A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Posts tagged ‘denial of death’

The Worm at the Core

Psychologist Sheldon Solomon explains Terror Management Theory – the study how we manage the lifelong anxiety that’s born of our terror of death – and how it affects our behavior toward other animals.

How We “View” Other Animals

How we “view” other animals (from a position of privilege and exploitation), and how our behavior toward them and toward the planet has led to an irreversible, mass extinction.

Trump’s Death Anxiety Campaign

Along with panicky denunciations from the shocked-horrified-and-appalled Republican establishment, there was much cheering and applause from Donald Trump’s zombie supporters when he called for “a total…

The Post-Human Future

Part Six in the series “I Am Not an Animal.” In previous posts, we looked at how our anxiety over our mortal, animal nature drives us to distance ourselves, psychologically and literally, from our fellow animals; at how ancient mythologies told of a “fall” from a time when we were in harmony with the other animals; and at how our belief in “human exceptionalism” has led us to treat them.

Now we ask: Where do we go from here, and is there any way out of our situation?

The Psychology of "I Am Not an Animal"

lori-marino-cat-021015(Fifth in a series about how and why our relationship to our fellow animals has deteriorated to the point of an unfolding mass extinction.)

By Dr. Lori Marino

However much we like to think of ourselves as different from and superior to the other animals, we can’t escape the fact that we are, just like them, mortal, physical creatures, equally subject to the laws of nature.

The existential terror that’s caused by this ever-present knowledge has been studied at length by psychologists in the field of Terror Management Theory (TMT).

How Our Immortality Projects Impact the Other Animals

In previous posts we’ve talked about how our relationship to our fellow animals and the way we treat them is driven by our anxiety over the fact that we’re animals, too, and our denial of our own animal nature.

In his book Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilization, Stephen Cave discusses the chief ways in which we persuade ourselves that we’re not really animals, that we can avoid death altogether, or at least that some part of us will live on in some way after we’re dead. Here’s the trailer to the book:

In the first of two posts, Cave explains how, once we decide that we are fundamentally different in kind from other animals, we can then view them as having a lower moral status. And that, in turn, opens up "a whole world of possibilities for how we treat them."