Book Chapter

Kittens, pigs, rats, and apes: The psychology of animal metaphors

Nicholas Haslam, Michelle Stratemeyer, Elise Holland

Why We Love and Exploit Animals: Bridging Insights from Academia and Advocacy | Routledge | Published : 2019


People employ a large menagerie of animal names to refer to human attributes and identities. Animals present a rich metaphorical domain that we can use to praise or to vilify, to express love or hatred, and to humanize and dehumanize. Although animal metaphors carry diverse meanings and serve varied ends, the more general concept of animality tends to have a negative connotation, representing immorality, stupidity, savagery, and primitiveness. This idea of animality as a devalued contrast to humanness increasingly appears to be a major dimension of social perception. Consciously or nonconsciously, and blatantly or subtly, some racial ethnic, racial, and gender groups are often judged to be l..

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