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Anthropomorphism Favors Coexistence, Not Deadly Domination

Being anthropomorphic is doing what comes naturally. We are identifying commonalities between human and nonhuman animals, and then using human languages to communicate what we observe.

MARC BEKOFF: ‘Anthropomorphism, “the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to nonhuman entities,” can help us understand many different aspects of the behavior and cognitive and emotional lives of nonhuman animals (animals) when applied critically and biocentrically (from the animals’ points of view). While a dwindling number of people still maintain something like, “We don’t really know if other animals are thinking or feeling in the ways in which we claim they are,” a rapidly growing database shows that we’re not as “bad” or incorrect as they claim in coming up with reasonable and correct interpretations and explanations of what nonhumans are thinking or feeling. All in all, animals aren’t merely acting “as if” they’re thinking or feeling something…

Many researchers now recognize that we must use human languages when we discuss animal cognition and animal emotions, but if we do it carefully, critically, and biocentrically, we can still give due consideration to the animals’ points of view. Being anthropomorphic is doing what comes naturally. No matter what we call it, most agree that nonhumans and humans share many traits, including emotions. Thus, we’re not inserting something human into other animals, but rather, we’re identifying commonalities and then using human languages to communicate what we observe…

Naysayers about the usefulness of “being anthropomorphic” and those who ignore what we know about animal minds and hearts need to get over it and appreciate the benefits of recognizing its benefits. Their anthropodenial, their “blindness to the humanlike characteristics of other animals, or the animal-like characteristics of ourselves,” doesn’t work any longer. As time goes on, this will be a win-win for all current nonhuman and human residents, and especially perhaps for future generations of nonhumans and humans who will inherit whatever we leave behind’.  SOURCE…


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