Anthropomorphism Favors Coexistence, Not Deadly Domination
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FROM Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
December 2019

Research shows that anthropomorphism challenges traditional wildlife management.

"For the longest time, science has depicted animals as stimulus-response machines while declaring their inner lives barren. This has helped us sustain our customary 'anthropodenial': the denial that we are animals. We like to see ourselves as special, but whatever the difference between humans and animals may be, it is unlikely to be found in the emotional domain."
—Frans de Waal
“The roots of the wildlife management profession are steeped in a domination ideology,” write Manfredo and Dietsch’s team, who imply that reform is necessary for the profession to survive. 'Over time,' they conclude, 'the institutions that emerge and endure in an open society are a reflection of the values and the related ethics and morals held by its people.'”
—Brandon Keim

Anthropomorphism, "The attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human 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' point of view. Being anthropomorphic is doing what comes naturally....
Read the entire article here - Anthropomorphism Favors Coexistence, Not Deadly Domination (PDF) 

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