Other: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
Turkey Trot...Interspecies Protocol
By Michelle Safley (04/21/10 00:48:44)
Related animals: Rooster, Turkey, Whale

Chapter one, Turkey Trot, is most interesting following the question, "Can an animal be taught to communicate with a human being?" The instinctual answer is yes, of course, animals are constantly being trained to communicate a variety of different things. Nollman, however, suggests that true communication is not that simple. He argues that the animal in training is held captive and programmed to learn the way humans do, without acknowledging the way they might *already* do. True communication, therefore, should be based off of mutual respect. Both participants should have equal power to decide the course and subject of the learning experience. This is not always the case, so according to Nollman, true communication is actually rather difficult to achieve.

Chapter four, Interspecies Protocol, brings up the concept of how we perceive animals, and connects our perception to language. According to Nollman, in order for human beings to fully understand interspecies protocol, we have to first learn to perceive animals in a new way. Kind of like learning a new language in order to best communicate with a foreigner. Most importantly, animals must be viewed as individuals, and quite possibly even as peers. Viewing them as equals allows a kind of mutual trust and respect to form and develop over time. Only then can we examine and improve the way in which we interact with animals, when both humans and animals start out on equal footing, be it a human footprint or a paw.

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