Animal, Vegetable, Mineral (It’s All About Words)

Back in the 1990s when I decided to build my first photographic website, I cruised the internet to see what other photographers were doing with websites. From the best known, to those who were new to me.

While I photographed things like auto racing (a lot), architecture (especially old), and things like ships, planes, trains and on very rare occasions people, nature was my mainstay, so I checked out nature oriented sites.

I realized that with many nature photography sites, they spoke a slightly different language than I did.  Language of course, is merely an attempt to communicate to specific groups of people.

There are three different things in this ole world, animal, vegetable and mineral………well, and gas and some microscopics that we often do not classify. Of course, we have liquids. Okay, there’s slightly more than three. My point is, I photographed everything I could in all of those categories.

When I went to many wildlife oriented sites, most  would say that they photographed birds, maybe reptiles, and sometimes insects and other little critters, and then animals. I wondered, when did birds and reptiles and for that matter insects, cease to be animals, and what about mammals?  They seemed to believe that only mammals were animals. When they wrote animals, they meant mammals.

Human beings are not animals in the wildlife sense of the word, but of course in the animal, vegetable, mineral (and gas) sense, we are animals, and physiologically, we are not birds, reptiles, insects and so on. We are mammals.

Most mostly bird photographers, seemed to separate themselves from animal photographers. I might have asked, are your birds minerals or vegetables, or are they a new phenomenon?  I mean, f they are not animals? I didn’t ask.

As an aside I will say that as we have turned God’s Creation (everything), into an accident of history, we have turned humans into the enemy of all things natural. In reality, humans are in and of ourselves, quite natural. We are animals, mammals in fact, and while above nature, we are still natural.

Enough preaching, more words about words.

Language is something that I study quite a lot. While we speak different languages as in English (or better said American), actual English, Spanish, French and on and on, our specific language varies from place to place, and even house to house. I sometimes wonder how we communicate at all.

Politics has its own language(s). While everybody that has ever existed (except One) has lied, lying is the core theme of politics. Without lies, you cannot politic (used as a verb). I think politicos have a book hidden somewhere that explains the language of politics. but I am likely illiterate in that language. That’s a good thing!

I love words. I love hearing them said, seeing them written, and exploring their specific meaning. I think Shakespeare was brilliant with words, and so was Emily Dickinson. I think the greatest wordsmiths that every lived, wrote the Bible. Maybe it is easy to be good when you are motivated, inspired, and directly tutored by God.


Let me share with you some images and words.


Yes it is correct, mammals are animals.

Mule Deer



Male Mallard

Young Great-blue Herons

Animals, an insect and a spider

Little critters like this have many names, but they are a part of the animal kingdom.

Mating Milkweed Beetles

Forest Wolf Spider. Female with egg sack. Arachnids, are a part of the animal world.

Fence Lizard and Snapping Turtle

Reptiles, including Lizards, and turtles, are a part of the great animal kingdom. They are not vegetables or minerals, nor are they gas or germs.

Flowers are not exactly vegetables  per say, but they are not animals or minerals, there to fore, they belong in the category as vegetables. They are not meat or mineral.

One of my favorite photographic subjects fits into the mineral category. I use a “loose” definition for this category but clearly the images below are not those of animals or vegetables.

I love words. I love contemplating them, and I love playing with them. In the end, they can be used to educate and inspire, or they can be used to imprison and destroy.

They can also be meaningless if we do not understand them. A common language, regardless of which ethnic groups the words evolve from, is necessary for us to communicate with each other. As an example. I cannot fathom which language was used, if any, to plan this nation’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Perhaps a new language that few understand, and perhaps no language at all?


Some words to ponder.

The link near the bottom of the page, will take you to an article which gives us one person’s opinion (using words) on the conversion we are seeing from a free thinking society to one of “mind numbed robots”. Orwell’s 1984, was once scary, and is now happening before our eyes, and is terrifying.

I will always be grateful to have grown up at a time and in a society where I was encouraged to think for myself and to reject the herd mentality. Groups, of which we acknowledge too many, cannot think for themselves. Thought is accomplished one individual person by one individual person. Eventually, if we do not change rapidly, it will be that only a small few do all of the thinking and talking for the rest. Those that have supported our current forced silence of several issues, will then ask what happened.

May God Bless,

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