Anthropomorphism is the practice of ascribing human properties to non-humans. Whether or not such an ascription is anthropomorphic, therefore, crucially depends on whether or not the property being ascribed is exclusively human. However, the evolution of species means that all organisms and the properties ascribed to them are evolved variants of one another, having differentiated from a common source. On this basis, behavioural properties ascribable to humans are differentiated variants of properties ascribable to other animal species, and so are hyponyms (“daughters”) of superordinate (“parent”) categories that transcend synchronic species boundaries. The more differentiated the species being compared, the more generalised the superordinate category, and the greater the distance between it and its hyponyms.
To claim that certain traits are exclusively human is to ignore all the graduated evolutionary steps that link species down the generations, and to maintain the anthropocentric perspective of Abrahamic mythology. Complaints of anthropomorphism, sometimes couched in terms of respecting the “dignity” of other species, actually betray the fear of (the “indignity” of) being like other species, and so, betray such fears as not being a separate, unique, special creation, or as being determined robotic mechanisms, and so on; in short, the fear that human life might be as unimportant as some consider the lives of other species to be. The more undervalued the other species, the more intense may be the fear (and the denial of it).
from The Life Of Meaning