Sheep Report


Miles Pim '22

A sheep is a species of quadrupedal, ruminant (cud-chewing) mammal typically kept as livestock, raised for its meat, milk, and wool. Sheep are timid animals who tend to graze in flocks and are almost totally lacking in protection from predators. Sheep are gregarious: they will usually stay together in a group while grazing. In fact, a sheep will become highly agitated if it is separated from the group. It is this banding together in large groups that protects sheep from predators, which will go after the outliers in the flock. 

Sheep have a strong instinct to follow the sheep in front of them. When one sheep decides to go somewhere, the rest of the flock usually follows, even if it is not a good decision. For example, sheep will follow each other to slaughter. If one sheep jumps over a cliff, the others are likely to follow. Even from birth, lambs are conditioned to follow the older members of the flock. This instinct is intrinsic in sheep. It’s not something they “think” about, which is why they are so easily manipulated by their “shepherds.” Sheep, if they could understand English, would do whatever they are told. They would blindly follow directions given to them by any form of “authority” or “leadersheep”, even if it did not make sense to them, because they would not put any thought into what they are told. They would just do it. 

It may seem strange to us humans but sheep are a whole different story. I would say they have a mind of their own, but they don’t. They have a mind of whoever is controlling them, a “shepherd” if you will. It is not uncommon for sheep to do things that may seem ridiculous: being a sheep is a pathway to many abilities that some consider to be questionable. Sheep behavior is dangerous. It may seem to be safe because there are so many sheep who do the thing, but the facade of safety is what promotes this foolish behavior. Simply because there are more sheep doing the sheep thing does not make it an intelligent decision. In an effort to avoid being sheep, I would encourage all of you to take the advice of Peter Abelard and question authority. Do not go gentle into that good night, rage rage against the dying of the light. The light being the ability to think freely. I hope you all have enjoyed my wonderful biopic on sheep, have a wonderful day!