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qcrisp
04-18-2014, 08:07 AM
I thought I'd start this thread for a number of reasons:

a) Some threads have more of a tendency to become contentious, which can, of course, be interesting, but at the very least it might be nice to balance that out with something more soothing. I'm guessing (in some cases I don't need to guess) that a lot of us deal with stress and anxiety every day, so a calming thread (iyashi-kei (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Iyashikei), as they say in Japan) might be desirable.
b) I've noticed this particular subject crop up a few times recently without having a thread of its own.
c) It's something that has played on my mind for a while.

Basically, the idea is this:

Humans are animals, but - I would suggest - we are not 'mere animals'. Animals are not 'mere animals'. In other words, there's nothing wrong with being an animal. I'm not denying that there are things that might make humans unique among animals, too, such as language (though, for instance, it's possible dolphins have language in a comparable way, and maybe animals communicate in all kinds of ways we don't imagine or notice), but I am suggesting first that humans are, as it were, built very firmly and decidedly on animal foundations, and second, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Therefore, to call people animals should not be an insult. This is what I would like to contend.

So, I would like to dedicate this thread to stories and information about animals that show that there is nothing 'mere' about them.

I'll start with this story (perhaps not entirely iyashikei, but anyway), which I have mentioned before on these boards - 'Ululation', by Lafcadio Hearn:

http://sacred-texts.com/shi/igj/igj10.htm

Nemonymous
04-18-2014, 03:07 PM
Therefore, to call people animals should not be an insult. This is what I would like to contend.



However, those animals anthropomorphised by people's fables and cartoons may consider it to be an insult to be called people.

gveranon
04-19-2014, 03:04 AM
I am bracing myself for more sloth videos. In the meantime:

A number of years ago I was walking toward one of the doors of a classroom building on the campus of a large state university. A blind woman with a guide dog was walking toward the door from a different direction, and we reached the door at nearly the same time. She heard me walking near her and asked, "Is this [name redacted] Hall?" I said yes and she began praising the dog lavishly before entering the building. Apparently the dog had been trained to lead her to this building, one of many on that street, and had done so, directly to a door that was in a slightly out-of-the-way location, on command. A smart and trustworthy dog.

rhysaurus
04-19-2014, 07:03 AM
Humans are animals. We are not special when compared to other animals. We are just one species of animal. We may think we are superior to other species and we may devise reasons for 'proving' this superiority, but all other species could equally well decide they are superior and choose reasons to prove their own superiority. ("We hippos have the widest yawns of any living thing. Yawning is a mark of superiority and we do it better than anything else!" etc)

When humans decide that they are superior it's usually because we (humans) have "landed on the moon" or "understand mathematics" or "can build computers"... but how many humans can actually do those things? Very few. When the average human cites intelligence and/or technological achievements as 'proof' that humans are superior, that human is actually latching onto achievements that are almost certainly beyond his/her intellectual capacity to understand, devise or replicate. That human is a freeloader, a parasite.

We are animals like all other animals, and this is not only not bad, it's actively good. The point of life is to be physical. We are physical creatures like all other animals: the physical environment is our correct milieu. When we artificially take ourselves out of that environment (for instance, sitting in a darkened room all day reading Lovecraft and never going out into the sun to get some exercise) we damage our bodies and therefore also our souls, because a healthy soul needs a healthy body.

It's not possible for a human being to be a purely intellectual creature, not successfully at any rate. Nietzsche said what needs to be said on this subject. "Once the soul looked contemptuously upon the body, and then that contempt was the supreme thing: -- the soul wished the body lean, monstrous, and famished. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the earth. But that soul was itself lean, monstrous, and famished; and cruelty was the delight of this soul! So my brothers, tell me: What does your body say about your soul? Is not your soul poverty and filth and wretched contentment?"

We are animals and we should seek an animal life: physical exertion in harmony with cerebral endeavour. All else is folly.

To reject the physical world (a particular folly of the Judaeo-Christian relgions) is to reject oneself, and therefore to reject all aspects of oneself, including the very ability to reject anything. It is therefore a self-defeating loop.

Put aside your books from time to time and climb a mountain.

qcrisp
04-19-2014, 09:07 AM
Humans are animals. We are not special when compared to other animals. We are just one species of animal. We may think we are superior to other species and we may devise reasons for 'proving' this superiority, but all other species could equally well decide they are superior and choose reasons to prove their own superiority. ("We hippos have the widest yawns of any living thing. Yawning is a mark of superiority and we do it better than anything else!" etc)

When humans decide that they are superior it's usually because we (humans) have "landed on the moon" or "understand mathematics" or "can build computers"... but how many humans can actually do those things? Very few. When the average human cites intelligence and/or technological achievements as 'proof' that humans are superior, that human is actually latching onto achievements that are almost certainly beyond his/her intellectual capacity to understand, devise or replicate. That human is a freeloader, a parasite.

We are animals like all other animals, and this is not only not bad, it's actively good. The point of life is to be physical. We are physical creatures like all other animals: the physical environment is our correct milieu. When we artificially take ourselves out of that environment (for instance, sitting in a darkened room all day reading Lovecraft and never going out into the sun to get some exercise) we damage our bodies and therefore also our souls, because a healthy soul needs a healthy body.

It's not possible for a human being to be a purely intellectual creature, not successfully at any rate. Nietzsche said what needs to be said on this subject. "Once the soul looked contemptuously upon the body, and then that contempt was the supreme thing: -- the soul wished the body lean, monstrous, and famished. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the earth. But that soul was itself lean, monstrous, and famished; and cruelty was the delight of this soul! So my brothers, tell me: What does your body say about your soul? Is not your soul poverty and filth and wretched contentment?"

We are animals and we should seek an animal life: physical exertion in harmony with cerebral endeavour. All else is folly.

To reject the physical world (a particular folly of the Judaeo-Christian relgions) is to reject oneself, and therefore to reject all aspects of oneself, including the very ability to reject anything. It is therefore a self-defeating loop.

Put aside your books from time to time and climb a mountain.

I agree with some but not all of this.

Just to make it clear - in case it wasn't - I don't think uniqueness equals superiority, and, of course, there are many different kinds of uniqueness, and, as you suggest, privileging one kind of uniqueness over another is arbitrary until proven otherwise.

I'm not sure Nietzsche is the best example of a healthy mind in a healthy body, though!! (Also see this thread (http://ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=2265).)

I think the world is complex enough that, even if we could agree on what a healthy mind is, we probably wouldn't find it correlated completely - if at all - with a healthy body (again, the definition of which might, anyway, vary).

