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The Origin of Animal Person

I’ve always been fascinating with linguistics and semiotics. So much so that I earned at doctorate in Applied Linguistics from New York University.

Ever since I was a child, I was perplexed by the human tendency to categorize ourselves as apart from "nature" and "animals."  We’re all the same system of energy. We are animals–human animals. And "they" are nonhuman animals.

I like to use the phrase "nonhuman animals" rather than simply "animals," because it brings us closer to them; it highlights our sameness rather than our other-ness.

Like "nonhuman animal," "animal person," emphasizes proximity. It renders some people a tad uneasy, I admit. But that uneasiness makes them think, and that’s the goal.

They think: What are my beliefs regarding the relationship between human and nonhuman animals? Are my actions aligned with those beliefs?

If you believe that nonhuman animals are entitled to a life free of abuse, exploitation, captivity, slavery, torture, and slaughter–and live your life accordingly, you are what I call animal person.

And if you are, thank you.

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