Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Dog-Being

Dogs, can you imagine what it is like to be a human? Humans, can you imagine what it is like to be a dog? In the book The Lives of Animals by J.M. Coetzee, the main character Elizabeth Costello addresses this question but about bats and people;

What is it like to be a bat? Before we can answer such a question, Nagel suggests, we need to be able to experience bat-life through the sense-modalities of a bat. But he is wrong... To be a living bat is to be full of being; being fully a bat is like being fully human, which is also to be full of being. Bat-being in the first case and human-being in the second....To be full of being is to live as a body-soul. One name for the experience of full being is joy.

As we are all beings with a soul, of course we can put ourselves in anothers paws, hooves, fins or shoes. There is a big human word, anthropomorphism, to describe people putting human qualities onto animals. Of course, a dog wants to be treated and thought of as a dog. But some people seem to think that animals do not have souls and are somehow inferrior, almost robot like. I say all animals have a soul and all animals are equal. And no animals are more equal than others. Not even dogs. Not even fast, intelligent, good-looking dogs.

1 comment:

Henry the Dog said...

Ruby, I found you through Profoundly Inarticulate and I'm quite excited to have come across another intelligent blogging dog. You look very,VERY much like my mum's old dog, Sam, in LBM (Life Before Me). He was a black lab but apparently he was very athletic looking and thin, like you. My mum lived in Brisbane for a few months when she was a young woman and I have lots of blogging friends in Australia. I hope you don't mind me hanging around you from time to time. Henry xxx