Reflection: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
The Man Who Talks to Whales Response #1
By Marissa Gravett (04/17/13 23:20:03)
Related animals: Anemone, Clownfish

In Chapter 1, Nollman describes his relationship with animals and how it changed as he grew up over the years. This chapter really made me think about my relationship with animals and how it has changed from when I was a young girl because I have always felt mine to be unique. I thought that it was very interesting how he stated that he “did not necessarily want to learn about them, so much as [he] wanted to learn from them.” Seeing as I have been affiliated with many jobs and volunteer programs involving animals, I contemplated whether or not I do these things because I want to expand my knowledge about them or if I want to learn from them. This made me question my reasoning for choosing to spend my time with animals in my jobs and internships. Although I did not come to a definite conclusion, I have a feeling that my intentions are to learn about the animals so that I can better understand them so they can eventually teach me more about myself. I really enjoyed reading about Nollman’s journey to find meaning in his relationships with animals over the years in this first chapter.

In Chapter 4, Nollman explains the different “protocols” between animal-human species such as lions and bushmen and clownfish and anemone. He defines interspecies protocol as the forms and manners (and defense procedures) that any species conforms to when relating to another species. I thought his discussion of the clownfish and anemone relationship was exceptionally interesting. I have always been taught that their relationship was a symbiosis where both organisms have a physical codependence that is advantageous to both species. Nollman describes their relationship as more of a protocol, which is more of a social behavior that is established between the individuals. I had never thought of their relationship in this way, so it was interesting to think about these two species’ interactions from a different perspective. We tend to group animal relationships as characteristics of the species as a whole, but as Nollman argues, it is very important to look at the relations between individuals

[Write Comment]