“What is it Like to be a Whale OR The March of Perspective” by Jeff Warren. In Cabin Fever: The Best New Canadian Nonfiction, edited by Moira Farr and Ian Pearson, Thomas Allen Publishers, 2009.
Finally, the answer to a question that is top of everyone’s mind: what is it like to be a 10-ton echolocating sperm whale with stumpy flippers but excellent aqua-dynamics?
Piece’s real subject is animal consciousness – that is to say, the felt texture of animal experience, as opposed to animal “cognition” or animal “problem solving” or any of the other boring mechanical euphemisms that pass as inquiries into the animal mind these days. There is a revolution of perspective happening in the world of animals.
The whales are coming – hide the krill! A companion piece to this essay is my Reader’s Digest piece on whale personhood, here.