This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Animal Communication Essay

2713 words - 11 pages

Throughout this course of study, the concept of language as the demarcation between animals and humans has prevailed. Further, as we have seen in our class readings, many claim that it is through language that our "consciousness" and "cognitive" skills are developed. Accordingly, these skills are necessary for us to interpret and conceptualize our world. What this infers is that because we have these skills and the "brute" animals do not, animals do not possess the ability to analyze or think about their world. When presented in this manner, I was almost convinced that this was a plausible representation of mental development. However, I found that I still had a nagging feeling that it could not be true.

Upon further investigation I found that language is by no means the only way to interpret or communicate in the world. The significance of this statement is that if my thesis proves valid the results are twofold: it refutes the behaviorists and Cartesian assertion that language is the boundary that separates animals and humans; and it supports the theory that animals not only have language, but they also posses the ability for cognitive thought.No one will argue that animals possess sight and auditory abilities. However, the concept that animals have language and are capable of thought for some is a bitter pill to swollow. I believe that they are also capable of thought and even intention. Granted, the development of language is often used as a gauge of mental aptitude in humans: "Language competence is intimately tied to, or maybe even definitive of, our concept of human mentality" (Atherton and Schwartz, 137). However, while language is an asset which enables people to conceptualize their world, it is by no means a necessity.

This is demonstrated by the ability of physically handicapped persons (e.g., the deaf) and mentally handicapped persons (e.g., victims of cerebral palsy) to communicate using symbols. It is also demonstrated by the reliance on kinesics, body language, in young children. Numerous studies attest to the ability of apes and baboons to communicate using symbols and body language. These studies are the first steps in proving the existence of animal mentation.Griffin argues that many scientists do not accept the notion of animal mentation because of the difficulty of defining abstract concepts such as "consciousness" and "mind" (Griffin 163). In reviewing the works of other scholars, Griffin puts forth some working definitions.

The concept of mind "Encompasses sense perception, feeling and emotion, traits of character and personality, and the volitional aspects of human life, as well as the more narrowly intellectual phenomena" (Griffin 163). Consciousness in an entity suggests "an organism which can have intentions... the ability to form a plan, and make a decision to adopt the plan" (Griffin 164). Although these terms are defined by their...

Find Another Essay On Animal Communication

A Discusision on Animal Rights Essay

1325 words - 5 pages the question of animal intelligence, animal activist groups, and the pros and cons of granting animals their rights.Psychologists around the world, who have studied nonhuman primates, argue that these animals possess the capacity to communicate. They go on to explain that a communication barrier is all that separates humans from animals. If they bridged that barrier, then humans could talk with animals. Beatrice and Robert Gardner, two

Animals Must Be Protected Essay

991 words - 4 pages of animals and improving relationships among animals with people. Unlike AHO, the National Animal Interest Alliance is an association of business, agriculture, scientific, and recreational interest formed to protect and promote humane practices and relationships between people and animals. Accordingly, NAIA seeks to address the missing link to proper communication between various interest groups, medias, and policy makers. In efforts

A Discusision on Animal Rights

1280 words - 5 pages the question of animal intelligence, animal activist groups, and the pros and cons of granting animals their rights.Psychologists around the world, who have studied nonhuman primates, argue that these animals possess the capacity to communicate. They go on to explain that a communication barrier is all that separates humans from animals. If they bridged that barrier, then humans could talk with animals. Beatrice and Robert Gardner, two

Abolishment of Animal Testing

1033 words - 4 pages that there is no communication with humans and the animal. Have you ever honestly heard a cat say, " I have a headache and my stomach hurts?" No, which is why it's obvious that all observations made on the animal's reactions are assumptions. Animal models for human medicine are false. The animal experiments fail to predict the toxic side effects of many drugs and also prevent good medications from helping people. These two outcomes are called

Complex Language Usage in Non-Human Species

994 words - 4 pages While human beings generally consider themselves superior to animals due to our sophisticated use of language, there are several species of animal who use language that includes many properties linguists consider necessary to classify a system of communication as a language. Opinion between linguists varies considerably on what constitutes a language, but generally it is agreed that "A language consists of symbols that convey meaning, plus rules

