Reflection: History/Philosophy - the Aesthetics of Non-Human Animals
Man Who Talks to Whales Review
By Hector Medina (06/09/13 14:28:28)
Related animal: Whale

In chapter 1, Nollman describes some of his thoughts on animal communication and shared his musical connection with the turkey. He mentions how he saw this turkey as a collaborator not as an animal making noises. I found it interesting how he says we need to learn from animals and not simply about them. I find that to be such an impacting quote. He mentions how we as humans always seem to want animals to learn our language instead of us leaning theirs. Animals are to a point our equals, they are very smart but in their own way. I know this with my dog. She can tell when I am upset, when I want to play with her, or when I don’t want to be bothered. In the same way she can understand what I am feeling, why can’t we learn from them. We learn from body language, from characteristics and repeated behaviors. We need to make more of an effort to respect animals and treat them equally. What made us more superior than them? They have the same privileges we do; we both breathe the same air, we both live on the same planet. Just because we have opposable thumbs? Horses have hooves, whales have fins and my dog has paws? We all are different, and that is what makes us all the same.

Chapter 4 got my attention when I read, “Webster defines protocol as the ceremonial forms and courtesies that are established as proper and correct in official relations between parties. Interspecies protocol may thus be understood to mean the forms and manners (and defense postures) that any specious conforms to when relating to another species.” It basically summarizes what we are trying to do in this class. After we do this interaction, we create something relating to art. It’s an interesting way of thinking. Just like the situations presenting in the rest of the chapter. The lions and Bushmen had this distinct protocol where they couldn’t talk to each other, yet they knew how to treat one another. They knew the boundaries and how to respect one another. Once they natural balance was interrupted with the ranchers it seems like the protocol was broken and so was the trust. It is weird to finally know the proper name, or a suitable name, for the interaction we have with animals.

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