Sunday, December 15, 2013

animal intelligence

This is of enormous importance to me. I don't know - I don't know if this woman can do this as ... clearly as she says, yet...

Bagheera was my first crush, I think, as a pre teen misfit. I would walk to school each morning in the company of a shining black panther, conversing, feeling safe. For those moments in the day, I had a guardian, a friend. I've always thought that character was just so... romantic. We be of one blood, ye and I. When I was young my mother took me to a psychologist at some point. He asked my what my three wishes would be and one of them was that I could talk to animals. He told my mother that there was nothing wrong with me, it was just my situation that was the problem, which may or may not have been true. I don't think he scratched very deeply into that statement and what it said about my experience of human interaction and what I needed. I can't deny that this video is significant still.

 I have very strong feelings about humanity's dismissal of animals' emotional lives and their right to their habitat, their world. We assume so much superiority and we don't stop to consider what it does say about our humanity. People are constantly stunned to hear about the abilities the more intelligent animals display, as if it's impossible. It's a weird, blind mindset I've never understood. Because to be unable to see animals as nothing more than bundles of instinct there for our consumption is so limited, I believe it shows we're hiding from a truth about the world that is more than we can handle, perhaps. Our rejection of the idea of animal intelligence allows us to commit atrocities like Hatajiri Bay, where families of dolphins are slaughtered in a sea of their own blood. This is what humans do, though, it's not like we don't embrace massacre and genocide of ourselves, still, in many parts of the world. This too, is our culture, our civilisation, what are big brains can consider acceptable. 'I think dolphins should be treated the same as any other fish,' someone once said, in a discussion about the Japanese practice. This woman was once described to me as the most intelligent person they'd ever met.  Fish?

I saw this today, and earlier I watched the end of a surprisingly good programme on RTE, presented by Liz Bonnin, about animal intelligence and communicative abilities. I liked her, and it's nice to see these things being presented by someone as interactive as her. Nice style by RTE, I must admit. Available on Player for anyone in the country.

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