Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

008-01 Boethius (LH); Animals (P 67-77)

FQ: What greek letter was upon the hem of Philosophy's dress? (LH 41)

DQ:  "If we judge a fish on it's ability to climb, it will live it's entire life believing it is stupid." Einstein
          Is an animal incapable of language simply because it cannot speak our language? As we cannot understand their languages, does that not then make us incapable of language by the very reasoning that we use to call them incapable of language?

A link about meta-cognition in animals:


  1. On the discussion of animals being lesser beings or "without a soul" (which I do not subscribe to, as we do not truly know if it is a soul, but one name is as good as another for a portion of existence that we do not yet truly understand.), I will use my dog "Dixie Bear Clanton" as an example to define what makes them lesser or equal to us.

    We have feelings and we know this. This makes us special. If I hurt your feelings, I can usually tell by the expression on your face, your intonation and possibly tears.

    If my dogs feelings are hurt, I can tell by her expression, her body language, just as I can tell by yours. I can tell when she is happy as well, by her open mouth, lolling tongue and teeth showing, her head rises as opposed to falling when she is sad. Her tail wags when she is happy and she becomes much more spry. She moves slowly when she is sad, which is something humans tend towards as well.

    Humans can be traumatized which shows memory and "soul".

    My dog was abandoned as a puppy, which affected her ability to trust humans, it still does. She only trusts my family and shows obvious signs of fear, distress and a want to run when faced with other humans.

    My dog was neglected, kept in a tiny cage and a small room and did not have interaction like a dog normally would with other animals and humans for the first year of her life. She was not fed or cared for properly. She was traumatized when we got her.

    To this day, when we take her somewhere, she becomes stressed until she sees that we all leave together. She sticks close to us in fear we might leave her. She edges very slowly towards other animals, unsure, even obviously lacking confidence in her interaction with other dogs. She fears objects held in hand until she is certain that she will not be hit.

    She shows memory of what has happened to her, fear it might happen again and obvious trauma from her past life. These are all things that we feel make us special.

    She cannot build a house or operate a computer but she is not of my species. I cannot track an animal by smell alone, nor can I grow enough fur to keep me warmer or run as fast as she can. I am bi-pedal and she is not. There are definite biological differences. But, I have a unique personality and so does she.

    I question everything, even if I believe in it at the core of reasoning, to a point of becoming annoying. When people are annoyed by my search for truth and love of curiosity, it makes me giggle. She will decide momentarily to not come when called, then laugh at me. Yes, she laughs, throwing her head back, opening her mouth widely and a sparkle lights in her eyes. She laughs at me, playfully. Then, she'll come to me and grin, teeth showing, taking delight in her own amusement.

    Is our need to feel special overriding our ability to see that animals share all the feelings, wants and needs that we ourselves have? Do we focus on differences more than similarities to justify our own ends?

    I am not a vegetarian, neither is my dog. We accept that we are meat eaters, but we do not each other. We are family, regardless of species. What we eat had feelings too, I am sad for that loss of life but respectful of the gift we receive from it. I would prefer that animals were not raised domestically for food, or were at least raised by humane standards that we ourselves would wish to be raised in. Hunting, hunting for your own food and taking only what you need would be best in my thinking. A silent prayer of respect over the fallen being that has given its life to nourish yours. Effort involved, as it should be, in the taking of a life..and responsibility as the blood is truly on your hands.

    My dog and me, we are equal, and I know it.

  2. Actually, our dogs are superior in many ways. Much better at living in the moment, and at adopting an appropriately stoical attitude about things like the weather...

    Happy sn'ice day!