I had watched Black Fish 3 times before we even saw it in tutorials this week in BCM310, it has completely changed my view on animals and how we see them and how we rank them compared to ourselves. It wasn’t until I went to Hawaii at the beginning of last year and went to a sea life park and did a dolphin encounter that I realised how much it had affected me because I realised I was pretty much funding animal cruelty and I was horrified and struggled to even enjoy it. I was convinced that the animals enjoyed what they did before watching the documentary when the only thing making them do tricks is food.
This week I realised how it is that we justify acts like above because in the lecture we discussed speciesism meaning discrimination according to species. So first of all we see us as humans higher than the rest because of things such as language, emotion and intelligence. But what is wrong about this is that we now have evidence that some animals have the ability to communicate (such as the Orcas using different pitches to reach each other when they were separated in Black Fish) and they do have emotions to some extent and they are highly intelligent (for example in Black Fish when the Orcas divide into two groups when they were being hunted to protect the baby Orcas). It is now that we have this knowledge that it makes this so much worse because we know what we are doing.
Even though we see ourselves as so much higher then animals, they are incorporated into a lot of our lives such as in our language, in books, toys and on our screens etc.
The idea of dead metaphors is quite interesting as in the lecture we discussed how animals are incorporated into our language such as ‘lone wolf’ and ‘pigeon holed’ but it has nothing to do with the animal because if someone says sayings like those you don’t think about the animal it has it’s own meaning. Other examples include:
- Black sheep
A lot of country side has now been developed into suburbs especially with the rise in population and so animals have slowly disappeared from daily interaction but popping up in other ways (like above). So we acknowledge that they are around but we only use or interact with them when we need to and its on our terms. Another example of this it how we make them vanish when we want to. In milk ads cows are very rarely shown and if they are they are usually animated and in a field of grass looking happy which we all know isn’t the reality but we don’t want to accept it.
Back to the hierarchy of organisms that humans have created and how we have created it. We can’t say that we come above everyone else because other animals can’t reason or their intelligence isn’t nearly as high as humans because if this was the test children and people with mental dysfunction probably wouldn’t pass. So again I question why do humans get to come first and why do we get to decide who is underneath us?
One other thing that we talked about in the lecture that got me thinking was why is it that when they train these animals in the amusement parks or even when we train our pets that they have to learn how language and movements and we don’t have to learn theres?