Dan Drezner writes for Foreign Policy that an apple needs to be called an apple, and a Killer Whale needs to be called what it really is: a terrorist.
Believing that this killer whale acted alone is a fool’s errand. This is clearly a harbinger of future killer whale attacks … Negotiating with killer whales will accomplish nothing …
But I wonder why Drezner has not considered the conditions under which the animal’s trainers practically forced it to express frustration, which will necessarily be violent, according to the Frustration-Aggression hypothesis.
Really, the issue isn’t whether we can trust the whales, but whether we can trust ourselves. In general, our species-ist anthropomorphisms have only projected the shadows of our own self-image onto the cetacean subalterns. I mean, “Killer” whale? In an expiatory act of designation, we absolve ourselves from the shame of our own homicide, and repaint our canvas with a more celestial and metaphysical title: homo sapiens, “man the knower.” For, what crime can the mere beholder commit? The answer is clear: the hegemonizing of value-designation under the auspices of linguistic moralizing.
Bryan Wandel works in government finance and has studied history, accounting, and religion. He is a member of the editorial board at Humane Pursuits. Bryan’s writing has appeared at Comment Magazine, First Things, and elsewhere.