Anyway, although I noticed afterwards that I used the word "contend" in the opening post of this thread, I am, for my part, intending not to thrash out philosophical differences here - just post interesting things about animals as they occur to me.

qcrisp
04-19-2014, 09:26 AM
Possible communication between dolphins and humans:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-working-on-humantodolphin-translator-report-first-successful-interaction-9228552.html

qcrisp
04-19-2014, 09:43 AM
I am bracing myself for more sloth videos.

Or aye aye videos:

True Facts About The Aye Aye - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHs5POy8-8Y)

Odalisque
04-29-2014, 08:35 PM
I am reminded of something I wrote of my childhood encounter (and later encounters) with the religious imagery of ancient Egypt:

Predictably, a further point to strike me was the animal or animal-headed forms presented by Kemetic iconography. These accorded well with a sense I already had of divinity within animals. I suppose I had conceived the idea that divinity resided in the natural order – although I might not have articulated it. Of all the creatures on the earth, we are the least natural. If nature is divinity, we must be, by that token, the least divine creatures. I suppose that this is the reason Christians are anxious to distance the deity from nature – but this is one of the aspects of Christianity that has never made sense to me. I may not always have formulated the feeling clearly, but it has been my continuing conviction that such divinity as we have is a function of what we have in common with the rest of the animal kingdom – not what separates us from it. Certainly, as a child, I had yet to conceive such ideas with any clarity – but I had a deep love of and respect for animals. From the start, the presence of animal forms in divine iconography felt right.

(This may be read in context here: Through and Beyond Christianity - petjeffery.co.ukpetjeffery.co.uk (http://petjeffery.co.uk/goddess/through-and-beyond-christianity/))

Murony_Pyre
04-30-2014, 04:12 AM
Talking Heads - Animals - YouTube

qcrisp
05-02-2014, 04:10 PM
Dog suckles tigers:

Siberian Tiger Cubs Suckled By Surrogate Dog Alongside Her Own Puppies (PICTURES) (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/24/siberian-tiger-cubs-suckled-surrogate-dog-pictures_n_4497135.html)

Dog adopts cute tiger cubs in Russia - Video Dailymotion@@AMEPARAM@@http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video@@AMEPARAM@@video

qcrisp
05-03-2014, 12:02 PM
I am going to be sacrificing rats by anesthesia + decapitation for research soon... and sectioning + freezing their brains in order to analyze them.

I am a big cat person, and I feel kind of like a hypocrite for doing this, but the research will ultimately help people I feel... Maybe people with Alzheimer's or Huntington's would benefit somehow.

Reading the first words "I am going to be sacrificing rats", I had no idea what was coming next. I must confess, getting to the end, I laughed in a way that people these days would doubtless call 'inappropriate'.

There's a reason why I linked to the 'Ululation' story at the beginning of this thread, or rather, there's more than one reason, but one of them is the fact it highlights the double nature of our interdependence with other living things. From that story:

Only by eating each other do beings exist! Beautiful to the poet's vision our world may seem,--with its loves, its hopes, its memories, its aspirations; but there is nothing beautiful in the fact that life is fed by continual murder,--that the tenderest affection, the noblest enthusiasm, the purest idealism, must be nourished by the eating of flesh and the drinking of blood. All life, to sustain itself, must devour life. You may imagine yourself divine if you please,--but you have to obey that law. Be, if you will, a vegetarian: none the less you must eat forms that have feeling and desire. Sterilize your food; and digestion stops. You cannot even drink without swallowing life. Loathe the name as we may, we are cannibals;--all being essentially is One; and whether we eat the flesh of a plant, a fish, a reptile, a bird, a mammal, or a man, the ultimate fact is the same. And for all life the end is the same: every creature, whether buried or burnt, is devoured,--and not only once or twice,--nor a hundred, nor a thousand, nor a myriad times! Consider the ground upon which we move, the soil out of which we came;--think of the vanished billions that have risen from it and crumbled back into its latency to feed what becomes our food! Perpetually we eat the dust of our race,--the substance of our ancient selves.

Etc.

I only use the term 'vegetarian' for convenience (because people need to know what not to prepare for me when I'm a guest), but I do avoid eating meat. Nonetheless, I feel it's important to recognise the truth in what Hearn is saying here.

I feel like there's a similar (or complementary) message in this story by Akutagawa Ryuunosuke, translated here as 'The Spider's Thread':

http://www.edogawa-u.ac.jp/~tmkelly/research_spider.html

I don't see it as a message that gives license to what is called Social Darwinism, though.

I'm not sure I have the time and energy really to explain what I mean at the moment. I am reminded, however, of something I was thinking about the other day. I'm not attempting to instigate a debate on religion in general and Catholicism in particular, since other threads have shown those to be interminable, but I thought it interesting to note that Hitchens described Catholicism as a sick death cult because - this seemed to be his particular point - of the Eucharist, which he described, in tandem with the belief it was literally the flesh of Christ, as cannibalism. But to call something a "sick death cult" on these grounds seems peculiarly prudish. If you keep in mind what Hearn is saying (for instance), it seems clear that it is a rite that represents the interdependence of living things, including some aspects of that interdependence that fastidious city-dwellers might prefer to forget.

Hitchens also seemed to consider ossuaries evidence of the "sick death cult" nature of Christianity. This opinion sits oddly with my general image of Hitchens, as if he's borrowing this prudishness from somewhere strategically. It's the kind of prudishness that conjures for me images of someone about to have a meal, and, being disturbed by some element of the conversation, saying, "We'll have no talk of death at the dinner table", before tucking into the roasted and sliced up corpse of a pig.

Anyway, I don't envy you your job, and I would be interested to learn if you feel the work to have been worth it after it's done.

qcrisp
05-03-2014, 12:06 PM
I don't know... the feeling of despair still tears at me, but I feel I am one of the best people for the job because I already have tons of despair and am hardened to the torments of the world. I have a powerful imagination I can always escape to... **** Buddhism's notion of non-dualistic apprehension, for I prefer escaping into my fantastical happy imagination in moments of pain - as much Dukkha as that may bring.

Just to be clear, the end I read to previously was before this bit.

For what it's worth, I would strongly suggest that Buddhism isn't everything, however much it might be presented that way.

