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MODULE 16: NONHUMANS AS ACTORS A LEARNING TOOL ABOUT WHALES, INTERCONNECTED SPECIES & ORGANISMS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMANITY - A CAPE BRETON UNIVERSITY SENIOR SEMINAR COMMUNITY ACTION PROJECT

"I think I'd like to be remembered as someone who really helped people to have a little humility and realize that we are part of the animal kingdom not separated from it." Jane Goodall

NonHumans As Actors

Humans habitat our planet with many different species that all have a role to play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. While humans may feel they are on a higher level than animals, research suggests humans are actors on the same level as animals in the posthumanism and Anthropocene era. Research further suggests whales are a part of this sphere, including the social context of whales struggling to survive. Humans need to look toward species as equals in the circle of life for the coexistence of all life on this planet. We have much to learn from animals and until we take the time to learn, we will be unable to find ways to save them, humanity and the planet. We are all connected. Animals are more in tune with nature than humans and humans need to spend the time to reacquaint themselves with life other than themselves. While we humans can feel the planet is ours, it is actually a planet for all species, including nonhumans.

Humanism does not have a successful record in either preventing suffering or promoting a state of wellbeing in humans (Kumm et al, 2019), let alone animals.

Posthumanism is one domain, particularly that of indigenous philosophies and knowledge, that allows for theoretical tools for the consideration of nonhuman entities as actors (Elton, 2019).

Researchers concentrating in this area work on bridging the nature-culture gap found in the political philosophy of Europe and North America by acknowledging nonhuman nature (Elton, 2019).

The acknowledgement of nonhumans challenges the Western world thinking of the exceptionalism of humans being a belief rooted in history and religion that humans are a “supreme species” (Elton, 2019).

Posthumanism allows for the leveling of playing fields creating a framework of a very different path of connecting with the world (Elton, 2019).

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Created By
Maria Lisa Polegatto
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Created with images by Todd Cravens - "untitled image" • Todd Cravens - "untitled image" • insung yoon - "untitled image" • NeONBRAND - "untitled image" • Will Truettner - "untitled image"