Other: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
Chapter 1 and Chapter 4
By Mark Linggi (04/07/10 20:25:24)
Related animal: Whale

Chapter 1

It took me two days to read this first chapter. Not that I am a poor reader or anything, but it was through pure annoyance and frustration that I could not read past the first three pages. Its actually a funny thing really because I completely agree with almost everything mentioned within the book -- the perspective that needs to be taken on interacting with animals, the personal relationships, the mutual respect. However, it was the naive proclamations of the scientific world that drove me to stop reading before I could complete the third page.

"Instead, I was always left with bewildering impression that humans thought that animals were some kind of biological machine, devoid of emotions, intellect, and independence. And to my impressionable sixteen-year-old mind, a zoologist was a person who captured animals, or who kept animals at a zoo, or tortured them in laboratories."

Us zoologists cannot and should not be clumped into a stereotypical category. Just how you don't base things off of gender, race, or age, you should not lump all of us zoologists into the same category. We are simply not these killing "machines" that dissect animals for the pure selfish reason of benefiting our knowledge. If this statement, people like Jane Goodall, such an inspirational zoologist, is lumped into this category. Yet I know of none of her studies involving mercilessly killing chimpanzees for the personal benefit. Instead, she studied chimpanzees through observing them and brought great global conscious to our closest relative. As a scientist, she did exactly what Nollman said that zoologists do not do. Furthermore, us zoologists do not cast a degrading gaze towards our fellow species. We do not see animals as "dumb" animals. In fact, I know of no serious zoologist who has ever spoke of any animal without great sincerity and the utmost respect for them. Just today, my herpetology professor repeated a phrase that he has been saying since the beginning of class -- "As you can see amphibians and reptiles are far from primitive." I believe that us zoologists place the same value of animals as they would on any other human life.

I took great offense to what this book had to say about me and what I study. I see animals in the exact same way that he does. Like him, I wholeheartedly believe that each animal should be seen with great respect and should be seen as individuals. I not only study animals, but I also "learn from them." But to condemn scientists is not the right pursuit for the benefit of species. If I had such a demoralizing, why the hell would I want to spend my time studying something I don't respect? There are corporations who would rather have economic gain and exploitation of resources that completely destroy the animals and belittle their beings.

"If zoology were a religion, then anthropomorphism would be its mortal sin."

HA! I guess if I am a sinner in my own religion.

Chapter 4

This chapter I had nothing to argue with (aside from the false accusations against science). Like most of the book (once again, with exception of the naivety towards science) I felt as if I was reading a much better worded construction of my very own personal thoughts and beliefs. I too believe that animals should be seen at an individualistic level. I thought that the Native American tale was also a nice touch to the point that was trying to be made.

The Man Who Talks to Whales: the Art of Interspecies Communication (Book) [Write Comment]