Mr. D.
05-03-2014, 04:27 PM
No one has touched on what I think is the most important fact in this thread. I am thinking that there is a vast chasm between humans and the rest of the animal world. Since I was a child we have been able to understand a little about the other animals, but animals have not grown in a similar understanding. We still know next to nothing about the interior lives of most animals. They know nothing about our interior life and never will. We tend to fool ourselves a lot about our pets. For example, a lot of dog owners think that their pet has become "more human" whatever that means. The truth is that their dogs always think that their owner is some kind of Alpha dog and try try to adapt to the rules of that particular pack. That is how they will always respond. For better or worse we are the only ones who have any understanding (not intelligence). Animals remain animals even if we dress them up and put wigs on them and send the video to youtube.

qcrisp
05-03-2014, 06:50 PM
No one has touched on what I think is the most important fact in this thread. I am thinking that there is a vast chasm between humans and the rest of the animal world. Since I was a child we have been able to understand a little about the other animals, but animals have not grown in a similar understanding. We still know next to nothing about the interior lives of most animals. They know nothing about our interior life and never will. We tend to fool ourselves a lot about our pets. For example, a lot of dog owners think that their pet has become "more human" whatever that means. The truth is that their dogs always think that their owner is some kind of Alpha dog and try try to adapt to the rules of that particular pack. That is how they will always respond. For better or worse we are the only ones who have any understanding (not intelligence). Animals remain animals even if we dress them up and put wigs on them and send the video to youtube.

I was thinking about what sets humans apart earlier today. Of course, if I remember correctly, part of this is touched upon in a text most of us on these boards, I think, have read (TCATHR) - the idea that our self-consciousness is what makes us (tragically, as TCATHR has it) unique.

I feel that it is worth questioning exactly how unique we are in this respect, but, on the other hand, it's also possible to be wilfully blind to the observable facts that point to uniqueness. I suppose one difficulty is that we just do not know what happened with humans, tens of thousands of years ago, or possibly millions of years ago, to bring about such a change, and, what is perhaps even less considered, we don't know what changes of a comparable nature might possibly lie ahead. There is, I think, the tendency to view current human consciousness as having reached the ceiling of what is biologically possible unless we technologically extend brain capability, but I don't see why we should assume that.

This is one suggestive fact about human biology that may have a lot to do with the uniqueness of human consciousness:

Age of Closure of Fontanelles / Sutures | CARTA (http://carta.anthropogeny.org/moca/topics/age-closure-fontanelles-sutures)

I remember a bit in one of Burroughs' books where he was talking about evolution having come to a halt, and he asked, "Why aren't the present day cats evolving into horses?" Or something like that. And I thought, well... surely, they might be, for all we know? We just can't observe the rate of evolution. I suppose whatever happened to humans long ago it added what might be called 'culture' to the evolutionary factors, so that there is a kind of acceleration with humans in terms of change, even if not in biology, then at least in terms of what wigs we wear, and possibly in other ways.

I don't see that it is impossible for whatever happened to humans so long ago, or something very like it, to happen to other animals at some time or another.

Druidic
05-03-2014, 08:18 PM
People often talk of the Unique Animal but what makes this animal unique?
Personally, I think the thumb is overrated.
I’d say language. There are voices in the scientific community that speculate language and self-consciousness are not independent things but that language creates the ability to think, and that the use of language creates individuation and is identical with self-consciousness.
And don’t forget it’s not just the ability to use language. Some researchers theorize that certain other animals may have their own language. True or not, only human beings apparently have the ability to record and preserve their thoughts, thoughts spanning centuries; thoughts that give our brief existence a sense of real continuity. The ability to record our history with language may be the ultimate definition of Unique.

qcrisp
05-05-2014, 08:39 PM
My gawd! I certainly am prolific on this forum today! On the subject of animals, I have not enough interest in mammals and creatures normally adored by the human race. It is creatures that the human race is repulsed by that fascinate me. Rats, spiders, snakes, worms, maggots, insects, fish, molluscs, arthropods, gastropods and occasional birds and dinosaurs. Things that slither and crawl are my preferred taste in animals, certainly not domestic pets unless kept by the most eccentric.

Do you have a favourite invertebrate?

The other day I was examining lichens on a railway bridge and wondered whether to introduce things outside the animal kingdom to this thread.

I am glad to say there is, indeed, time-lapse footage of lichen on YouTube, but apparently not much:

Lichens time lapse - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWfPMOKnW2M)

Earlier today I saw a dead chick of some bird species on the pavement - a featherless chick, that is. I thought of part of The World as Will and Representation (http://www.american-buddha.com/lit.schopenwill.supp4.htm). This bit:

We know, of course, of no higher gamble than that for life and death. We watch with the utmost attention, interest, and fear every decision concerning them; for in our view all in all is at stake. On the other hand, nature, which never lies, but is always frank and sincere, speaks quite differently on this theme, as Krishna does in the Bhagavadgita. Her statement is that the life or death of the individual is of absolutely no consequence. She expresses this by abandoning the life of every animal, and even of man, to the most insignificant accidents without coming to the rescue. Consider the insect on your path; a slight unconscious turning of your foot is decisive as to its life or death. Look at the wood-snail that has no means of flight, of defence, of practising deception, of concealment, a ready prey to all. Look at the fish carelessly playing in the still open net; at the frog prevented by its laziness from the flight that could save it; at the bird unaware of the falcon soaring above it; at the sheep eyed and examined from the thicket by the wolf. Endowed with little caution, all these go about guilelessly among the dangers which at every moment threaten their existence. Now, since nature abandons without reserve her organisms constructed with such inexpressible skill, not only to the predatory instinct of the stronger, but also to the blindest chance, the whim of every fool, and the mischievousness of every child, she expresses that the annihilation of these individuals is a matter of indifference to her, does her no harm, is of no significance at all, and that in these cases the effect is of no more consequence than is the cause. Nature states this very clearly, and she never lies; only she does not comment on her utterances, but rather expresses them in the laconic style of the oracle.

Etc.

teguififthzeal
05-08-2014, 08:27 PM
There's nothing quite that'll #### up your day (if its good in the first place) like seeing a dead squirrel, a dead kitten, or something of that nature on the road.

Reminds me of a tune, only in a human vein.


Emerson, Lake Palmer - Lucky Man - YouTube

qcrisp
05-10-2014, 11:31 AM
Does a dog have Buddha nature?

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/glg/glg01.htm

Speaking Mute
04-25-2015, 09:27 PM
Based off this fact, it's easy to conclude that eating them is equivalent to eating each other up. Furthermore, defending the action of these Scandinavians on Faroe Islands is no different than defending cannibalistic rituals from other ethnic groups.

I subscribe to the old belief that people's treatment of animals reflects their treatment of people.

DannySkyshifter
05-12-2015, 02:16 AM
One of my favorite parts of Metzinger's work on the self process is the sections on animal self models. I believe it must be taken into account that our notion of "I" isn't so special, and that other creatures are deserving of compassion and respect.

