Do whales wonder about the meaning of existence? Maybe. Maybe not. But I wonder about the meaning of their existence as well as mine. Technically, we both exist. But does my existence have more meaning than the whale’s existence because I wonder about it? Maybe. Maybe not.
At any rate, what distinguishes me (us) from the whale (aside from the obvious difference in size) is the fact that I am aware of certain things that the whale is not.
I think. And I am aware that I think. I am also aware of how I came to be capable of thinking. It may not seem like much. But try to imagine a radio that knows it is a radio or a bicycle that knows the address of the factory it was built in. Make sense? No? Oh well. Let me try again.
I am made of the same stuff that stars and planets are made of (so is the whale by the way, in case you were wondering). I am aware of the fact that inert matter became chemicals which reacted to create simple (relatively speaking) life forms and somewhere along the evolutionary path, this life became capable of not only understanding the processes that it underwent to become what it is, but also created ways to communicate this understanding to others like it. That is existence right there — not the fact of being, but the acknowledgment of being.
Of course, I may be wrong about whales not being aware of the meaning of existence and I may be engaging in some kind of speciesism by thinking this way. Which leads me to wonder — if the whale had been writing a post about how its existence is more meaningful than mine because it capable of wondering about it, would it have apologised for possible speciesism like I just did? Maybe. maybe not.