Should We Anthropomorphise Animals?


I’ve always been guilty of anthropomorphising animals. As humans, we can’t help but attribute our human character traits to our pets and the animals we relate closely to. I do it more to tell stories on the blog, actually!

Saying that Mr Zurik is a KGB agent and that Willy goes on secret missions with the MI-6 is of course….purely for entertainment. But what about theorising that a mother-cat would miss her children when they get adopted, or that a pet will be jealous when another new one is brought back?

So, should we or shouldn’t we? Anthropomorphise? (Can someone PLEASE invent a shorter word for this?)

Here’s an article about it:http://www.care2.com/causes/can-making-animals-more-like-us-help-save-them.html

An excerpt:

Scientists have been wary of anthropomorphism for a long time, because it was seen as leading to unscientific hypotheses about animal behaviour. But as conservationists we can look at it as a kind of popular folk theory of the similarities between humans and all other species. These popular ways of relating to the natural world are powerful and we should try to understand and work with them,saidthe studys lead author, Dr. Meredith Root-Bernstein of the University of Oxford.

We may not be able to psychically know what other creatures are thinking or feeling, but based on observations of animals and using our ability to empathize, attributing human-like characteristics to their expressions and body language seems inevitable.

In this case, researchers recommend emphasizing characteristics that species already possess to help people engage with them and giving them just enough human-like characteristics to make them a credible and positive social actor.

Read more:http://www.care2.com/causes/can-making-animals-more-like-us-help-save-them.html#ixzz2e1uyI2lx

Source: http://myanimalcare.org/2013/09/06/should-we-anthropomorphise-animals/




AnimalCare is a registered society that promotes caregiving to street animals and helps in their neutering and medical needs. AnimalCare has a Medical Fund, Food Fund and Education Fund.

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