Anthropomorphism… attribution of human qualities to nonhumans.
I find it disturbing when people espouse the opinion that animals do not have feelings. As an animal communicator I know for certain that they do, as they regularly share their feelings with me. Why is it that some people are so insistent that we not anthropomorphize animals? Could it be that ascribing emotions to animals means we would have to acknowledge they are sentient beings?
When my beautiful mare, Misty, lost her new filly she had tears running down her face. I had never before seen a horse cry, but that day Misty cried. She had so looked forward to being a mommy and she was devastated. She grieved her baby for months. Her usual spark was missing, so much so that she allowed two of the geldings to boss her around, effectively moving her down from second to fourth ranked in the herd. Her normal personality was very much an alpha mare so it was astonishing to see this change.
Later that year she started looking pregnant. The only stallion she had contact with was our mini, Arlo, who at 31 inches could not have done the deed… unless she laid down. Uh oh. Suddenly I started hearing stories about minis who had bred full-size horses.
That very cold and snowy December as her udder filled and began to wax I was checking her every two hours round the clock. This went on for two weeks with all the signs of impending birth. Then one day everything stopped. She had just gone through a false pregnancy!! She wanted that baby so badly that she imagined herself pregnant and manifested all the physical signs. If animals have no feelings then why did Misty grieve and experience a false pregnancy?
How many times have you heard about cats who suddenly stop using their litter box and soil the house? Often they are upset about something and are acting out those feelings desperately trying to communicate with their guardians.
I recently communicated with a cat who felt displaced by new family members and began to withdraw. As he withdrew further and further he left himself vulnerable and was eventually killed by predators. If he had no feelings he would likely still be alive.
Dogs are even more demonstrative, displaying a wide range of feelings. Is there any doubt about the joy they exhibit when their person comes home? My new puppy, a standard poodle, is one of the most demonstrative dogs I’ve ever met. She is filled with exuberance and loves to clown around for our amusement.
How many times have you seen a dog dreaming, talking in their sleep with their limbs jerking to and fro? Why would they dream if they have no feelings? What would be the purpose? And haven’t we all heard stories about dogs who gave their lives to save their person? Is that not love?
I haven’t even touched on their sense of humor. Some are sarcastic, others more thoughtful wisecracker types like a George Carlin, some are raucous, others have a dry wit. They run the gamut. One stallion I communicated with bragged about how “well endowed” he was. I think he got a kick out of the shock value. See, there’s another category: twisted humor.
This post could get very long with many anecdotes about all manner of animals who have expressed their feelings during communication sessions, but by now you probably get the idea.
So just why are some people convinced that animals lack emotions?
The only conclusion I can come to is that believing they are “dumb” animals allows for treating them like inanimate objects, just another piece of property.
What do you think readers? Is that a plausible explanation? If yes, what can we do to change this misperception?
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