Thoughts regardings Languages of Animals, a comment by Waterfires

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This is a wonderful email I received and I want to share it with you. Thank you waterfires for this input.

Animal Language Essay
February 29, 2008 3:04 am | waterfires | IP: |

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I have been saving your essay on Animal Language for some time. I signed up for two courses this semester: Intro to Philosophy and Anthropological Linguistics. The Philosophy instructor’s wife (another professor) claims that the “only difference between human animals and nonhuman animals is “language!” Since, I know this to be inherently illogical I heartily protested. He appeared to be intimidated by my remark and became withdrawn, so communication ended.

In addition, my Anthropological linguistic textbook makes this claim as well, although worded differently. For example,…”As far as we know only ‘humans’ have language.” I am on the verge of pulling hairs out of my head but resist this impulse, since there is enough violence to go around. Instead, after locating your article, I am going to ask them to read your essay. Frankly, I agree with most of what you stated with the exception of what could appear to be speciesist in term usage, such as “it” in reference to nonhuman animals, which, if I am correct, supports the ongoing oppression of nonhuman animals. Perhaps, I am mistaken and misread your term, since, some of your comments were more complicated than I could readily understand, so I will reread your wonderful it again. More important, I am so so grateful for people like yourself.

As an Anthropology major with an interest in speciesism. every day ever more speciesist attitudes are revealed to me, sometimes, my own included and, if it were not for people like Gary Francione, Carol Adams, Joan Dunayer, Colleen Patrick Geoudreau and other amazing truth seekers, I do not think I would be able to pursue my goal which is to write on human animals and their very wrong relationship with nonhumans.
p.s. The term “United Poultry Concerns” as you may know is simply another form of denying the individual identity of nonhumans as the “absent referrent” as Carol Adams writes. They are after all- Chickens–beings. I cannot define poultry as living, breathing, thinking, anything.
Yesterday, agian, another professor, head of the Anthropology dept. replied, when I shared my interest in speciesism, …” I know all about speciesism, I am an administrator in the Care and Use of Animals at our College Laboratory.” I’m beginning to think that this is just not the place to talk to course instructors. Ciao