Yet I can't be full blown vegan because my ravenous brain desires the serotonin precursors found in abundance in animal products. I also think the radical environmentalist vegan and a redneck deer hunter have more in common than they think: both are about disengaging with the modern food industry to some extent.

Evans
05-12-2015, 07:25 AM
TL;DR version: don't want to buy into a social media view of animals based on 'aww' and 'ick' reactions.

Proper version:

Recently, during a conversation about the moral status of animals, someone came out with what I thought was an incredibly courageous comment: 'I don't like animals'. I can't agree or disagree with that statement as it's too broad (there's some animals I might dislike for natural aesthetic reasons but that doesn't make them 'things that should not be') but I think it's an unusually brave person who will come out with it so overtly in this day and age. There is a universal expectation that one should 'like animals' - not this or that species of animal; such favoritism would be 'selfish'- but 'animals' in the generic. This is somewhat ironic if only because many of the ecologist types most keen to enforce this as a way to condemn humanity for daring to think themselves 'different' from the rest of Nature are also prone to trumpet about the 'cruel, indifference of Nature': certain conclusions might be drawn from this none of which would much please animal or human rights activists.

For my own part, I would hold that if Humanity has a place in the cosmos then we should be very cautious about dramatically altering the biosphere to suit our own wants. If not then Nature along with everything else is only an arbitrary means for 'our' - this 'our' is equivalent to the royal 'we' - equally arbitrary amusement.


Taking a moment of prayer doesn't really help when you begin questioning why life had to evolve in such a fashion to devour itself to survive.

If anything it should make us question our own knee-jerk emotive responses: a sort of koan against lazy thinking. I'm reminded of a passage from one of Ernst Junger's notebooks were he remarks that observing the lifestyles of predatory insects always made him think of the cosmic cycles.


One can't really condemn the lion for killing the cubs of the pact its taken over because its brain and body evolved for that (i.e., through natural selection).

Of course! Who would do otherwise though?

There are voices in the scientific community that speculate language and self-consciousness are not independent things but that language creates the ability to think, and that the use of language creates individuation and is identical with self-consciousness.

Eh hem, with all due respect I think such statements might raise a problem for the trust-worthiness of the voices uttering them.

Justin Isis
05-12-2015, 09:43 AM
Here are some things animals don't have: rights, morals, names, identities, culture, meaning. I'd argue that 90% of humans have never interacted with an animal, and the number might be closer to 100% (although a large number of humans have interacted with their own ego projections which they claim to be animals). 

I think if we're really honest we could admit that animals don't even exist and there are only various "inhuman forces" that we're temporarily staving off (of course the final outcome has already been decided, as the forces we call bacteria and insects successfully process us). 

If not then Nature along with everything else is only an arbitrary means for 'our' - this 'our' is equivalent to the royal 'we' - equally arbitrary amusement.


Yep, this is actually the case.

qcrisp
05-12-2015, 10:32 AM
But to say we can't interact with other animals seems to assume either that we are unique (I mean, unique in every aspect of our being), or that no animals ever interact with each other. Some animals are more amenable to domestication than others - for instance - so something is going on there, some kind of sliding scale of closeness to human culture. For instance, with this kind of thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0sO1wdBhMY

I suppose if one discounts the lower levels of awareness then one might say there is no interaction in the sense of amusing table talk, but there is certainly the kind of organic interspecies interaction that takes place between pilot fish and sharks (at least).

I don't talk much to my stomach, but it successfully digests food for me, which is quite a profound interaction.

I think 'rights' is the key one, though, in the difference between humans and animals. We have no way of knowing whether animals would want to be embroiled in our ideas of rights and legality. I would tend to suspect that a man-eating shark, for instance, will enjoy the flesh of a vegetarian as much as someone who eats meat, though perhaps there is a slight difference in taste, or perhaps enjoyment doesn't come into it.

There's also a question of whether self-awareness automatically makes things human - that is, whether self-awareness has at its foundation some kind of universal constant of which we have a large enough share that all others who share it are basically human (are only as different from us as we tend to be from each other).

I don't know the area well, but it seems some apes learn to communicate with sign-language. I suppose I shouldn't write about that without checking facts first.

Justin Isis
05-12-2015, 11:45 AM
I recommend cat lovers

I'm always somewhat astonished when this phrase is used. What exactly can be meant by "loving" an amoral being? Presumably it means associating positive emotions with cats, which implies not being at their mercy. We know how cats treat living beings physically smaller than them: with immediate sadistic violence. They even attack the visible dots produced by laser pointers. And yet the reason cats aren't considered a worldwide menace is simply that we're physically larger than them and have weapons and technology capable of wiping them out; in other words we're in a position of privilege based on a power imbalance.

And what can it mean for a cat to "love" its "owner," a being which is larger and more powerful than it and which can provide it with food and shelter? The tendency of the cat to seem positively disposed towards its "owner" seems no different from the tendency of Unity Mitford and other fascist lovers to be positively disposed to Hitler, Mussolini and other figures who seem larger and more powerful than anyone else. I don't know about you but I don't want the admiration of fascist lovers.

Some animals are more amenable to domestication than others - for instance - so something is going on there, some kind of sliding scale of closeness to human culture.

Domestication has more in common with building a dam (i.e. interfering with the course of natural forces such as flowing water) than it does with building a relationship, since the animals being domesticated can neither consent to nor refuse the process. As with "cat lovers," I always smile upon hearing of "horse lovers" who, of course, have to "break in" the objects of their "love" using conditioning and in some cases violence. They sound more like slave masters to me. Similarly, the sheepdog has been subdued and conditioned to behave a certain way; it has been acted on by a conscious intelligence and has reacted to that intelligence's design. But it has no views.

I don't know the area well, but it seems some apes learn to communicate with sign-language..

But they have no ability to originate or expand upon it and have never independently developed it. They have innate capacities to respond in certain limited ways to different kinds of conditioning, but they never move any closer to being human. A chimpanzee learning sign language is never going to have a Helen Keller moment where he suddenly breaks through to understanding contractual law or the Bhagavad-Gita. Neither is he going to remember the enemy chimpanzee he thoughtlessly mutilated in a fight a year ago and spontaneously feel compassion and remorse.


I don't talk much to my stomach, but it successfully digests food for me, which is quite a profound interaction.

The sentence structure here implies that you're separate from your stomach, or that the stomach is your possession rather than your identity, which implies that your nature is something else (such as mind) rather than stomach. I don't believe this to be the case and I don't think you do either (our language is notoriously susceptible to dualism), but at the same time we have an awareness of "ourselves" as something able to stand outside of or abstractly consider natural processes, which animals are incapable of doing. Similarly, we're incapable of experiencing an animal's subjectivity (assuming it has one), which is why I'd argue we're interacting with our conceptualizations of animals rather than the animals themselves. This isn't to say that something isn't happening, but most of the time I think it has very little to do with what we think is happening.

qcrisp
05-12-2015, 12:15 PM
[
I don't talk much to my stomach, but it successfully digests food for me, which is quite a profound interaction.

