Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Why people love animals

 

When Yashar Ali tweeted this elephant video recently, the comments it solicited bemoaned the lack of love that humans show one another. Pets, on the other hand, are generally experienced as fountains of unconditional love.

Is this why people love animals: because, to some degree, they make offset a love deficit?

No doubt that’s part of the picture, but just as important is the role animals have in allowing people to express their own love.

In a world filled with mistrust, fear, division, and hostility, love turns into a dangerous emotion because it requires lowering ones defenses.

Sadly and too often, we save our affection for our beloved pets because we have nowhere else to share feelings that become painful if they remain locked away.

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