I think the root cause of anthropomorphism is often missed.
I hope I don't come off as sounding sexist, but it is predominantely a female quality, and it's root cause is maternalism and it's triggered subconsciously and instinctually.
Humans especially those of the female persuasion, tend to develope bonds with creatures with 2 eyes spanning some resemblance of a nose .. and this is why leopard geckos, and Bearded Dragons are so popular. Anything that resembles human infants, and vaguely emmulates any of those facial characteristics that the brain equates to human, tends to get fauned over and emmotionally bonded with as if it were human.
This is why mostly the fuzzy creatures and big eyed herps, with wide "smiling" faces are cherished, given names, cuddled etc.
I know females that knit clothes for their geckos, and take them to the vet more than they go to a doctor themselves... I don't have a problem with this,and of course it's cute and harmless, but its also somewhat irrational, so lets understand where it's coming from and the force that drives it.
If all lizards, snakes, birds and mammals looked like face-less tape worms,nobody but the scientific community would give a damn.
nobody would be cuddling , naming them,Knitting little jackets for them or blowing their rent money buying them..
This is why there is such an uproar about seal culls in the north..The little guys are cute and look like helpless children.
Nobody would care if they were whacking jelly fish on the polar ice. Why? because they don't have faces or other human characteristics.
We're attracted to features resembling our own!
And Speilberg's no dummy...The knowledge of Anthropomorphism is why ET didn't look like an Ameba. Who the heck would go to a movie about middle class kids and a blob of cosmic ectoplasm?
The biggest problem with anthropomorphic behaviour is that it comes with real emmotion, and while being misplaced , this emmotion can lead to protectionism, and is one major trigger for activism and other irrational behaviour that threatens all people working in animal husbandry.
In other words..Anthropomorphism sometimes clouds the ability to be rational and objective while making decisions regarding animals!
Herpetology - more than a hobby
It's a Lifestyle
celebrating 26 years of herp breeding