Are humans animals?
This except from http://allphilosophy.com/topic/1454 believes so:
Biologically, most definitely yes.
Before exploring whether humans are animals, you have to understand what is meant by the terms you're using.
'Animal' is a word with a certain biological definition. Dictionary.com describes an animal to be "A multicellular organism of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure."
For the bio-linguistically inept amongst us (myself included) a human adheres to all the qualities that are demanded for a thing to be termed an 'animal'. Almost all sensible dictionaries, encyclopaedias and biology text books agree in this aspect of the debate.
However, although, overwhelmingly, a human is most definitely an animal in biological terms, I have come across definitions which loosely claim the biological requirements, then fumblingly tack on the end..."excluding humans.”...
And whilst there are other definitions too, spiritual, ethical, for example, it is important not to make a biological claim with an ethical/religious reasoning.
This extremely sarcastic article http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i4/differences.asp seems to disagree, and expands a bit on the religious reasoning, as seen in this excerpt:
...Apes also (again, like humans) yearn for meaning in life. This is why they devote so much of their time to philosophy, theology and ethics. The religious sentiments and practices of all apes can be traced back to their intense and endless quest for meaning.
Apes are concerned about questions not only of origin but also of destiny. The best proof I can offer for this claim is the maxim by one famous ape philosopher who said, 'Whether my life leads ultimately to the dirt or to the Judgment, either way, I've got a problem.'...
This being the case, Christians are plainly wrong to insist that humans and animals are vastly different. And they are also obviously wrong to insist that this difference arises from the fact that God created us humans in His own likeness. And if they are wrong to insist that God made us in His own likeness, then they are wrong to insist that God has any claim on us.
Furthermore, if God has no claim on us, then we are free — free to be animals like our evolutionary ancestors — free to be as low-down as snakes, and to make pigs of ourselves, and to act like donkeys...
Finally, the Times article at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980307,00.html referenced in the previous article states:
No single, essential difference separates human beings from other animals -- but that hasn't stopped the phrasemakers from trying to find one. They have described humans as the animals who make tools, or reason, or use fire, or laugh, or any one of a dozen other appealing oversimplifications.
What I find most interesting however, is that even the God’s Gardeners, so devoted to Animal life that they raise their importance to worship, consider themselves better than Animals.