A Little Bit of Everything

Okay, so I watched a little bit of a documentary show called ‘The Passionate Eye’ on CBC and it was about this particular orca who had been seperated from his pod and as a result was seeking out human companions.  I soon had to stop watching simply because I was so enraged.  Why? Two words; stupid humans.  And I’m not talking about the people who touched and played with Luna (the whale), oh no, they were great; they were careful and didn’t try to take advantage of Luna or anything.  I’m talking about the scientists and government people.  They just up and decided that they didn’t think people should interact with this whale because oh, apparently it is more common for whales who interact with humans to be injured and killed.  Paraphrasing one of the lead scientist in the department of fisheries’ words, ‘we should keep up a barrier in between us and ‘wild animals’.’

So basically, this whale who was very lonely and just looking for attention was denied that because some humans who just happen to have power in human society (even though it is all in our heads and really has no practical impact in the real world beyond society’s delusions) decided that they knew better.  Because don’t we always?  Know better than other animals, I mean.  Of course, I’m being sarcastic.

For a second though, imagine I wasn’t being sarcastic (That is basically the opinion of the majority of the human race).  Didn’t I sound like a self-centred, egotistical sociopath? We have absolutely no concept of anything outside ourselves.  We think we do but as we only ever try to understand things in terms of ourselves, we cannot possibly expect to understand the way the minds of members of another species works.

One of the things that really disgusted me was when the show talked about how scientists discourage the use of words such as ‘friendship’ in relation to what they deemed as ‘animals’.  I put that in quotation marks because we are in fact, animals too so it’s quite strange that we would be placed in a different group to them.  I’m going to go more into that later when I bring up the whole concept of putting up a barrier between us and ‘wild animals’.

So, apparently this whole whale thing has ‘revolutionized’ the set idea that scientists have that non-human animals do not experience emotions or even consciousness like we do.  Because obviously, we are so. damn. special.  Sarcasm again.  You can tell this ticks me off.  I just can’t stand this stupid superiority complex that humanity insists on having.

On to this whole ‘barrier’ concept.  I’ve already started to express my opinion on our self-imposed separation from other animals.  Why? (notice the relation to the title of this post)  Why has it been turned into an ‘us’ and ‘them’ thing?  We are all animals that are sharing this earth and have gone through the exact same amount of evolution.  We all have our individual responsibilities to maintain the fragile ecosystems that encompass us and we all have our individual ways of fulfilling those responsibilities.

Scientists claim that we are sentient and other animals aren’t.  What are signs of sentience?  If I remember correctly, language is one of the major qualifications of ‘sentience’.  So am I interpreting this correctly?  When dogs bark, that isn’t language?  When one wolf howls and then another one howls back, that isn’t a form of communication which is the definition of language?  It seems to me that the only reason to not consider the above mentioned circumstances language is that they aren’t the same as our language.  The same thing can be said of the way the Japanese communicate, or the french, or the chinese etc.  So, what?  They don’t have language?  They’re not sentient?

But wait a minute, that’s dangerous ground, that’s sounding like racism. Woooooh

Oh, the hypocrisy.

Well, I could probably carry on with my rant but I think I’ve got my main  idea across so I’m going to publish this and go to bed.  If I have anything else to say, I’ll just make another post.

I hope everybody is having a great holiday

-Daine

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Comments on: "Why is there a divide?" (6)

  1. Hi Daine! I came across this post because I subscribe to Google alert, which lets me know any time the title of my book One Wolf Howls appears on the internet. Of course, I also get alerted any time the phrase “one wolf howls” appears! LOL. So here I am. Anyway, I agree with what you say. However, I also feel that it’s valid (at least in the present time) to be cautious about interacting with animals who live in the wild. Why? Because animals who experience positive interaction with humans are more likely to trust all humans, which can prove deadly. I wish that weren’t true, but it does seem to be the case. I love animals, but I would be reluctant to befriend an animal that I knew would encounter other humans in the wild. We teach our children to be careful about interacting with strangers, but I don’t know if there’s a way to explain to a wild animal that it can trust me but not necessarily other humans. Therefore, my concern that I’m doing the animal a grave disservice overrides my desire to interact more closely with it, a desire that could be described as self-centered on my part because it assumes that interaction with me will benefit the animal, when in fact it may not.

    • I guess I do get that, I just also have to wonder about the logical progression of these ideas which hasn’t been carried out. Children are creatures just like that whale who have been injured and sometimes killed by adult humans yet children aren’t taken away as soon as their born and isolated with just a couple of ‘officials’ who know how to handle them. We can even take it to the next step and say that since humans have injured and killed each other, why are they not all isolated from each other?

      Some people would say that’s exaggeration because it’s ridiculous but what they don’t realize is the precedent to that case is this whale and it’s just as ridiculous.

      That’s what I think anyway

      • I see what you’re saying. So would you befriend a wild animal and teach it to trust you, and then just “hope” it never runs into a human it shouldn’t trust?

        One difference with human children is that in general, they have no one they can rely on except other humans (well, except for the occasional child who is “raised by wolves” or some such). So children end up having to deal with good-bad-and-ugly human beings from the beginning. They *need* care from humans of one sort or another up to a certain age. Unless they run off and live in the wild, they have to interact with people of all kinds.

        If I befriend a wild animal and teach it to trust me, I am taking away its natural mistrust and wariness of humans. I’m concerned that this will not benefit the animal and may set the stage for disaster. Does that make sense?

      • I don’t think mistrust and wariness of humans is ‘natural’, I think it’s learned. But yeah, it’s a touchy subject that can be argued a lot.

        I think though, one of the assumptions that is a basis of your argument is that animals aren’t smart enough to tell the difference between the person they’ve befriended and other people and I don’t think that’s true. Of course, there are some animals who will come up to any person but I believe that is more a matter of individual personality than a general rule of how animals act once they’ve befriended a human

      • I agree — we don’t know for certain that an animal who trusts a particular human or depends on a particular human for food will automatically trust all other humans and depend on them for food. I don’t know if there is any research or data on the subject that I would find compelling one way or the other. It does *seem* that many wild animals who receive food from a human tend to seek food indiscriminately from other humans. But then, adult human beings make bad decisions about other human beings all the time, sometimes paying with their lives for those bad decisions. We try to protect ourselves and those we love, but we don’t always succeed. Anyway, I think you and I are more alike than different on the subject of animals. It sounds like you would agree that caring for an exotic (wild) animal requires a certain amount of training and experience (as opposed to saying, on a whim, “Oh what a cute raccoon/monkey/lynx — I think I’ll keep it in my house.”

      • yeah definitely, you should know what you’re doing, but I am very pro exotic ownership. I’ve been part of a bunch of exotic animal forums and message boards reading loads of posts on how to care for various types of exotics. I’m also majoring in animal biology at my university.

        The thing that really rubbed me the wrong way I guess is that ‘officials’ just decided that nobody was allowed to be near this whale and they would be punished if they did. I mean, maybe don’t encourage people to go up to it but why absolutely cut off human contact for this whale who obviously wants it? That absoluteness in making decisions that involve another living creature ticks me off

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