The thing about animal videos (Insta, FB, other news sites) is that animals become more human to us.

If I remember right, it’s called “Anthropomorphism.” Anthropomorphism is a literary device that assigns human characteristics to nonhuman entities like animals or inanimate objects. From Dr. Doolittle to more realistic books about animals like the series All Creatures Great and Small, we get insight into animal lives, emotions and relationships to us.

I remember as a child growing up on a farm, watching baby calves and lambs playing, asking my Dad, “why do they play if they are going to be hamburger.” I knew then, as many farm kids did, that the animals were going to be food and that we weren’t to name them.

Now, watching the animal videos of cute goats romping and playing, and a recent video of a doe walking up to a hunter’s gun, the hunter dropping his gun and petting said doe, I get tears in my eyes. I regret sending my pet lamb to slaughter. Sometimes I regret the hamburger I ate for dinner.

The book I’m reading right now for book club is Remarkably Bright Creatures, in which one of the characters is an octopus. Yes, an octopus, not only speaks (to us with his thoughts), but solves a mystery in the most clever way.

Not quite a vegetarian (love some bacon), but creeping there. That said, I believe animals feel, grieve, love and have compassion.