Reflection: Interspecies Communication
Revised Profile
By Erik Shalat (04/17/13 00:45:12)
Related animals: Bird, Dog

Hello! My name is Erik Evan Shalat, and I am a long time compatriot of animals. Over the course of my life iíve had three dogs, a cockatoo and several hamsters. I am a senior art major at University of California Santa Barbara and Interspecies Collaborative seemed like a great way to kick off my last quarter of college. In my time at UCSB iíve always enjoyed watching the animal life on and off campus, watching the birds down at the lagoon and feeding the raccoons late at night outside the dorms. My favorite animals are fruit bats. Any mammal that can fly is okay in my books. As a cartoonist I have realized that in the same way that giving animals human-like characteristics makes them more relatable, giving humans animalistic traits or animal like postures makes their personalities more identifiable. My relation to animals hasnít always been so beneficial, though. My cockatoo, Toby, is a problem child. He alternates between singing to me lovingly to getting out of control and biting me on a daily basis. Most of the scars on my body are from my birdís outbursts. I think he is my closest animal relation, rocky though it is. I taught him to speak, he knows how to say ďHello Erik.Ē Unfortunately those are the only two words he knows and no matter what we try to teach him nothing really sticks. One of my goals for this class is to better understand the thought processes of animals to better get into Tobyís head and hopefully calm him down so that my parents wonít get rid of him while iím away. My dog, Sandy, is more my dadís dog but she sleeps in my room and waits for me when I go away to college, itís very cute.

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