Ask anyone that’s ever spent more than a few minutes around elephants and they will tell you

Affection

Elephant picture

Spicies: African bush elephants

(Loxodonta africana) 

Location: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Why do so many human beings struggle to believe that other species have emotions as powerful and visceral as our own? Perhaps it helps us to justify the way we treat them? Or maybe it’s the fact that many of us even struggle to empathise with members of our own species, never mind others. Today, however, scientists are confident that even many fish and invertebrates display intelligence and emotion. Yet ask anyone that’s ever spent more than a few minutes around elephants and they will tell you that no science is required to recognise that these incredible creatures display a complexity of feelings, behaviours and social interactions analogous to our own.


Viewing an image like ‘Affection’ even removes the need to spend time around these animals in order to grasp this fact. We’re warned against anthropomorphizing, or ascribing human characteristics to non-humans, but if this isn’t an example of true affection then what is? This young calf is reaching out to an adolescent member of the herd much as a human baby would a family member or some other trusted individual. There is a strong sense of emotion that is not just emanating from our own preconceived notions. In high-quality print format, this powerful image transforms any space it’s placed in and brings a real sense of warmth to all who view it.


Thanks for reading!


Martin Sean


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