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Anthropomorphism

Page history last edited by Miss Capri 7 years, 11 months ago

From Valerie

Date: November 18, 2006 8:16 AM

Anthropomorphism: an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics: HUMANIZATION

Anthropomorphism is probably one of the biggest problems I have with the AR mentality. Anthropomorphizing our pets is of no benefit because we risk ignoring what they are really showing us (what they need) when we believe that they possess human qualities.

Do animals have morally relevant mental properties? I don't think so, so I cannot allow that animals have, or should have, rights. Animals either have rights, or they are property...it cannot be both ways. This is not to say that animals should not be cared for and loved. Animals being our property does not take away from the responsibilities of animal ownership.

I have yet to see a rancher who does not care about his cattle. In fact, nearly the whole winter involves going out in the cold checking calves, even at night. That does not sound like fun to me! Heck, I don't even like going out at two in the morning with my dog ;) Sure, the cattle are directly tied to his income, but that does not mean that he does not care for them.

Also, the anthropomorphism of our pets can cause confusion among children. Take my neighbor, for example. Their cat is their "baby." She has a bed that looks like a little princess bed and a kitty-condo that probably cost as much as my giant dog's kennel...which is fine, they love this cat, she's loved and cared for very well. However, by turning her into their "baby" their young son was mortified when he saw his "little sister" kill a bird. He refuses to have anything to do with the cat now because she's "a mean killer." While turning her into a family member, they neglected to inform their son that she is, in fact, a cat...and that cats kill birds.

The danger of anthropomorphizing animals is that our rights as owners become threatened little by little by people who feel sorry for animals who are raised for a purpose. From there, the feelings turn to our pet animals, "adopting" them, being animal "guardians and caregivers." When an animal is humanized as such, people begin to think that it makes sense for animals to have rights. And when this happens, our rights as citizens and property owners will be in jeopardy. It sounds extreme, but something that seems so insignificant as being an animal's "mommy" is the tip of the iceberg in the threat to our rights.

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