I don’t fear falling into anthropomorphism when I think as I did yesterday. The label is used erroneously far more often than not, it seems to me. I will cheerfully call it anthropomorphism when I read on my almond milk container these words: “Shake me up. After opening, I belong in the fridge. And don’t keep me waiting.” But if you go far beyond that, I raise questions. Animal affection and joy, grief, and sadness, thought and care—I see nothing in existence that suggests these qualities are owned and expressed only by humans. The more compelling question to me is why so many people are so concerned to avoid any appearance of granting animals more than rudimentary feelings, if that, and instrumental behaviors and relationships, concerned only to survive and reproduce, especially their genes. Why the apparent anxiety at acknowledging commonality? Why not rejoice at sharing the goodness of being with other creatures whom both evolution and a receptive and sensitive awareness suggest are fellow travelers through a grand mystery? Love and inclusion fit better than exclusion.

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