Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thinking Like Animals

After reading the Temple Grandin pieces, we were asked to invent a mechanism for animals in the group activity during section last week. As a group it was difficult to come up with things that we wanted to invent. It was particularly difficult because we had to really put ourselves in place of animals and think how they would think. We had to think of an animal in particular, lets say a dog, and think about what we believe they would like. Whether it be running around and playing, or receiving savory food/treats that they would enjoy having to eat, i found what seemed to be a fun and creative task was much more difficult than expected because i came to realize that there is a reason why it was difficult to imagine. It is because we do not know what animals like or what they want. We do not know much about their desires and their needs because they do not communicate it to us and therefore we can only assume what they want based off of what we see when we observe them and how they interact with us and the environment around them. How do we know they like meat-flavored treats? How do we know they want to fetch a ball? We don't know how they really think or what they actually enjoy, but we base our decisions off of their reactions to the things we expose them to. We create a world where we control their actions and reactions. And this is what has opened my eyes up—the fact that we make decisions for them and think that we know them based off of what we see, but do not know the truth because we can't simply get into their minds. Just something i thought was interesting to take notice of when doing the activity! I'm curious as to what the different groups came up with and why!

1 comment:

  1. our group came up with really general ideas that would benefit just a set group of animals (since it would be difficult coming up with an idea that would apply to all animals in this case)! we considered the ocean and the beach which led even wider to drainage systems and where those flow to. these thoughts spurred us to want to help out marine life and other animals that inhabit and benefit from aquatic ecosystems, such as rivers, swamps, lakes, etc., and to attempt to stop all pollution. this primarily involves fixing the manner we dispose of fluids and trash. by doing this, we eliminate any dangerous and toxic substances that are harmful to animals who would otherwise confuse these for food or are hurt by them. and this didn't arise from having to put ourselves in the mental state of an animal. it was more of what we have been informed of and what we see in our environment. living in santa cruz, a small beach town, we visit beaches that are riddled with trash and its waters not the clear blue that we would envision it to be; and it's already known that exposing animals to things like cigarette butts and six pack rings proves to be lethal. although the concept is hard and forcing our own human ideals onto animals and what we consider as enjoyable and comfortable conditions for them is outright wrong, reading body language (bodily signals that animals are known to use in the wild when threatened), and being informed (of what is harmful to an animal and noticing when they are placed in those situations) is what we can do without Grandin's special ability.