While it may still be debated by some, it has long been proven that animals attempt to communicate with humans with little results. This is primarily the result of disregardful behavior that has been ingrained in human societies as early as the introduction of the Christian Enlightenment and the simple inability to listen. Philosophers, such as Eva Meijer, have begun to illustrate the ways in which human and animal relationships reflect an unnaturalness, an oppressor, and the oppressed (as cited in Barkham, 2019). An example of this emerging among animals exists in elephant populations that have a call for ‘humans’ which equates with that of ‘danger’. Essentially, Meijer notes that the inability to foster open-mindedness when communicating with animals leads to situations in which humanity treats them as lesser beings with fewer rights, though with recent research this may soon be proven to be largely incorrect.
While many may find that communication between animals and humans may be impossible due to the large gaps in intelligence, the truth may focus on an entirely different factor. In fact, it may be possible that communication has not occurred in the ways that humans expect largely due to how differently people perceive language and the lacking understanding of its functions. Communication and learning can occur as evidenced by certain studies, such as the incidence of a border collie learning over two hundred words at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Cummins, 2017). As such, the issue may exist in human understanding of language interpretation or translation (Ball, 2021). A critical analysis of a language has to exist outside the current preconceptions that exist within the human mind, which as of yet cannot be achieved.
Ball, P. (2021). The challenge of animal translation. The New York Times. Web.
Barkham, P. (2019). Eva Meijer: Of course animals speak. The thing is we don’t listen. The Guardian. Web.
Cummins, D. D. (2017). Yes, We Can Communicate with Animals. Scientific American. Web.