There is a post over at Treehugger by Christine Lepisto about the effects of anthropomorphism on the environmental movement. Her lead is a viral video of a crow using a jar lid as a sled on a Russian roof. Her claim: our acts of anthropomorphization can be useful and detrimental in the pursuit of scientific endeavors. What caught my eye, and actually prompted me to bring this blog back to life, is this idea that the attention being paid to that Russian corvid is anthropomorphizing.
I’ve been accused of anthropomorphizing animals back when I was vegan–though I maintain I never gave human qualities to any animals as I was far more interested in beastilizing. What is it that makes it so difficult to recognize animals as beings with emotions and intelligences of their own. Is it simply the fact that “serious” people do not deal in emotions?
The irony being that one of the effects of such serious discourse has been the decentering of humans within human discourse. If you or I believe in science then we have no ground to make animals into little instinctual automatons, after all we are animals too, and we certainly don’t enjoy envisioning ourselves as biological wind-up toys.
Even though when we drop the hubris we’re just one out of many varieties of sacks of geologic soup on this big clump of stardust.