Friday, June 3, 2011


   Yes, this is a real word. 
No, it is not a high end retail store
filled with all things mouth-watering.

   Defined by Webster anthropomorphism is, "an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics.  (Humanization)"  The word is believed to have first been used during the 18th century, not long before the Victorian era of studying animals became super cool, trendy, and fruitful.

   An easy way to wrap your head around this is to think of whether animals have feelings, personalities, etc, any of the things which make the HUMAN animal, well, human.  Remember this is an interpretation, even less scientific than science already is.  Professional and philosophical views on this are all over the map!  What do you think?  Where do we delineate between the rest of Kingdom Animalia and ourselves?

   Two books I have read are excellent resources here.

Studied this in senior English.
At a Catholic high school,
so please don't prematurely 
freak out about the curriculum of evolution. 

I checked this out at the library.
I am not positive it has been returned.
What is the maximum fine again?

   Being the very happy every day caretaker of upwards of 36 animals on our crazy little farm, I confidently assert that animals have personalities, moods, thought processes, emotions, you name it!  
   They respond to hormones and instincts, sure; but they also respond to language, tone, affection, social arrangements, and age.  Our parrot in particular is a really good judge of character.  And our black mare is so aware of her physical beauty that she displays pride.  Real, shameful, sinful pride.  On the other hand, she is an excellent mother.

   In this country's pet-having culture, really, who would dare argue that animals are individuals?  Where things get dicey is at the mention of soul.  And sin, like with Daphne's pride.

   And this is exactly the intersection where we need answers.  Do all dogs go to heaven?  What assurances should we be offering little kids when they say goodbye?  Especially if you have chosen a Bible path, what do you say?  What do you believe?  And how does this affect your mode of animal discipline?  Yikes. 

   Today is more a day of questions for me than answers.  I want to get a grip on this once and for all.  Please jump in!  



  1. I complete agree with you! Animals most definitely have emotions. I've worked with horses my entire life, and I've seen jealousy, pride, love, genuine affection, rage, hate...among many other complex emotions. I believe in the power and connection of animals and have bonded with many in my lifetime.

    Great post! I loved the subject matter :) Stopping by from TRDC.

  2. Interesting conversation... I think it'd be crazy to deny animal emotions and personalities. But I think both can be generally explained by a complex mixture of hormones and learned behavior. I think it pretty much stops there. I don't believe animals have souls, so I don't believe animals sin, either. And this shouldn't change the way we treat them (assuming you treat animals with respect). We don't treat other humans with respect because they have a soul, we do it because we have a soul. But that isn't to take away from the personal connection with pets. Just like some animals provide labor or food, the job of some animals is to provide the therapy so many pet owners get.

    Great blog by the way....I don't post much, but I do read regularly!

  3. I am a caretaker of three indoor cats right now, but it wasn't that long ago that I was part time caretaker of about a dozen feral cats in the neighborhood. I've seen jealousy and love, fear and hate in those cats.

    I have not chosen a Bible path, but I believe wholeheartedly that animals have personalities, moods, feelings, naughty tendencies sometimes, and are capable of unending and unconditional love. My ideas of heaven are a smidge different than the average bear, but in *my* heaven, there are tons of animals. Every pet I've ever loved lives on in my heaven. I believe wholeheartedly in the Rainbow Bridge and honestly, it doesn't matter whether I'm right. It's what I believe with my heart and soul, and so it is true for me. :-)


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