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Sullivan One of Us

I go back to our first family dog, a prenaturally intelligent-seeming Labrador mix

- Implies that as a child, Sullivan had a inexplicable notion that dogs are
Years ago, people seemed to think of animals were capable of their own sense of
wisdom, and that animal-human hybrids were showed their own forms of
knowledge, but somewhere along the line, humans thought of them as alien and
incapable of suffering/pleasure.
Ultimatum: ONLY WITH THE GREEKS* - Plato/Aristotle believed that animals were
only put on the earth to be admired Aesthetically and even sentimentally; but
otherwise are here tot be used. Mute = Brute. (Inability to speak was equivalent to
being savage/unreasoning).
For Christians, animals lacked souls and because humans were part divine.
Further, in the book of Isiah, beasts (animals) will honour Him one day. Humans
beings desiring true holiness should make themselves subject to the animals,
and not to men alone, but to all beasts. That they should lie and let animals do
what they will because thats what He wanted. Indicating that animals are not
sentient and are capable of being willed unlike us humans who *should* do
something, vs animals who are willed to surely DO something?
If God cares about the sparrows, dont you think He cares about you? The latter
makes sense and we are normalized to it, but if youre considering the first line, he
cares about sparrows individually, and keeps them in bind. He also remembers them
individually and cares about their deaths.
Bible is contradicting itself because sparrows have no souls, but in Matthew 19:28-
29 Jesus says that when a sparrow falls, they will not fall to the ground apart from
God. Basically saying that a sparrow has a real connection to god the same way that
we are connected.
The modern conversation
Rene Descartes + the rest of the Enlightenment contributed to the conversation of
sentient animal consciousness. Rene Descartes paraphrased they eat without
pleasure, cry without pain, grow without knowing it; they desire nothing, fear
nothing, know nothing. Descartes thought of them as automatons; animated
creatures who had predisposed series of actions. Description of two cats as fleshy
machines made of nerves and electricity obeying their mechanical mandate.
John Ray disputed that writing that animals can feel pain when tormented.
Anthromorphism (relating human characteristics). Animal screams sound like ours
so they must mean the same thing.
Thomas Hobbes (after Descartes died) wrote that we have more overlap with
animals than Descartes allowed. Beasts have memories, engage with speech; and
what they dont have are conceptions of thought that is their own. He says this self-
consciousness as divine.
Baruch Spinoza wrote that the difference was one of a kind; it differs to the extent
that brute nature is different from human nature. Humans and animals desire to
procreate, but one is equine (horse like) and one is human. Similar to how the joy of
a drunkard and a philosopher is the same. Spizona also claims that horse and cats
feel joy. Soul = Joy by being itself. So Spizona claims animals have souls. Horse =
Horse soul, fish has fish soul, etc.
Statement that one human beings essence could be unintelligible to another. A
drunkard is a different creature than a philosopher. This is a frightening thought:
accepting that no two consciousnesss can ever have transparency, and leaves us
cosmically alone. We have the same rights and respect as animals have for us
(fundamental/natural right), but our power over beasts is greater than they have
over us.
The whole animal consciousness
The debate was just as abstract as disputing the existence of life on other planets,
or any other myseterious topic.
Darwin claimed that the more researchers got to know an animal, the more it
seemed to have reason.
New research has been conducted in labs now, instead of just random talking in
salons. Answers to questions show thinking but not really any consciousness.
Animals can tell individual animals apart (elephant example). It is arrogant to pit the
self-awareness we humans have and put them against animals, but if we can ignore
that, with research, we have learned that animals have been seen as having more
The animal kingdom is symphonic with mental activity. The least humans can do is
to have proper respect for our ignorance.
Many things on earth have consiousness and ours feels like this, and to other
animals it may feel and seem different. We possess animal consciousness because
no animal understands the other very well.
Poetry Collections form 2008 Ballistics
Billy Collins The Day Lassie Died
S1: 1959 5:40AM milk 10 cows, driving them with a stick inot the pasture.
S2: Drive to pick up a few things from town 12 miles a way after breakfast.
S3: Items: Tin hoof softener for the horse, batteries, shells, rubber gloves,
something for wife, cotton apron.
S4: Wife may like hairpins, or box of tissuesgets distracted by books
S5: Settles on a book
S6: Henry (store cashier) metions todays Sentinel (Definition: A soldier or guard
whose job it is to keep watch). Describes a dog. Border Collie perhaps.
S7: Back home with the newspaper sitting with their own collie that looks like the
dead one. Morning warms up and cows making noise.
*Spin on Frank OHara The Day Lady Died
Billy Collins Le Chien (Trans: The Dog)
S1: Talking to a dog about American Culture in Paris
S2: Confused dog when narrator talks about summer movies and poetry.
S3: Dog sat, whilst speaker stood. In front of a butcher shop and realizes the dog
could have just been waiting. (Instead of listening as they had implied when he was
talking about summer movies and poetry)
S4: Description of butcher shop items (Maybe dog was just waiting for food and
could not think?)
S5: Narrator was drinking.
S6: Decides they are wasting time trying to explain things to a dog. (Drinking as an
excuse to be talking to a dog that would probably not understand them)
S7: Female dog did not have the urge to breed and therefore showed patience.
S8: Paris was bustling (perhaps becoming early in the day for sales to start) and
speaker wishes they could take the dog home but a picture would do.
S9: Drunk speaker goes back to the hotel after speaking for a long time to the dog.
S10: Would have loved to bring a picture of the dog back to maternal grandmother
(Who might be dead? Now looks down from her height as always)
S11: Unable to speak the grandmother, and speaker would stare at the image of the
dog before dinner.
S12: Drinking and speaking to the image as if it were sentient.
**Funeral may have just taken place, and a dog was a substitute to their
grandmother who they wished they could have saw one last time and had taken a
picture to take home***
**I think it's basically like. The dog is supposed to be this savage thing that just
breeds and so on, but this dog speaks French (cultured) and understands what the
guy is complaining about (how stuff like corn dogs and helmet laws are part of this
doomed future of American culture) so it deserves to be recognized just as much as
his grandmother**
Billy Collins The Fish
S1: Ordered fish at a restaurant and it stared back at them.
S2: Fish telling diner it feels sorry for them for dining alone in unkindly light.
S3: Diner telling fish it feels sorry for it being taken from its home then being dead
next to potatoes
S4: Diner felt compassion and sorrow for the fish
S5: After finished eating, still felt bad for the fish.