The sentence structure here implies that you're separate from your stomach, or that the stomach is your possession rather than your identity, which implies that your nature is something else (such as mind) rather than stomach. I don't believe this to be the case and I don't think you do either (our language is notoriously susceptible to dualism), but at the same time we have an awareness of "ourselves" as something able to stand outside of or abstractly consider natural processes, which animals are incapable of doing. Similarly, we're incapable of experiencing an animal's subjectivity (assuming it has one), which is why I'd argue we're interacting with our conceptualizations of animals rather than the animals themselves. This isn't to say that something isn't happening, but most of the time I think it has very little to do with what we think is happening.

On this last point, recent reading (etc.) has led me to accept my ignorance on the subject of duality or non-duality. That is, I think there is a strong case for dualism, after all, even though it's not fashionable. Having realised that, I realise afresh how dependent my views are on incoming information, so, basically, for me, the jury is out.

It's true that in a certain sense I am not separate from my stomach, but I think that the comparison I make is relevant in the following way: I don't consciously direct my stomach to digest food, but it does it. In the same way, the shepherd is not conscious of what is going on in the sheepherding dog's mind, so as far as the shepherd is concerned, beyond his whistles, etc., the process is taking place unconsciously. But there is nonetheless an integrated action in both cases - the herding of the sheep and the digestion of my food. (I.E. In a totality non-dual universe, humans certainly aren't separate from animals; if one can draw a distinction between humans and animals, it might also be permissible to draw one between people and their own stomachs.)

Also, on the topic of dualism and so on, I suppose I was thinking of my stomach as a system composed of cells, enzymes and so on, rather than a single thing, in the way that there are systems composed of various lifeforms. I dare say distinctions can be made here, but there are still perhaps parallels that hold.

Justin Isis
05-12-2015, 01:33 PM
I don't think we should necessarily boycott cats or other pets but I think it's important to remember that most people have never really been at the mercy of animals or been forced to contend with them outside of an "upper hand" position. This would include something like being stalked by a pack of wolves, or having to compete with physically faster scavengers (feline, lupine, whatever) for resources in a situation where their life or the lives of their family/friends/group depended on it. Animals are always going to be inclined to treat us (and other animals) a certain way, and it took us hundreds of thousands of years to arrive at our current position of having the incredible luxury to imagine their subjectivities, impute them rights, feel moral outrage at their use as food products in a factory farm setting, etc.

For example, think about Ahab's hatred of Moby Dick. In modern times this is almost always interpreted as some kind of quixotic obsession or symbol of irrational fixation, but it seems to me that it was meant in a simpler sense: Ahab literally feels personal hatred for a being which has mutilated him, and wishes to kill it in return. The whale is a "monster" because it is beyond self, thought, reason and argument. Though still a living being, it's not a character but a force. Can anyone in a first world country now really understand what it would mean to hate an animal? All discussion of animal rights already implicitly assumes human domination of the world and its resources; no one would tolerate a situation in which wolves were free to pick off their children.

Justin Isis
05-12-2015, 02:47 PM
This is not true for animals with a "theory of mind" (http://www.quora.com/Which-animals-have-a-theory-of-mind), which are capable of modeling the thinking of others and attribute mental beliefs, desires, and intentions to both oneself and others.

it's undeniable that orcas, dolphins, such as the bottlenose dolphin and pilot whale, and other cetaceans have nearly an equal level of sapience and metacognition compared to humans.


I think this is something of an overstatement of the evidence, at least on the basis of the information available at the links you provided. To quote one of the researchers involved:

"I’m not sure what that means in terms of theory of mind per se, but I know that our birds will learn phrases like what’s that, what colour, what shape and use that to obtain information from us. So they clearly have gotten some idea that we have this knowledge because they keep asking us for these bits of information. It may be an adaptation from their training: they see we ask them so they’re going to ask us and it may be no more than that."

This seems like a reasonable conclusion to me: still complex behavior, but not the same as any kind of deep or human-like cognition, or even one that would really involve a "theory of mind"; more the ability to make observations and act accordingly. So I'm still not anticipating many deep ruminations on past actions from chimps.


said the cetaceans are just as intelligent as humans. The only reason we build cities and they don't is because of our arboreal heritage.


...although, The Illuminatus! Trilogy put forward the idea that chimps were as intelligent as humans but disinclined to reveal it, because they knew if they did they'd be immediately expected to get jobs. So there might be something there!

Druidic
05-12-2015, 03:01 PM
Well, we could look at it this way: Put the average man in a jungle and give him what he needs to survive: Let's see, a shelter, fire, a good weapon, good clothes, medicine, plenty of medicine, a supply of pure drinking water. Now do the same for an animal. Give them what they need which is...nothing.
And we're the superior ones, eh?

For humans, survival is a group effort. We build out of a sense of necessity, often to compensate for what we lack. Animals don't need all that baggage.

Does being the alpha predator on the planet make us superior? sure. Remember it the next time your rifle jams and the Tiger is ready to make his move. And remember there are bulls that can tell the man from the cape; for some inexplicable reason they just never end up in the arena lol.

So maybe I'm not being entirely serious...maybe. But next time one starts feeling so darn unique and superior, just think about it.

I dedicate this Post to my old and dear Friend, jonpi...who understands.

(Here it is, John; your wish was my command!)

Frater_Tsalal
05-12-2015, 09:16 PM
#### it, I don't care what anyone says, I'm still a cat lover. Hell, I even own one of those "page a day" cat calendars.

I will admit to respecting their amorality, adaptability and pragmatism. What was that line Ash said about the xenomorph in Alien? Ah yes: "I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 10:13 AM
Well, we could look at it this way: Put the average man in a jungle and give him what he needs to survive: Let's see, a shelter, fire, a good weapon, good clothes, medicine, plenty of medicine, a supply of pure drinking water. Now do the same for an animal. Give them what they need which is...nothing.
And we're the superior ones, eh?

For humans, survival is a group effort. We build out of a sense of necessity, often to compensate for what we lack. Animals don't need all that baggage.

Does being the alpha predator on the planet make us superior? sure. Remember it the next time your rifle jams and the Tiger is ready to make his move. And remember there are bulls that can tell the man from the cape; for some inexplicable reason they just never end up in the arena lol.

