Keep smiling, keep fighting, keep thinking, keep loving, keep serving, and keep sacrificing. It’s not about the overnight win, it’s about what kind of human being you choose to be and what kind of legacy you want to live.
- Dr. Cornel West
To understand elephant experience, it is necessary to continue unraveling elephant psychological mysteries—to understand individual differences in elephants in the same way we try with humans. Something that is now scientifically possible.
C.G. Jung once wrote that humans remain a mystery to themselves because they are unique, lacking someone or something against which comparisons can be made. This argument can no longer be made. The practice of using animals as human surrogates for probing into the human mind and human behavior implicitly acknowledges cross-species similarities, but somehow, though sharing the attributes that privilege humans, animals have been denied psyche and rights.
Today, the seemingly impermeable species barrier has eroded, similarities outweigh differences, and a theoretical and perceptual fusion has taken place. Human psychology and animal behavior are brought together in the creation of a trans-species science, a new scientific paradigm, the beginnings of which were described by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago. Investigations into the natural world no longer revolve around the question “How are humans different?” Instead, they cause us to wonder in awe at our relatedness. How we as humans think, feel, and behave is reflected not just in our mirrors, but in the faces of elephants.
- G.A. Bradshaw, Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity, 16