Just ran across the Biophilia Hypothesis, the idea of an "inherent human tendency to affiliate with other life forms". Seems like this could be a foundational concept underneath furdom, kinning, the SF story about how humans have to be provided with pets, cat memes, all sorts of phenomena where humans attach symbolic value to an animal, then invest in it. This book is bringing together a lot of stuff and I'm not even past the introduction.

@winter Hunting the Wren: Transformation of Bird to Symbol, by Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence. She's a veterinarian and an anthropologist who specializes in the study of human-animal relationships. She makes an argument that understanding how humans interact with animals based on the mythic structure built up around that animal, a matter of context and attributed values, leads to understanding how to influence the relationship to best preserve the animal in its own context.

@WanderingBeekeeper I prefer the much more simpler Anthropomorphism-Pareidolia Hypothesis. We inherently see human faces in everything, and we attribute human emotions to all the animals. So we don't affiliate with other life forms so much as we affiliate with how much we see ourselves in them.

@WanderingBeekeeper I think I've heard there's a few glimmers of animals doing the same thing.

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