So maybe I'm not being entirely serious...maybe. But next time one starts feeling so darn unique and superior, just think about it.

I dedicate this Post to my old and dear Friend, jonpi...who understands.

(Here it is, John; your wish was my command!)

I guess it depends on how one defines "superior" in this context. If you're judging by the ability to survive in the wild without assistance, then sure, other animals > humans.

If we're judging by "ability to do complex mathematics," or "ability to build a Hubble telescope," or "ability to come up with the categorical imperative," or perhaps "ability to think about whether bringing new life into existence is ethical or not instead of just following blind instinct," (and, yes, ability to streamline our predation of other animals), then maybe (some) humans > other animals.

Although we might agree that it's best to set aside subjective judgments about "superiority," since it does little but justify our preferences in company. ;)

I think it might be reasonable to state as fact that, given the evidence, humans seem to have developed a more complex mind than pretty much every other animal on this planet.

I'm open to evidence to the contrary, though.

I'm a misanthropic sort, and a lot of people I know are as well, so I'm not exactly inclined to give humans a pat on the back.

I think maybe because I'm that sort of person and know a lot of people like that, that I'm almost compelled to make a contrarian argument. In my milieu, speaking in favor of humans over other animals is an exception, not the norm.

I think people (particularly misanthropic/lonely/depressed sorts) tend to romanticize other animals, because we see through our own kind so well.

It's worth keeping in mind that lions and sharks, given robotic exoskeletons that allowed them to prey at will upon humans and all other animals, would quite possibly brutally trash this world even worse than humans. And there are unlikely to be many Kants or Ligottis among them. (It's also worth keeping in mind the image of sharks and lions in robotic exoskeletons, just because.)

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 10:23 AM
When People Love Animals Too Much | Thought Catalog (http://thoughtcatalog.com/jim-goad/2015/02/when-people-love-animals-too-much/)

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 11:01 AM
#### it, I don't care what anyone says, I'm still a cat lover. Hell, I even own one of those "page a day" cat calendars.

I will admit to respecting their amorality, adaptability and pragmatism. What was that line Ash said about the xenomorph in Alien? Ah yes: "I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

"or delusions of morality."

I think that's one of the main sticking points in the humans vs. other animals debate.

Other animals don't puff themselves up moralistically, they aren't hypocritical.

I guess there's something to be said for purity. One could also make an argument for hypocrisy, if one was so inclined.

(I recall reading an argument in favor of hypocrisy, in fact. I think it was the Australian philosopher Dan Rowden. As I recall, the gist of it was he considered hypocrisy a good thing, in as much as it indicates the hypocrite in question has an inner standard they are transgressing against. In other words, someone who says such-and-such a thing is wrong but does it anyway, at least seems to have a conception of logical consistency they are not following through on. Whereas often there isn't even that. I guess he's speaking of self-conscious hypocrites. And humans are often self-conscious hypocrites. I suppose most other animals we encounter probably aren't hypocrites in that way. I've heard it said that hypocrisy is the worst sin. I'm inclined to reply "Okay, then if I torture and murder people but make a point of saying I am totally ok with torturing and murdering people, I guess that makes me a lesser sinner than some diet advisor who says eating cake is bad but sneaks a piece of cake in every once in a while." "Well, when you put it that way..." ;)

(PS, I'm friends with Frater_Tsalal, whose new book came in the mail yesterday, and he was nice enough to mention me in the acknowledgements yet again. So I'm not trying to be obnoxious here, I just can't help being argumentative sometimes, apparently.)

(PPS, here was qcrisp trying to start a calming iyashi-kei thread, and of course we have to turn it contentious. Good ol' TLO. "Here is a calming thing." "BUT IS IT REALLY CALMING, IS THERE NOT LIKE EVERY OTHER THING IN THIS MALIGNANTLY USELESS UNIVERSE A NIGHTMARE ROILING JUST UNDER THE SURFACE?!" :P)

Frater_Tsalal
05-13-2015, 12:48 PM
Some recent remarks on this thread have reminded me of a line spoken by the "Hunter-Killer Chimp Assassin" Dmitri-9 from Grant Morrison's The Filth comic: "You think all the cats and birds you bury will one day greet you in Heaven? They will eat your gonads and munch upon your crumbling asshole, comrade. They will dine like a hundred crawling czars on the ####-banquet of your sentimental brains."

Druidic
05-13-2015, 01:42 PM
So maybe I'm not being entirely serious...maybe. But next time one starts feeling so darn unique and superior, just think about it.--Druidic/Montag

I think some may have missed a facetious element in my post...

Yep, I support Animal Rights but I'm a modest meat eater(though certain foods I will not eat--veal, for instance; a dish I loved when young.) And I am fond of quoting Gurdjieff's remark that eating animal flesh is acceptable...but only because in the end we're all eaten by the earth: "reciprocal feeding", as G. calls it. Still, that shouldn't mean inhumane treatment of such "raised for food" animals should be tolerated.

My whole point was just to kick human arrogance in the butt. I've never 'idealized' animals anymore than I idealize human beings. I suspect, however, that many of us have stereotypes that kick in when some speak of the need for humane treatment of conscious creatures other than humans; or argue the possibility that we smugly underrate the degree of consciousness in some animals....

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 05:41 PM
So maybe I'm not being entirely serious...maybe. But next time one starts feeling so darn unique and superior, just think about it.--Druidic/Montag

I think some may have missed a facetious element in my post...

Yep, I support Animal Rights but I'm a modest meat eater(though certain foods I will not eat--veal, for instance; a dish I loved when young.) And I am fond of quoting Gurdjieff's remark that eating animal flesh is acceptable...but only because in the end we're all eaten by the earth: "reciprocal feeding", as G. calls it. Still, that shouldn't mean inhumane treatment of such "raised for food" animals should be tolerated.

My whole point was just to kick human arrogance in the butt. I've never 'idealized' animals anymore than I idealize human beings. I suspect, however, that many of us have stereotypes that kick in when some speak of the need for humane treatment of conscious creatures other than humans; or argue the possibility that we smugly underrate the degree of consciousness in some animals....

Fair enough.

I noticed the hints of factitiousness in your post.

I suppose I was using your post as jumping off point to put into words some of the things I had been thinking about recently.

Much of my personal interaction with people throughout life (at least close family and friends) has been with those whose views aren't so much "Ain't humanity special?" as "Who do people think they are, thinking they're so special?"

You should see some of the things people I know say about humanity. "Scathing" doesn't even really come close (not condemning them). I'm generally pretty mild, by comparison.

So, like I said, I'm almost inclined to make contrarian arguments in favor of humanity because of this.