Pfizer Animal Health

1331 words - 5 pages encouraging communication and quality-based relationships between producers and their customers. Star Supplier is an educational program designed to improve the quality of inputs and outputs for the dairy industry. These are only a few of the programs that Pfizer supports. Pfizer Animal Health also participates in a variety of local, state, and national meetings and activities that support both the beef and dairy industries. Throughout the year, Pfizer

Lispector's The Buffalo

1222 words - 5 pages When interacting with animals, it is tempting to correlate their behaviors with human emotion. It allows us to empathize with animals in a way that would be impossible otherwise, which is why researchers like Charles Hockett and Michael Tomasello spend so much time and effort studying animal communication and, more specifically, why animals are unable to learn human language. The downsides to crediting animals with human emotions, such as

Animal Testing: Are we right to give them no rights? (supports animal testing)

1341 words - 5 pages Research and Education. 21 Jan. 2005 .Healthcare. 21 Jan. 2005. Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. 21 Jan. 2005 .The Search for Alternatives. Nov. 1996. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Welfare Information Center. 20 Jan. 2005 .Useful Collection of Animal Testing Resources. 1 Jan. 2005. Murdock University School of Media, Communication and Culture. 20 Jan. 2005 .

The Fight for Animal Rights

882 words - 4 pages but we cannot physically communicate with them. It is unfair that because of lack of communication animals are killed all around the world for the use of their skin because of our selfish need to wear animal fur. When an animal is chosen to be skinned they are either killed by gassing, neck breaking or electrocution. To start off the process of skinning an animal after they have killed it, they lye the deceased body on its backside cut a

A Career as a Veterinary Technician

984 words - 4 pages believe as a veterinary technician I will be faced with many challenges and heartache on a daily basis. I will be introduced to situations that can be hard to bare--seeing animals that show the typical signs and symptoms of malnourishment and abuse. Having to unfortunately euthanize or observe euthanization of an animal due to a chronic illness or financial reasons by the caregiver(s)(“owner”). I will also vaccinate and administer medications to

Influence of Media

2461 words - 10 pages decades ago has altered the way of dissemination and consumption of information to the people in China. It allows comments and foreign culture sharing among the internet users. Hence, animal cruelty, which is one of the pressing issues in China, has been revealed and it becomes widespread news to both local citizens and foreigners. The media have now directly or indirectly caused some effects and influenced the perspective of people towards the

Similar Essays

Animal Communication Essay

945 words - 4 pages I chose the topic of animal communication for many reasons. The main reason is that I love animals, and always have. I have also always been incredibly interested in learning all about them. The topic of animal communication grasped my attention because that is a topic surrounding animals that I would love to learn about. I have always been mystified by the mysteriousness of the communication of animals. I chose the topic of animal communication

Animal Cruelty Essay

2401 words - 10 pages confinement hunting (C. Smith, personal communication, 17 October 2011). These are just a few types and there are many more. Some people cause animal suffering intentionally because they enjoy it, while others abuse animals through carelessness (“Animal Cruelty Facts” 1). It is said that, “A person can be cruel passively or inactively simply by omitting to take some form of action” (“Animal Cruelty Facts” 1). It has also been stated that

A Brief History Of Animal Abuse And Cruelty

1478 words - 6 pages In October of 2012, a Jack Russell Terrier puppy named Phoenix was set on fire in Buffalo N.Y. The woman who discovered him was attracted by black smoke. She managed to put out the the flames with her sweater and proceeded to rush him to a small animal hospital with severe burns over his whole body and a serious ankle infection. Although he lost 60% off of both of his ears he maintained almost complete mobility of his leg. He still has a

Con Edison Essay

1747 words - 7 pages DoSomething.org , animal welfare, including abuse and neglect, is one of the top three concerns of teens and 'tweens (George Weiner, personal communication, June 5, 2008). Awareness, education and community service are effective tools in the fight against animal cruelty. As hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, in an anti-cruelty campaign produced by the ASPCA, says, "Cruel's Not Cool!" Ties to the Philanthropic Sector Wherever there is cruelty to animals