strange ecologies


parallel embodiments

This is a simple yet very concrete article about affection and displays of love, between dog and human.

To Hug or Not?

I am learning a great deal from Lucy. She teaches me about parallel embodiment and alternative empathy. It does us good to pay heed to things that may not be within our own functional paradigms.

Why do I not want to hug you? Why do I cringe when you lunge at me in embrace? Maybe it is because I cannot bear the touch of your smell, or the taste of your hand on my skin? Have you considered that perhaps I have other ways to show you that I love you? So, please do not patronise me from out of your own ignorance and lack of empathy for ecologies not your own.

A straight forward message that too many people just do not seem to understand: don’t force your dog / cat / rat / rabbit to always adhere to your gestures of affection. It causes stress and in many cases a great deal of mental and sensory pain. Also, it can lead to serious and tragic consequences. Allow them to show you their unique expressions of love. You may be surprised and delighted at their ability to convey deep resonances. This applies to the autistic persons in your life too. Try on some empathy for another way of being: you might like the experience of transcending the narrow confines of your own little domain.

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