WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Thursday, June 02, 2016

A Leap to Goat!

You think transgender is a leap? To go from male to female, or female to male, or to be indeterminate? Not such a big deal.

How about going from a man to a goat? Or a badger?  Now that's a leap. I have to say that I thought Joshua Rothman's article in the New Yorker was funny. Super-funny.

Not sure if trying to live like a goat in every way possible is ridiculous, fabulous, silly, a pathology, or what. Maybe a bit of all of that. Once we go past imagination, observation & study and try to make the leap into another species, I think we are entering some kind of zone of madness.

Still lots of interesting ideas surfaced in the reading. Especially the concept of "Umwelt" - a "self-centered world." Each species is coming from a completely different world, dictated by their environment. When we as human beings talk about other species, and try to measure them in relation to human beings, we do them a great disservice.  Our worlds are so different. 

"Literally, Umwelt means “surroundings,” but those surroundings can be cognitive and existential as well as physical. “Umwelt stresses an organism’s self-centered, subjective world, which represents only a small tranche of all available worlds,” de Waal explains. A reindeer’s Umwelt includes forests lit with ultraviolet light. An eyeless tick’s includes not just the smell of butyric acid, which wafts from mammalian skin, but the years-long wait for a moment of succulent opportunity. "

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