Anthropomorphism: to ascribe human characteristics to animals and the non-human.
I don’t see dead people. But I do see people. Everywhere. In everything. Most things appear to me as a representation of something human. A materialisation of being that underpins the smallest of actions, the slightest of pictures.
I take a walk, and there’s a wedged boulder leaning on his neighbour. I think the offensive rock should back off a little bit, and stand on his own foundation. By the same token, I’m awed at the support given that holds both behemoths upright. I go to the beach, and the wind whips sand into my face. I tell it not to be so aggressive, to calm down. I see my aged cat, and apologise for the indignity of having to wear a pink crystal-studded colour at her age (cat dressed as kitten).
You see, we are animals, you and I. Beasts, as it were. With this I justify my assertion to happily go on thinking and seeing in terms of the human spectrum. So that when utterly non-human phenomena is upon me, the effect is that much more mind-blowing and surreal, due to the foreign nature of its existence. I inexorably appreciate the insurmountable beauty of a radiant sunset, or the chasm of a darkened cave.
You are not so different from I. It’s likely we both engage in conversation with our pets, and ascribe them special care and affection given their privileged human-companion status. I believe it makes the bond closer between human and animal (and perhaps even environment) to anthropomorphise with the affections and love that we treat other humans with, and that we in turn experience. I have no problem with people ascribing human qualities to the “other” if it feels more organic. Relating to the ‘natural’ environment in this way keeps me cool, calm and collected.
Animals are not so different from us, either. To give two specific examples off the top of my head, it appears some species of bird are capable of mourning, and that young elephants can be traumatised for life after experiencing distress.
In the spirit of keeping things light-hearted though, here are some snaps I prepared earlier: