Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Speaking Elephants

"How To Speak Elephant"

This article reminds me of the questions Theo posed in a post from a few weeks ago. She wondered if it would be an anthropomorphic gesture to think that a whale who had just been released from ensnarement in a net might have been thanking human rescuers when he or she gently nudged each one on the chest before swimming away.


  1. After reading this article, I noticed that the researcher, O'Connell, gave these elephants she was studying names and even personalities. O'Connell, most likely unknowingly, anthropomorphized these elephants which I do not believe is just. Although her research makes sense and is interesting, I don't think that she can be considered completely in the know of these elephants behaviors. She assumes that they have the same emotions to convey as humans, which may very well be true, but there is also an undomesticated side to these animals that we should not necessarily get to know. Animals, human and non-human, all have different ways of communication. Obviously some attitudes and emotions can overlap, but I do not believe that we as humans can ever fully understand any other non-human animal, let alone other humans.

  2. While I was reading this article I felt like I was beginning to learn a new language, almost like sign language. It kind of made me think way out of the box and imagine a new class being offered where it teaches humans the language of animals. A world where we could communicate with animals and befriend the species that we do not domesticate now. However, this is way out of reach, but hey its fun to think about.
    Anyways, it must be amazing for O'Connell to to have had this experience and to have been called "bilingual" in a non-human language.