It's interesting to observe human behaviour from those amongst our species, especially those individuals we might consider to be role models of virtue and wisdom.
Those custodians of religion are at the forefront of my mind maybe because I'm an atheist and/or maybe because I just like to observe human behaviour.
For example, when the pope, the leader of the Catholic church proselytised against materialism. He does this on a regular basis more often than we realize. He is always dressed in his handmade robes, consisting of rich fabrics of the most expensive quality. He administers a church that is so wealthy, it is a state within a state.
In other words he might as well say "do as I say and not as I do".
But that's just one example. Here's another one. The clergy who regularly bicker and fight over territorial rights at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.
The fight erupted between Greek and Armenian clergy, with both sides accusing each other of encroaching on parts of the church to which they lay claim.
The monks were tidying up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations in early January, following celebrations by Western Christians on December 25.
The fight erupted between monks along the border of their respective areas. Some shouted and hurled brooms.
The point is, no matter what we believe, no matter what we preach, no matter how spiritual our souls might be, we are still basically animals in the animal kingdom. Strange that it's the religious who hold the strongest opinions on how we human species differ from animals. They would even construe any commonality with the "lower" species as an outright insult. Tut tut tut.
Maybe animals aren't self-conscious like humans and maybe animals have no ability to contemplate the future and maybe animals have no concept of death or life after death....but at least I've never met an animal that lied to me or an animal that cheated me or an animal that was a hypocrite.
And if animals had the ability to speak and think rationally rather than merely instinctively, I doubt animals would be so quick to abandon logic and rationality in favour of irrational beliefs.