Intuitive Interspecies Communication (IIC): What is it?
Intuitive interspecies communication (IIC), is a method of connecting and intuitively exchanging information with non-human animals using a highly complex set of intuitive skills. IIC occurs across many cultures and is growing in use in contemporary wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, veterinary care, and is often used for resolving human-animal conflicts in domestic contexts. While IIC can occur while in direct physical proximity to a non-human animal, it can also occur over great distances and does not require face-to-face encounters nor the visual, auditory, voice or other cues humans normally associate with interactive communication. Illustrations of IIC are reported across many fields and cultures, but it is currently under-researched. At this time, we are focusing on animal-human IIC, but the phenomenon is also known to be linked to human-plant interactions. See our new paper: Barrett, M.J., Hinz, V., Wijngaarden, V. & Lovrod, M. (Forthcoming 2021). ‘Speaking’ with Other Animals through Intuitive Interspecies Communication: Towards Cognitive and Interspecies Justice. In Eds. Alice Hovorka, Sandra McCubbin and Lauren Van Patter. A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies., Chapter 10. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.→
- Transforming animal-human relationships;
- Expanding respect for and understanding of animals and their capacities;
Multiple Ways of Knowing
- Practical response to increasing calls for research methods that include animals’ perspectives;
- Expanding understandings of who animals are (ontology of the animal);
- Increasing connection to and respect for those who are not human;
- Contributions to “reconciliation with Earth” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Summary Report, 2015, p. 18);
Implications for Policy and Practice
- Doing research with animals rather than on them;
- Developing processes for asking consent from animals to participate in research and other activities;
- Potential for transformative comprehension of traditional Indigenous understandings of animals.
We don’t actually know how this works yet so that’s why we are studying it. To understand the nature of the phenomenon and its dynamics, we first need to build in-depth knowledge about IIC from the perspective of those who do it regularly. Through comprehensive interviews and artistic representations of intuitive communication sessions with experienced professional animal communicators, my doctoral candidate Viktoria Hinz is seeking to gain an in-depth understanding of what animal communicators do and experience as they engage in intuitive exchanges with animals. This descriptive phenomenological study will provide important baseline understandings of the human side of the experience of intuitive interspecies communication (IIC). At a later time, when funding is in place, we would love to develop a study examining animals’ perspectives on IIC.
For inquiries about hosting a presentation or potential collaborations, contact Dr. Barrett.