This morning I decided to browse for documentaries on netflix, my children specifically requesting anything to do with animals, and I came across a series of TED talks called 'Animal Voices'. The first talk was interesting, the second really caught my interest and I've decided to share it here.
In this talk the speaker mentions anthropromorphising animals. As a scientist I was taught not to do this and to look at their behaviour objectively, however even when looking at behaviour, you need to understand the root of it in order to decrease problematic ones. However when looking at these, we know they are problematic when they affect the animals ability to live their life the way they are meant to, confident, happy. These so called 'problematic' behaviours will not seem this way to the animals expressing them. These behaviours will have become a coping mechanism and it is our job to understand the emotional states behind these behaviours.
As humans we are incapable of not anthropromorphising, we will always be looking at other animals behaviour from our own perspective, trying to understand theirs, and so we have to ensure we are doing it in the correct way. Laurel Braitman explains this some more in her talk, it is worth a watch.
Dog Trainer, animal lover, artist and photographer