Billy Collins A Dog on His Master

S1: Dog narrating; indicating that the dog is aging faster than a human
S2: Eventually the dog will be older than the human
S3: If this idea is ever thought of by the human, the dog will be super happy.

**Some form of dogs are wise**

Billy Collins The Revenant
S1: Dog does not like somebody. Owner put it down.
S2: Licking face = Hatred; Watching = Hostile thoughts
S3: Hate the way humans move; humans eat; etiquette
S4: Dog wants to run away but cannot beause of tricks humans tought it.
S5: Leash excites but because it meant that humans did not ever touch.
S6: Dog hates cars and toys and other related humans.
S7: Dog tags drove dog mad, and all the dog wanted ever was just food and water.
S8: The dog wanted to howl at the moon.
S9: Dog is free of the collar, but what does this mean?!
S10: !?

Stephen Dunn Dont Do That

S1: Narrator is going to a party and brought hard alcohol. Hated people but loved
S2: Hating people
S3: Goes to dogs and acts/becomes one and trys to becomes a beast but the dogs
are actually keeping the narrator civilized.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Dog
Dog sees thigns bigger than itself: Drunks on doorways, the moon
Dog sees thigns smaller than itself: Ants, chickens in windows
Smells things like himself passing puddles babies cats and cigars.
It doesnt hate police but it just has no use for it.
The dog does not discriminate what it eats; cow or human.