Hegel conceives of human beings as both natural and spirited. On Robert Pippin's influential reading, we are natural by being ‘ontologically’ like other animals, but spirited through a ‘social-historical achievement’. I contest both the coherence of this reading and its fidelity to Hegel's texts. For Hegel the human being is the truth of the animal. This means that spirit's self-production is not, as Pippin claims, an achievement that an animal confers on itself, but the realization of what the human being is. I end by specifying Aristotelian features of Hegel's account whose neglect by Pippin can help explain what goes wrong in his reading, and provide the outlines of a reading that is both coherent and faithful to Hegel's texts.