Other: Art Made by Non-Human Animals
Jim Nollman "Turkey Trot" & "interspecies Protocol"
By Mary Zdybel (04/25/10 22:49:29)
Related animals: Lion, Turkey

In Chapters 1 and 4 of the book, The Man Who Talks to Whales, author Jim Nollman discusses his unique relationship with animals and how his interesting collaborations came to unfold. I found Nollman’s writing very easy to relate to, as he spoke of his love for animals from a very young age I became reminiscent of the same curiosity I felt to explore the animal kingdom. I also enjoyed that Nollman followed his passion for music and the path he chose lead him back to his love for animals. I agree with the authors statement when he says that he “did not necessarily want to learn about animals, so much as he wanted to learn from them,” however, I felt his view of scientists and zoologists to be a bit harsh. Nollman saw scientists as just trying to accumulate more information about animals—meant to “help” us as humans to grow. It interested me because the same love and passion I felt for animals as a child never translated to the dislike or distrust of the scientists that study them, I have always felt that scientists in their studies are doing good for the animals. I understand how Nollman can perceive these scientific efforts as humanistic, but I believe that much good can come from the studies of animals. We are destroying the natural habitats of these animals at such a rapid rate, it is imperative that we learn as much as possible from them before it is too late and we are unable to restore their environments.
In chapter four, “Interspecies Protocol,” Nollman states that we need to establish new ecological metaphors; claiming that our use of words like ‘people’ and ‘neighborhood’ to describe ecosystems is proof that language mirrors our worldview. I definitely agree with the author when he says that we “need to learn to perceive other animals in an entirely new way: as individuals, and possibly, as peers. In his description of the relationship between the Bushmen and the lion, Nollman brings up the issue of establishing protocol with animals to bring our understanding of one another to a higher level and live in a more harmonious manner with each other sharing a single Earth. As he says, “we need to know that lions as the Bushman knew them.” Based on Webster’s definition of protocol, ‘interspecies protocol’ can be understood to mean: “The forms and manners (and defense postures) that any species conforms to when relating to another species.” However, I much more agree with the Tao’s statement, “The relationship with nature that can be defined is never the real relationship with nature.”

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