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Friday, 2 April 2021

Word To Consider Today: zoophilism.

 Zoophilia, zoophilism and zoophilous.

Similar words with similar antecedents - but very different meanings.

Let's start with zoophilia, which is the very intimate association of human and non-human animals. Apart from any other concerns (and there are obviously several) this is one way global pandemics can begin (though almost certainly not this one). Really not recommended.

You can't be zoophilous, unless you're a plant, because it means pollinated by animals. 

photo of a Rufous hummingbird by Dean E Biggins

You can take part in the process, though, if you have a paintbrush or cotton bud and want to raise a particular plant that isn't going to be pollinated any other way - like a date palm, for instance (because it's cheaper than giving up space to growing male date palms) or vanilla (because you're growing them in a place where the natural pollinators don't exist) or a new variety of tomato (so you get exactly the mix of old varieties that you want).

That sort of activity is, admittedly, a minority sport, but zoophilism can be confidently recommended. Zoophilism is a tendency to become emotionally attached to non-human animals. Nearly all of us have some experience of that, and it brings great comfort and joy to many.

photo by Nicolas Suzor

Rusty, photographed by Christina Telep


Word To Consider Today: zoophilism. All these words comes from the Greek words zōion, animal, and philos, loving.  

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