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Fringuello Papiro, one of our eldest community members, has had a lifetime of experience taking care of animals and plants as well. Here he shares some of his thoughts and observations about communication with animals and their unique needs and personalities.

Can you tell us some of your thoughts about communicating with animals?

We have a culture that tells us that we humans are superior to animals, although by spending time with them, I have come to know though they are also aware beings. They seem to have a way of life that is very distant from us, and they do have different senses than ours, but they understand. If we treat them well, with feelings of goodness and love, they feel this. Those who have cats and dogs know this. It’s alsoFringuello2 true for other animals like chickens and rabbits. If we try to dominate them, they won’t feel good about it. Though if we treat them like traveling companions because we are alongside them in the same journey on this planet, they will resonate with our kindness.

Fringuello2What is the key to animal communication?

Being with animals, living with animals, we can understand what their main necessities for survival are and try to satisfy these needs, which are eating, drinking, having shelter and freedom. If we respect these principles, they understand that they can have a good life together with us. Of course if we treat animals in an exploitative way, they won’t tolerate this kind of treatment. It’s true that we may raise animals such as chickens, rabbits and cows to receive from them, but we shouldn’t just think about what they can give us. We should think about our shared experience of living together.

Taking care of the chickens at Porta della Luna, what have you noticed about their personalities?

I see that animals, whether they are chickens, rabbits, sheep or goats, have different characteristics. We live in community with many people in our nucleos and we need to respect each other, and the same is true for animals too. There are animals who prefer to stay in enclosed spaces, protected from weather conditions and predators, and there are those who prefer more space and freedom. All of them have a need for a certain degree of freedom, although some can tolerate being enclosed while others are less tolerant of it. Humans are like this too. There are some people who are more extroverted, who love freedom more, and there are those who can feel more comfortable in enclosed and protected spaces and situations. I make an effort to understand their unique needs and personalities.