy loved him before he was intelligent. It makes me tear up and want revenge just thinking about it.
  • insanity - "I ate the cow's liver with fava beans and a nice chianti." Animal brains are not designed for this kind of abuse, and mental illness is rampant. You never know when the cool cat next to you will snap and go on a killing rampage, or start talking to imaginary beings. Maybe it's you, next.
  • $\begingroup$ Most animals are already regarded as sentient. I think you meant sapient in your last paragraph? $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    May 30, 2020 at 15:17

The same reason why Zootopia would quickly crumble: predators versus prey.

In nature the prey has a high amount of children in the hopes of getting enough to adulthood and then in turn have children. When the population of prey grows the population of predators quickly grows after it as more predators can get enough food to stave off starvation. This causes the prey population to drop and in turn the predator population. This way the prey population never exceeds a certain limit.

Unfortunately if a crapton of animals have become sentient and work together this is going to backfire around lunchtime. The predators have to eat the dumb animals (assuming they are allowed), but hunting is an extremely exhausting business with a lot of failures so the predator cant start with "hey you sentient?". So the predators will face starvation or start eating any prey that comes along, sentient or dumb. Worse still: an unsuccessful predator that is going to starve to death will instinctively make sure that doesnt happen, and said predator will invite some sentient prey to a business meeting with the secret agenda point of "dinner".

But lets assume they can grow enough dumb livestock to keep the predators happy and fed. What happens? The prey will still have the same sexual urges (although modern distractions reduce some of that) and the same amount of children per birth. After 2 generations the prey will be so big that everyone is reduced to food production to prevent starvation.

But for one moment assume that population control is very well done, food production is great and predators+prey are fine with each other. Even then the entire thing would collapse. Any office work would be done by the smaller intelligent animals. Why build an office for an elephant when a dozen cats or dogs can do more work in less space? Maybe the mice are even as intelligent (despite the lower brain mass) and they would dominate the economical market: they can ask for less money as they require less food, space, electricity and other resources so why would you pick something bigger? And imagine an elephant accidentally stepping on a sentient cat or mouse, that would set the stage for a small animal vs large animal conflict that is both economical and about accidental deaths which will turn into purposeful deaths as conflict rises between them.

One way or another your dog is seeing his animal kingdom crumble. Overpopulation, starvation, predator vs prey relations are all disastrous and global war is ineviteable. Unless... humans take over again. Maybe the dog has a backdoor to keep humans in line, "if you dont take good care of the world and the animals a failsafe will release sentience amongst the animals again". Humans might not be perfect, but they might be better than the bloody wars that all those sentient animals are having/will have.


I hope personal anecdote will count as an answer

My son and daughter both went through insufferable stages in their development when they for the first time experienced complex emotions. It starts around 6 months I think - beside extreme curiosity it also come with sudden fears, anxieties and worries and it only escalates with age. I am 30 and I am still incapable sometimes handle those emotions. So imagine how it would be to suddenly feel full hit of anxieties, fears and worries for untrained mind on human-like level.

As I am considering myself adult and somehow trained in handling my moods and emotions, there are still dark thoughts in my head like "Ignorance would be such a bliss, not have to worry again" I believe for mammals untrained in such an avalanche of nasty emotions might lead to creation of movements like "back to our roots".

I think you wanna create villain for you story and need something reasonable. Well I would think that exactly that Rapid Intelligence growth might lead to very aggressive or very nihilistic behavior extremes and I am backing this theory by just how long Humans need to at least understand their emotions to stop throwing tantrums - I still sometimes throwing tantrums when I am having bad day at the end of the bad month. Look at the COVID situation where isolated people need to deal with new emotions - lot of them cannot handle it.

Now imagine all this adult emotions put into 1 year old kid - in your case adult Dog gaining human-level thinking just year ago.


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