“Crazy” cat and pet people can now flip the bird to whom ever tells them they’re crazy for talking to their pets as though they were people, because science now says that we aren’t crazy, we’re actually smart!
As I sit and write this article I’m sitting next to my fur child, Dali. I’ve just finished explaining to him why he’s not allowed outside during the evenings and that it’s best he waits until morning to go galavanting.With one look and a wag of his tail I know that he agrees.
Am I really that crazy for talking to my dog about safety and curfews?
Luckily for me, and the many pet owners around the world who talk to the animals about important, and unimportant things the answer, according to science is, no. Apparently, talking to your animals, plants or electronic things is actually a sign of intelligence.
It’s time to rethink that “crazy cat lady” stereotype non animal owners use.
Although science has good things to say about my talks with Dali, other people may not. People who don’t own animals or talk to nonhuman things tend to think that people who do are somewhat crazy. What I mean by ‘talk to nonhuman things’ is that many of us have shouted at a computer in hopes it will miraculously start functioning properly and many of us have named our cars, it’s the people who don’t do these things that consider us people who do, a tad bit cooked.
Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science and expert on anthropomorphism at the University of Chicago says in his Quartz article, (which is about giving non-human objects names and human like qualities), “For centuries, our willingness to recognize minds in nonhumans has been seen as a kind of stupidity, a childlike tendency toward anthropomorphism and superstition that educated and clear-thinking adults have outgrown.”
He goes on to explain why he thinks this view is mistaken and unfortunate, “I think this view is both mistaken and unfortunate. Recognizing the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognizing a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity.”
What he is saying, in short, is that being able to read the emotion and intention of your dogs tilted head and wagging tail is byproduct of being able to read the emotions and intentions of other people.
So in essence, empathic, sensitive people talk to their animals not crazy deranged people.
Epley is convinced that anthropomorphizing things is one of the natural tendencies that make humans uniquely smart on this planet.
The fact that we see faces in shadows and belief that our dogs are dreaming of us all stems from our hard-wired skill of recognizing and reading emotions, faces and intentions.
Sure, having full-on deep meaningful conversations with your goldfish may be an overkill (but then again so is the fact that someone claims to have seen the face of Jesus in a taco) to some, the fact remains that we the reason we are able to have such interactive conversations with our pets comes from the same skill set as being able to read the mood of your boss or your spouse.
Congratulations are in order because YOU’RE NOT CRAZY!
Science has concluded that talking to your pets is a sign of intelligence, EQ and sensitivity.
I’m not going to make any promises regarding the fact that some people still might give you weird looks when you converse with your fur babies but I would like to say, rest assured, your fellow pet owners, and science, think you’re completely sane!