Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Animal Portraits

My third self-published book, Animal Portraits, presents a collection of animal photos. But unlike a field guide or a zoology book, the collection does not try to help readers identify the species to which an animal belongs by showing as many characteristic features as possible. Instead, the photos should be seen as portraits in the way we view portraits of people, as representations of individuals capable of feelings and possessed of an inner life.

As someone who has owned and loves pets, I have no doubt that animals have feelings and distinct personalities. I hope that at least some of my pictures convey this sense also to the reader, and I do not apologize for any anthropomorhism someone may detect in my approach: There is a mounting body of research supporting what I have felt for a long time, and I hope my photos will encourage readers to think along the same lines.

Kindle editionPrint-on-demand paperback edition


Al Rodbell said...

No apologies needed for anthropomorphism. The prohibition of this in the study of ethology was an aberration of science. I would go further, when we assume that our species is a special creation, thus unrelated to those beasts for whom God placed on the earth for our domination-- then we are led away from understand both other species, and worse, our own.

At my volunteering at our zoo with a Bonobo exhibit, I see what should be described as anger, bonding, and also a sensitivity to another's suffering that in every way except the superficial is shared with our species.

And the affection can cross the glass barrier at times. I guess I am guilty of "bonoboism" and proud of it.

Ulrich said...

Al: I'm glad we're in agreement on this.