Modern scientists - who clearly don't know whose side they're on - have shattered many cherished illusions about what separates us from the animals. For instance, we've had to give up the idea that we're the only species that uses tools, and you never know when research may add details that are an additional blow to our self-esteem - such as the fact that chimps use cooking utensils to prepare their meals.
It's getting worse all the time. Your dentist can accuse you of having worse habits than a monkey now that we know that macaques floss their teeth. And some of you animal-loving do-gooder types might be out of business if a lost dog can turn himself into the lost and found, like a dachshund did in Germany.
But if there's an award for the most nerve exhibited by an animal seizing human privileges for itself lately, it has to go to the British cat who took the ferry to Spain.
The cat's apparent attempt to take a sunny vacation was thwarted when the crew discovered him before he could disembark, but he certainly didn't suffer:
For the return journey he was fed a special menu of salmon, chicken and milk and had an ensuite cabin with sea view, which usually costs up to £266.
Crew members paid hourly visits to his room during the 36 hour sailing to give him a stroke and to ensure he remained comfortable.
They gave him his own pillow and donated one of their warm jackets. And the ship's captain, Alastair McFadyen, even found time to visit the stowaway.
Far from complaining about the non-paying passenger, a spokesman for the shipping company said:
"Staff kept a close eye on him, gave him cuddles and kept him comfortable - they were sad to see him go."
Photo of another spoiled-looking passenger by Flickr user hidden side.