In this article, Walker is trying to question various distinctions that are made between animals and humans. She is attempting to show how animals are similar to humans when it comes to dealing with particular situations and moments. Walker has tried to use aspects that show emotion or stimuli that would prompt animals to act like humans.
She starts by explaining how they were used to feeding Blue on various occasions. This made Blue act in a certain manner when they came to his presence. Blue would snort loudly, stamp the ground or whinny (Muller 455). This was a gesture Blue made to inform the individual around that he needed an apple. This is a similar case that applies to humans. The moment we see people that give us certain things, we tend to act in a certain way that gives a gesture of what we want. Walker assumes that just like humans, animals have a way of communicating. Walker also goes ahead to showcase that animals also possess the emotions of anger. She gives a story of when she was young with this friendly horse called Nan. Her brother spooked the horse deliberately, and it resulted in the horse throwing her against a tree (Muller 455). The same case happens with humans. When you offend someone deliberately, they will get angry and result in an act that will offend or hurt you too. Walker also shows how animals tend to take time to gel with strangers. When Blue received a companion, he took time before he could even approach her. With time, the two horses would be seen together in whatever they were involved. This case applies in a similar way to humans. People take time to know each other, but the moment they start interacting they become inseparable. Blue also reacted in a manner that showed he was experiencing grief the moment his new found companion was taken from him. Walker asserts that Blue would not even eat the apples presented to him. This is something Walker had not seen before. Just like humans when they are in grief maybe after losing a loved one or after a break-up they tend to change their attitudes. There is an essence of loneliness that tends to distort their usual routine.
Walker has tried to use real life experiences to show how animals behave in a similar manner like humans when subjected to certain stimuli. I tend to agree with her arguments since she has brought out Blue’s reactions in a clear and concise manner. The explanations made are from first-hand experience and not a mere imagination. However, there are some elements of her arguments that try to show humans are similar to animals that I do not agree with. This is because she has used some fallacies. One fallacy that exists in this article is false cause and effect. Blue was a horse and just because Blue acted in some way as a human being does not mean that if other animals were placed under similar conditions would react in the same way. Therefore, concluding that animals are similar to humans from this observation would be a fallacy. Another fallacy that surfaces is that of disconnected ideas. Walker’s arguments are based on what she observed and interpreted. Maybe these ideas are just in her mind. If another individual had observed Blue through this period, maybe they would have interpreted his actions differently and came up with different conclusions.
In conclusion, I liked the article. It just gives imaginations and can really convince how a horse is similar to a human being under certain stimuli. However, I do not think this is sufficient to conclude that animals are similar to humans. In the paragraph above I have outlined two fallacies that tend to weaken Walker’s arguments.
Muller, Gilbert H. The Brief McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues across the Disciplines. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
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