Almost.

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 07:44 PM
Just caught a hornet that had been flying around in this room, and released it outside. For what it's worth, I'm pretty live and let live.

Druidic
05-13-2015, 08:15 PM
Way to go, Jeff! My Mother use to catch them with a glass and release them outside; as a kid, I got pretty good at it as well. We lived at a lake and there were always interesting little visitors. ..
Did you ever read Blackwood's "The Egyptian Hornet"? It's a great tale and one I've always been fond of.

When my folks got older, still living at the lake, my Mom's attitude toward living things remained the same. One day she noticed a mouse in their living room. ( I'm sure she fed it lol!) She asked me how to make a no-kill trap. My friend jonpi had the answer: A cardboard box with the inside lined with thick aluminum foil. Put some cheese in it and the mouse has no trouble scampering up the uncovered outside but can't easily climb out because the foil tears...and It worked fine. But you have to check the trap frequently because eventually the critter will get through to good cardboard and escape. Soon I was worried sick she was going to overtax herself. ( You know what they say: If you see one...)
Ah, well, the house was mouse free before summer ended but she had really worked. 200 mice-- she had counted 'em-- captured and released. And, no, they didn't return to the house; possibly because I gave her two small but growing balls of fur at summer's end...
I've always thought that was an amazing feat, but she was that kind of woman. She was in her early Eighties at the time.

Jeff Coleman
05-13-2015, 10:19 PM
I caught that one with a glass (+ napkin) as well (after draining the dregs of my drink). Not that it was much of a task. It had been buzzing about earlier and I'd forgotten about it, and then as I was smoking by the window and gazing outside, my (probably crossed) eyes shifted focus, and there it was right in front of my face, crawling around on the screen.

Clever idea by your friend to catch the mice. We hardly ever get any here here, but if we do, I'd prefer to catch them without harming them. I'm going to look into no-kill traps.

The last time we had a mouse here, it handily got itself trapped in an empty trash can, and I dropped it off down the street.

"Did you ever read Blackwood's 'The Egyptian Hornet'?"

I'm woefully underread in classic horror, Blackwood included. Will check it out, though. This is a good nudge to read Blackwood, actually. Thanks! :)

Forgotten Prisoner
05-24-2015, 08:51 PM
A few problems that I recognize in previous posts.

1. One of the innumerable objections I have with certain religions is their placement of humanity on a pedestal. Some border on philosophical dominionism. That every creature should be viewed in its utility to humanity is an attitude that is both callous and detestable.

2. Our lack of understanding animals is viewed as their inability to communicate or as a form of inadequacy.

"... but they never move any closer to being human. "

???
So what?

And that animals don't "understand" things like Christianity or crystals speak in their favor, not against.

Also, animals do have complex memories.
Go ahead, cry if you want to. Everyone else does. I just wish I could be there for you to dry your tears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvCjyWp3rEk




But I guess it must be conceded that non-human animals lack the elevated sense of style that distinguishes those worthy of life from those fit only for the table. Wearing the same drab garb day in, day out - peacocks and flamingos notwithstanding. They should peruse the latest fashion magazines and go shopping more often. It is difficult to work up much empathy for those who don't have the good taste to buy a snappy new outfit from time to time, something that is all the rage in the glamour rags.


This guy has it goin' on. You can't tell in these photos, but he is wearing golden sneakers. Silly, you say? Well, maybe...




http://static.animalzoo.ro/uploads/2014/02/cat-fashion-14.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.animalzoo.ro%2Fcat-fashion-colectia-intitulata-stapanul-meu-este-un-idiot%2F&ei=f15SVeaKKJPWgwTV84CQBw&bvm=bv.92885102,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNFiHC84EbJKWROXqsdmw_RTezFegg&ust=1431547118354471)


http://cdn0.lostateminor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/NY-Cat-Fashion-Show-4.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lostateminor.com%2F2010%2F08% 2F27%2Fa-cat-fight-of-a-beauty-pageant%2F%3Fno-cache%3D553126f4bc90c&ei=f15SVeaKKJPWgwTV84CQBw&bvm=bv.92885102,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNFiHC84EbJKWROXqsdmw_RTezFegg&ust=1431547118354471)

qcrisp
05-25-2015, 10:00 AM
Famous horror mangaka, who drew and wrote the acclaimed Uzumaki (http://www.amazon.com/Junji-Itos-Cat-Diary-Yon/dp/1632361973/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432490478&sr=1-6), is having his one-shot story "Cat Diary: Yon and Mu (http://www.amazon.com/Junji-Itos-Cat-Diary-Yon/dp/1632361973/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432490478&sr=1-6)" published in English by Kodansha Comics around October .

Read panels from right to left.

Here are some pics of it:

https://p.gr-assets.com/540x540/fit/hostedimages/1380428651/857966.jpg

http://40.media.tumblr.com/b283ef772bbbddfbe5c6c06884e2998f/tumblr_n40tca2DrG1sn0cjbo1_500.png

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c323/ultraviolator/ito-junjis-cat-diary-2246233.jpg

As a matter of fact, all cat lovers have had witches as ancestors that could transform into cats, bats, and other creatures, and these witches lived in a town in France. ;)

I'm reminded, though only slightly, of Tanizaki's A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, in which - it has been observed - the title lists the characters in the order of importance.

qcrisp
02-08-2016, 01:06 PM
Has anyone read this?:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28680749-being-a-beast

It looks interesting.

I noticed that the author gave an interesting response to someone who reviewed another of his books unfavourably at Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/96413264?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

Forgotten Prisoner
02-08-2016, 03:40 PM
Has anyone read this?:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28680749-being-a-beast

It looks interesting.

I noticed that the author gave an interesting response to someone who reviewed another of his books unfavourably at Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/96413264?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1


The author shows far too much patience with this creatard. That, in itself, is one society's biggest problems. They need to be ridiculed out of existence.

Ucasuni
02-08-2016, 10:55 PM
Re: Being a Beast — the book description strikes me as incredibly foolish. The fact that the description is of him as "liv life as a badger, [etc]" is an immediate red flag. He didn't live life as a badger. No matter where and how he lay down to sleep, no matter what he hunted and ate, he did it all as man. No matter how restrictive the guidelines he set for himself, he thought as a man and acted as a man. He has no more insight into life as a badger than he would have had into the life of a condor had he taken a running jump off a cliff with his arms open wide. Maybe that's the last chapter, but I'll certainly never know.

re: the review response, I have to say I'm with FP on this one. Ignoring for a moment the absurdity of trying to reconcile science with the supernatural (as the book appears to be attempting), engaging a deaf man in conversation profits you nothing.

