Humans have a fraught relationship with beasts. They are our companions and our laborers. We love them and cage them, admire them and abuse them. And, of course, we cook and eat them. Our dodge has always been that animals are ours to do with as we please simply because they don’t suffer the way we do. They don’t think, not in any meaningful way. (Watch a video on how animals learn language.)
But one by one, the berms we’ve built between ourselves and the beasts are being washed away. Humans are the only animals that use tools, we used to say. But what about the birds and apes that we now know do as well? And as for humans as the only beasts with language? Kanzi himself could tell you that’s not true.
All of that is forcing us to look at animals in a new way. It’s not enough to study an animal’s brain; we need to know its mind.