Humans and animals relationship: we all share this world.

We humans are living a world that are homes of millions of other creatures. We are fully aware of this, but we are also aware that we are the most superior among all species. Indeed, human beings are ones that have developed themselves comprehensively in terms of both physical and mental aspects, which can be seen in our civilization today. With all the achievements going far beyond other animals’ capability that we have gained, we can proudly say we are the most developed.

No matter how developed and superior humans are, it cannot be denied we are also animals. It is the same as a $600,000 Rolls Royce Phantom and a $20,000 Toyota Corolla, they are both cars no matter what. Therefore, human beings have to view the relationship between them and all other species as co-existing, as we all share this world together. However, humans tend to assume that they are as superior as they can exploit other animals in order to serve their purposes, which can be defined as “speciesism” (Horta 2010) . I am not talking about the fact that humans eat other animals, because that is how life works. The strongest stay on top of the food chain, and vice versa. I want to mention the way we look at our relationships with other animals and the way we treat them in regard with that relationship.

are-humans-animals

Species tend to pay attention and have a good impression on ones that are similar them to some certain degree. That is how they realize members of their communities as well as of communities within the same lines (Coppinger 2017). As what you can see in this video, the baby tiger and the house cat get along well with each other because they can recognize that the other are in the same Felidae lines (the cats family) , although they are different species. Humans are no exception. We are interested in seeing animals imitate us in terms of expression or gestures which are visible elements (Charles 2017). In return, animals understand that and they do attempt to impress humans in certain ways. Let’s look at several examples:

It was not 100% accurate, but no doubt we can say they did try 100% of their ability.

This is a really touching short film featuring an old Japanese woman living alone with two cats. Her husband passed away years ago and this is still breaking her heart now. Understanding that their owner still feels upset thinking about her husband, the two cats learn how to perform human-like gestures in order to cheer her up. Obviously this film is staged to a certain degree, but it cannot be denied that the emotions it conveys are genuine.

The two examples clearly show that our pets in particular, and animals in general, do want to co-exist with humans in a respectful way. We like them to perform like us, and they do understand that. Therefore, in order to make our relationship with other species a mutual and co-existing connection, we should do the same in return (Howard 2014). “Instead of respecting their wildness, humans want to hold, cuddle, feed and photograph orangutans; they want to treat orangutans as if they were human … [which has] caused them to become endangered by a rampant pet and zoo trade” (Sowards 2011). This is not how it should be working. Animals show their respect by allowing humans to perform natural habitats and even adapting themselves to it, so why can’t we do the same ? We want to express our love to orangutans, but we are doing it the wrong way. We want them to be happy, but how can they be happy when feeling uncomfortable not being in their natural status ?

Humans and all other animals co-exist in this world, that is obvious. In order to co-exist harmoniously, humans have to know how to respect other species, especially when we are the superior. Try to understand them, and if possible, adapt ourselves to it. This can be seen in this another video, when humans finally try how to please cats, but in cats’ way.

It did not work 100%, but at least they tried.

Reference:

Charles, N 2017, ‘Written and spoken words: representations of animals and intimacy’, Sociological Review,  Vol. 65 Issue 1, pp. 117-133.

Coppinger, B 2017, ‘Studying audience effects in animals: What we can learn from human language research’, Animal Behaviour,  Vol. 124, pp. 161-165.

Howard, D 2014, Human and Animal Relationships, Springer, New York.

Horta, O 2010, ‘What is Speciesism?’, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental EthicsVolume 23, Issue 3, pp 243–266.

Sowards, S. K 2011, Gender representations in orangutan primatological narratives: Essentialist interpretations of sexuality, motherhood, and women, Berghahn Books, USA.

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Media convergence: into the communication maze

A 15-year-old unknown boy becomes a world popstar or an unknown cat becomes the face of Uniqlo, these two cases have one thing in common: they got famous from home-made Youtube videos. They are just two of a thousands examples of self-created contents that spread out in a global scale. All of them are the proof that now people are able to control the media and that is part of what we call ‘media convergence’.

Thanks to globalisation, we have the Internet. Thanks to globalisation, we have more media platforms. Those two factors contribute creating a significantly interactive communication system around the world.

At the moment, people can read different newspapers with different categories, watch various movies of various genres or listen to many songs of many kinds. They can do all those stuffs just in a single tap. They are in our smartphones. We have the world in our pocket and access to it on our fingertip.

That is media convergence: we have what we want.

At this moment, I am writing a blog that can be read by the whole world. At this moment three days ago in my lecture, I was tweeting for the whole world. And in every single minutes, other people are creating contents for the whole world themselves.

That is more of media convergence: we create what we want.

The media power is shifting from the producers to the audiences. It is a business so the providers have to satisfy the users. Users want something, then they are provided with it. ABC readers want to read news on their laptop besides watching on TV, they have an ABC web version. Then they want to access news on their smartphones, ABC makes an app version. In other points of view, media power is holding still. It is the role of people using it which changes. From the examples mentioned above, it can be seen that users produce what they want to consume by themselves. User and producer, we have ‘produser‘.

In this bright side, media convergence is a positive movement. In another not-too-bright side, it can be not-too-positive that contents can be overloaded. Everyone has the power to create contents and disseminate to others so the amount of information is massive. Interacting with that huge amount on a daily basis affects the way we think and develop our own ideas. Therefore, in this media convergence era, it is essential for users not to get lost in this communication maze and create the right content as the key to get out of it.

Reference:

Adib, D 2009, Pop Star Justin Bieber Is on the Brink of Superstardom, ABC News, viewed 2nd April 2016,

<http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/teen-pop-star-justin-bieber-discovered-youtube/story?id=9068403&gt;

Gianatasio, D 2012, Maru, the Internet’s Top Cat, Goes to Work for Uniqlo, AdWeek, viewed 2nd April 2016,

<http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/maru-internets-top-cat-goes-work-uniqlo-143343&gt;

2015, Henry Jenkins, online video, 21st September 2009, Youtube, viewed 2nd April 2016,

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibJaqXVaOaI&gt;

2016, ABC News, viewed 2nd April 2016,

<http://abcnews.go.com/US/fullpage/abc-news-app-iphone-android-windows-29054814&gt;

2008, Produsage.ord, viewed 2nd April 2016,

<http://produsage.org/produsage&gt;