594. Do animals have a language?
“If you mean a language made up of words and syllables, no. If you mean a method of communicating with one another, yes. They say much more than you think, but their language is limited to their physical wants, just like their ideas.”
a) There are animals that have no voice. Does this mean they have no language?
“They understand one another by other means. Do human beings communicate exclusively via verbal speech? And mutes, what about them? Animals, gifted with a social life, have means of communicating information and expressing their feelings. Do you think that fsh have no way of communicating with each other? Human beings do not have an exclusive privilege to the use of language. Language in animals is instinctive and limited to their wants and ideas, while that of humans lends itself to all the notions of their intelligence and can be perfected.”
Fish, traveling in masses, are like swallows that follow their leader and must be able to communicate, reach a common understanding, and make plans. They may be gifted with a sense of vision that is acute enough to distinguish the signs made to one another, or the water may serve as a vehicle for the transmission of vibrations. It is clear that they must have some means of understanding one another, whatever these may be, just like all other animals that have no voice and perform a group action. In light of this, is it strange that spirits are able to communicate without speech? (See no. 282)