Translated Titles

The Feelings of Pets: Animal "Psychics" as Human-Pet Communication and Companionship Consultants


簡妤儒(Chien, Yu-Ju)

Key Words

動物溝通 ; 毛小孩 ; 主體性展現 ; 互為主體性 ; 跨物種親密關係 ; animal communication ; furry kids ; enactment of subjectivity ; intersubjectivity ; cross-species intimacy



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

31期(2020 / 10 / 01)

Page #

67 - 114

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

"Animal psychics," also called "animal communicators," have become popular in Taiwan recently. Such psychics claim that they can read animals' minds and reveal their perceptions. This paper explains why cross-species animal communication has become popular in modern society, why some pet owners in Taiwan are believers, and how animal psychics affect contemporary human-pet relationships in the face of the scientific dubiousness of the practice. This study's data include relevant news reports, books, and discussions on the Internet, as well as interviews with animal communicators and pet owners. Instead of examining psychics' and believers' demographic characteristics or reasoning, this study uses a relational analysis to explain this phenomenon and its disputes. I consider animal communication a process through which psychics participate in the (re)construction of cross-species intimacy and relational practices. Psychics attempt to enact empathy and intersubjectivity between owners (furry parents) and their pets (furry kids). The effects of animal communication, nevertheless, depend on whether psychics successfully enact the animal's subjectivity, whether this subjectivity is confirmed by owners in their interactions with animals, and whether owners are willing to reflect upon their relationships. This relational explanation of animal communication illustrates how cross-species intimacy is shaped through specific social practices, and it also demonstrates the "ontologies-in-practice" in these processes.

Topic Category 人文學 > 人文學綜合
醫藥衛生 > 醫藥衛生綜合
醫藥衛生 > 醫藥總論
醫藥衛生 > 基礎醫學
醫藥衛生 > 預防保健與衛生學
醫藥衛生 > 社會醫學
社會科學 > 社會科學綜合