monitor lizard

Anthropomorphic Terror

The human brain has a great deal of real estate devoted to the tasks of recognizing faces and recognizing emotions in those faces.  Neither of these tasks is foolproof: seeing faces where they are none is the most common form of pareidolia and has whole religions devoted to it, and prosopagnosia and difficulty reading emotions in faces are both common difficulties associated with autism.  One of the most common malfunctions of this facial recognition module is treating animals as though their facial expressions and other behavioral signifiers mean the same things as ours.  It’s from here that we eventually get snarling velociraptors in modern creature features.

A great deal of cruelty is had when people refuse to read animals for what they are saying, and instead read what they think ought to be there.