Female sheep are called ewes, baby sheep are called lambs, and male sheep are called rams. A group of sheep is referred to as a “flock.”
Sheep are gregarious animals, meaning that they flock together or like to be with a group. Sheep are social animals, but the most important reason they like to flock together is for protection.
Sheep are timid, nervous and easily frightened animals and for the most part defenseless against predators like coyotes and wild dogs. Their only means of survival is to flock together in large numbers and to run away from predators. For this reason, shepherds are able to use dogs to move sheep around. Sheep will consider the dog as a predator, flock together for protection and move away from the danger.
Sheep have a flight zone, which is the space they like to keep between themselves and others that are unlike them. The flight distance depends on the situation and on the tameness or wildness of the sheep.
Why Humans Involved in Religion Referred to as Sheep
A sheep type person creates his personal philosophy by basing decisions and beliefs on only two factors:
- What is convenient, easy, and most pleasurable
- What is accepted by the other sheep they consort with.
A sheep person’s views rarely reflect future goals. They “live for the moment,” and are thrown into turmoil or depression when their lives seem less than perfect. Negative and positive are concrete perceptions — good and bad rule what the sheep does. Things that invoke any feeling or action less than their defined “happiness” are bad and should be avoided at all costs. Concepts that suggest otherwise (“beauty in destruction” etc) are automatically considered insane. Those that disagree are misanthropes or lacking in understanding of the “real world,” and thus, are not accepting readily into the herd.
Sheep, despite their tendencies of outcasting others, are the most insecure and underdeveloped people with their beliefs. They are the most easily dissuaded into abandoning their own philosophies when something better sounding is presented to them. They move from herd to herd, staying with each one and its values only until another more appealing happens by — then they join that one.
Some sheep lack the intellect or willpower to discover their cycles and to change them. This makes them good followers, even in cliques that claim individuality. Since sheep biologically lack an internal compass toward a direction beyond the tangible, they use any intangible ideas or social states as a means to the end of being sheep, but also not being seen as such, as that would make them lower status in the herd.
They may feel completely fulfilled with their lives. If one only seeks to achieve nothing they can never feel failure. Desires are placed in the hands of Others with the belief that if it is meant to be, it will come of its own accord with little to no action on their part. They are hedonists because the thought that they are doing whatever they want with the sole purpose of gaining feigned (or in those lacking intelligence-real) happiness. These are the, “let’s stick it to the man!” people. They will yield their pitchforks, not for the overall goal of helping the herd (though that may play a factor) but for some sort of individualized pleasure.
Another type of sheep are those that drift. They do nothing out of routine. They may see things with a tunnel vision like view. They do the same repetitive actions day in and day out without recognition of their day-to-day lifestyles. These people have a sense that they will someday have something better for themselves, but never take action to get there. They may have wishes, but they won’t take the initiative to change those wishes and “if only” desires into goals. They focus on the self as the other sheep do.
The Mental Capacity of Sheep
Sheep rank in intelligence just below the pig and even with cattle. They react to situations they encounter using instincts that have developed over centuries.
Sheep see in color. The average sheep has a field of vision of 270 degrees. The visual field can be affected by the amount of wool on the face. They have a poor depth perception. For this reason, sheep will avoid shadows or harsh contrasts between light and dark. They will move towards the light which also includes bright, shiny things.
Sheep have an excellent sense of hearing. They are more sensitive to high frequency noise than people and get scared by loud noises. Interestingly Dr. Keith Kendrick conjectures that sheep have acquired the reputation of being stupid because they flock together, which gives the appearance that they do not have any individuality and are timid, stress filled and fearful creatures.
“Any animal, including humans, once they are scared, they don’t tend to show signs of intelligent behavior,” he is quoted as saying.
The booming voice of a pastor threatening hellfire and damnation works well on sheep to motivate them into performing the requested behavior… moving in the direction the sheepherder wishes them to move. When sheep are on their back they will need to be helped, because they are unable to return to standing from the supine position.
Sheep were domesticated by mankind thousands of years ago. I think it’s generally accepted that part of creating domestic breeds is selecting for mental traits like “docility” and “submissiveness.” The sheep that remain in the wild are quite cunning and sharp, able to evade capture and defend themselves from predators. It may not exactly equate with intelligence, but it’s pretty close. So I’d say domestic sheep are definitely less intelligent than wild sheep – or at least they act less intelligent. It’s not just that; domesticated animals don’t need as much brainpower as the wild animals, as they are protected and cared for, and have men to solve the more challenging problems for them by telling them what to do and how to do it. So over time it’s simply to be expected that their intelligence would atrophy, since the evolutionary pressure to keep the higher level of intelligence for survival has been removed.
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