NB: In the preceding, I'm not taking a position on truth or untruth of science as a way of viewing the world. I'm just saying that, by definition, any scientific conversation excludes the supernatural from the discussion. (see [I]NATURAL science)

qcrisp
02-09-2016, 04:34 AM
Has anyone read this?:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28680749-being-a-beast

It looks interesting.

I noticed that the author gave an interesting response to someone who reviewed another of his books unfavourably at Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/96413264?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1


The author shows far too much patience with this creatard. That, in itself, is one society's biggest problems. They need to be ridiculed out of existence.

I can't claim to be as patient as the author, myself, but patience seems so rare online (and I know how difficult it is), that I can't help admiring it. I also don't think that ridiculing people causes them to cease to exist, though we might wish it did. For reference:

Why You Cant Win Arguments Online - YouTube

Edit: I'm not presenting that video as an infallible source, or even something I agree with entirely. It does point out some reasons (which I don't think are absolute) why it's very hard to argue with people constructively online. Given that fact, I think patience or silence are preferable to ridicule, though the latter might, like junk food, be hard to resist sometimes.

Robert Adam Gilmour
02-09-2016, 10:47 AM
When someone in an argument is polite and encouraging, it often has a disarming effect on the opponent. People might not change their mind in this situation, but there's definitely less at stake if you admit you are or might be wrong. I've seen so many people backpedal in this situation.
Generosity is a very underrated arguing tactic I think.

Does ridicule ever work? I doubt it ever works much and when it seems to work it might have long term negative consequences of people separating and not listening to different opinions. There is a lot of speculation that ridicule has actually empowered more extreme politicians because ridicule strengthens the supporters convictions that they are being attacked by horrible people.

There's a lot of fear that giving controversial people a platform to speak on will help support them. So lots of people try to stop them speaking at all. Another tactic has been ridiculing them during or after their speech. I think this often plays into a narrative that the speaker is a poor victim.

Revenant
02-09-2016, 09:12 PM
The only proof I need that there is nothing "mere" about animals?

The dog lying next to me right now.

Cheers.

qcrisp
02-10-2016, 04:03 PM
Bees good at maths, apparently:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/24/bees-route-finding-problems

Salitter
02-10-2016, 08:50 PM
The only proof I need that there is nothing "mere" about animals?

The dog lying next to me right now.

Cheers.

I had an experience like that late last week. One takes one's cat for granted at one's peril... I decided to change her brand of food on Monday. She complained through Wednesday, left on Thursday (and this is a lifelong indoor cat at 4 years old, never been outdoors), and blithely showed up again Saturday with a smug look at the back door.... I was beside myself for three days..

qcrisp
04-18-2016, 07:56 PM
I love binturongs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXj84ae6S9I

The more I contemplate them, the more I feel myself inclined towards some kind of animism.

Nirvana In Karma
04-18-2016, 08:52 PM
Nibbled to death by an okapi...
Amazing Facts About The Okapi - YouTube

teguififthzeal
04-20-2016, 12:48 AM
I love all animals, especially chimpanzees, however it seems to me that loving animals to the exclusion of human beings is a new form of nihilism.

Kevin
04-21-2016, 07:37 PM
Well said, teguififthzeal.

If you were around in decades past, you probably remember people being characterized as "tree huggers." The new attitude toward animals - especially pets - could be characterized as "pet hugging." That gloppy, sentimental attitude built on a foundation of subtle anger.

People's pets are so often without training or manners, just like their owners, and if you don't like it you're "mean," possibly a pet abuser.

Yes, there are greater problems in the world, but post-hippies getting gooey over animals and putting people last is a regularly occurring irritation.

Not that most people don't deserve it. :)

ToALonelyPeace
04-23-2016, 04:40 AM
The discussion reminds me of this man

Grizzly Man - Werner Herzog - YouTube

A lot of people bash Treadwell because he abandoned human society only to express its values in the wild, and the common (dare I say instinctual?) belief in separation between animals and humans rails against Treadwell's sentiments. People say he deserved his ending because he was naive; I thought he deserved his ending because he was not. Treadwell always said he loved bears and would die for them, and I believe he (unconsciously) wished-and knew-someday he really would. He chose his fate, and whether this fate was tragic or not can be debated.

I don't think it was, because I've held the belief since young that you eat what you love and you love what you eat. To be eaten by what you love is not bad at all. Even before I fully understand the different ways people die, I thought of cannibalism as an act of love. Treadwell wished to be a bear, loved the bear, so he became one with the bear.

You see, to me that summarizes what is so strange about human. Have you ever heard of a chimpanzee that doesn't want to be a chimpanzee anymore? (I'm not talking about cases of displacement by circumstance, but voluntary integration). An animal going against survival instincts to live near predators for 10 years? Even the bears were confused.
_____________
On another note, the other day while my class was dissecting cat arteries & veins, a group found out their cat was pregnant (only a few weeks in I believe). The whole class mourned for the cat's unborn baby. I was flummoxed. The class didn't seem to be upset while dissecting cats (complaints were about the formaldehyde) yet was upset about unborn cat babies. Was it because people watch too many kitten videos? Many human behaviors continue to perplex me.

symbolique
04-29-2016, 10:24 AM
nil

symbolique
04-29-2016, 10:42 AM
nil

Mithras
03-21-2017, 03:53 PM
Cesar Millan is kind of stupid. His training methods tend to be too domineering in trying to gain "alpha status" and based off outdated views. Anyone who still encourages the 'alpha roll' or hitting a dog are idiots.

Ian Dunbar is far, far better and more influential than Cesar Millan. His reward-based training method is based off modern research and doesn't require one to be domineering.

I am currently reading Teoti Anderson's The Ultimate Guide to Dog Training. She had significant involvement in Ian Dunbar's organizations, and she does a good job explaining how to use cues, clickers, and reward-based training with treats for dogs. The layout of the book is a little messed up, but I will supplement it with Ian Dunbar's Before and After Getting Your Puppy. I am going to throw Cesar Millan's books into the trash, for I made a mistake getting them from the flea market.

Ian Dunbar: Dog-friendly dog training - YouTube

Also, Jackson Galaxy is a scoundrel too, for he advocated euthanizing a misbehaved cat on his dumb show. Both Jackson Galaxy and Cesar Millan are retarded and no 'whisperers'.

Zaharoff
04-19-2017, 06:56 PM
Cesar Millan is kind of stupid. His training methods tend to be too domineering in trying to gain "alpha status" and based off outdated views . . .

Cannot resist. One of my fave Cesar Milan images from back when -

http://i65.tinypic.com/2j2c2lf.jpg