Sonny and Charlie discuss anthropomorphism and whether they are being overly optimistic about human capabilities
I have been thinking about the attachment that develops between humans and animals and how it can seem different depending on the animal and the situation.
While volunteering on the farm with the Shire Horses I have developed an emotional bond with all of them. This bond varies a bit with each horse and his or her personality (as perceived by me) but is strong with all of them. When I helped with the lambing in April there was no doubt that I bonded with the lambs I bottle fed – you can’t help it- but I still eat roast lamb. I haven’t developed an emotional bond with any of the stock animals (lambs apart).Why?
To bond or not to bond? Is it just that I see the horses as essentially a pet animal like a dog or cat and the sheep and cows as a stock animal and frankly a food source. I am confident that most visitors to the farm look at the horses as a pet animal – you can tell that from what they say and how they react. “can I stroke them?; whats his name?; how old is he?;I wish I had one” and so on. Do they react to the pigs and the cows in the same way? I don’t know, but we don’t eat horses do we.
I might just be a big softy.