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Stop Anthropomorphizing Me

I know this is going to come across a bit harsh, but I want to get straight to the point. Speaking on behalf of myself and all other completely nonhuman members of my species, I must insist that the practice of anthropomorphizing us stops right now.

I am not a human. I am a dog. I can't talk. I can't say a full sentence. Not even close. I can't experience complex emotions, I can't laugh, I can't rob a bank, and I have no idea that my name is Gerald. I can't even write, people, so please stop this anthropomorphizing business this instant.

It's not funny.

The amusement you get out of this unoriginal, overused—what shall I call it?—this fetish simply boggles the mind. What is your fascination with having animals speak? I'm a dog, for crying out loud. My brain weighs three-and-a-half ounces. Three-and-a-half ounces. I can barely understand what's going on around me, and what little knowledge I do possess is based primarily on smell. So tell me, why do you keep putting me at poker tables and making me dance and sing the blues? I do not wear hats and I certainly did not receive my doctorate in media criticism from Harvard University. I can assure you, if I were ever given a diploma, I would eat it. So, I beg you, for the last time, stop this right now.

It's silly and trite and it demeans us both.

These days, everywhere you look there's a dog dressed as a businessman or a dog solving crimes—things humans do! Not dogs! If I were a human, which, again I'm not, I imagine I'd feel slightly insulted by the media's continual rehashing of this trope. Do you realize that right now, somewhere in Los Angeles, a bunch of high-paid executives are just sitting around going, "They'll buy it if the bulldog keeps saying 'sausage' over and over again"? Doesn't that matter to you people?

It's beyond a cliché at this point. Pretending animals have the capacity to converse with one another on an intellectual level was a trite concept even back in 600 B.C., when Aesop, who I believe was a contemporary of Croesus, used the device to teach simple moral lessons with foxes and hens.

Now, here we are, two millennia later, and it's still being used to sell you guys beer. Come on.

Do you remember Lassie? Lassie made sense. When something went wrong, Lassie didn't say, "Hey, ma, we got a problem. I'll drive us there." She barked. Because that's what dogs do. Bark. When I want something, I bark. When I perceive that something has upset the status quo, I bark. What I don't do is perfectly interweave multisyllabic words from the English language to reflect my dismay.

As David Hume once said, "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." And the evidence on my end is clear: I'm a fucking dog. The smartest I'm ever going to get is barking at the front door when I have to go to the bathroom, so stop imbuing me with eloquence and pith!

While portraying dogs as humans may bring you satisfaction, consider that this satisfaction is, in actuality, rooted in extreme egoism, borne out of a deeper and more extreme insecurity: To see a lesser creature acting and speaking as you speak is at once validating and entertaining, for along with the silly laugh comes the calming reassurance that no other mammal on Earth can possesses advanced thought. You laugh because your place in the world remains unthreatened.

Bow wow. I am peeing on some important papers right now and don't even realize it.

Say, I've got an idea. Why don't we just get it all out of our systems right now? On the count of three, let's all have a hearty laugh over the hilarious incongruity of a dog in an astronaut's suit, and then we can sigh, shake our heads silently at one another, and get back to you being the grand expression of evolution, and me being the thing that eats pizza out of the garbage.

Unless you're doing that too, now.

More from this section

Deep Blue Quietly Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Garry Kasparov’s Ex-Wife

PITTSBURGH—Red wine and candlelight on the table before them, Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and Kasparov’s ex-wife, Yulia Vovk, quietly celebrated their 10th anniversary on Wednesday at a small French restaurant near Carnegie Mellon University, where Deep Blue was created.

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