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  • Writer's pictureCrone

An attempt to spot something...

As you should know by now, I have thought a lot about epistemic justice and I have thought a lot about animals. So I figured I might be able to combine them. There was a guy at the online conference I went to who was sort of working on this but I think I have some different ideas...

So, the thought is: how to humans jeopardise the ability of other animals to come to knowledge - ideally 'true beliefs' about their environment and to communicate those beliefs in ways that matter?

There seem, on first pass, to be three main areas.


We often deceive animals: we make them believe that such and such a behaviour is pleasant - as they get treats or get stroked and developed trust - only to betray that trust. In labs, staff might encourage rats and so on to be friendly, docile and submissive so that they can have things done to them that are not in their interests. We bribe horses to travel in trailers and dogs to eat their paracetamol. OK the paracetamol is meant to be good.

We use the recorded cries of con-specifics or bait to lure animals to be killed or trapped.

There's possibly much more.


This is bigger and more... tangled.

The sound pollution in the sea that prevents whales and dolphins from communicating or from knowing where prey, predators and kin are because their sonar doesn't work.

The loss of old females through human interventions - which means the loss of vast stores of survival and cultural knowledge.

Lack of learning opportunities - if life is too short or if experiences peers are dead, animals can't learn the range of songs, migration routes, hunting behaviours and so on - oh yes, the Denali wolves who could hunt mountain sheep...

Again this is just a first pass.


When animals do express their views - not wanting to get in a trailer, be pulled out of a cage - we regard it as behaviour not as communication.

We are not open to animal communication.

They - even wild animals - are very good at reading us, but few of us bother to listen to even the animals we live with - or, if we do recognise the communication, to respond to it.

Now, this actually seems pretty interesting - don't you think??

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Oct 06, 2021


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