“The eyes of an animal when they consider a man are attentive and wary. The same animal may well look at other species in the same way.
He does not reserve a special look for man. But by no other species except man will the animal’s look be recognized as familiar. Other animals are held by the look. Man becomes aware of himself returning the look.
The animal scrutinizes him across the narrow abyss of non-comprehension. This is why the man can surprise the animal. Yet the animal – even if domesticated – can also surprise the man. The man too is looking across a similar, but not identical, abyss of non-comprehension. And this is so wherever he looks. He is always looking across ignorance and fear. And so, when he is being seen by the animal, he is being seen as his surroundings are seen by him. His recognition of this is what makes the look of the animal familiar. And yet the animal is distinct, and can never be confused with man. Thus, a power is ascribed to the animal, comparable with human power but never coinciding with it. The animal has secrets which, unlike the secrets of caves, mountains, seas, are specifically addressed to man”
I feel that I’ve always been in deep contact with my animal side. I love animals. That’s why Berger, and specifically this article was so important for me.
If you are interested in reading the whole article, I strongly recommend it: It is short and easy to read, but full of good ideas, you can find the e-book of the article HERE.
I took this photographs in Greece, where I was very concerned about the stray dogs. I discovered there that in Athens every year the government kills a lot of stray dogs. I went in the summer and the city was full of them, it was sad just to imagine that most of them would probably be killed soon.
As this article explains the human being is losing its contact with its animal side: this is a huge loss.