In July, I visited a Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Fort Pierce, called Save the Chimps. All the individuals that reside there are from captive situations; some labs, some pets, even a minor league baseball team mascot. The woman who kindly gave me a tour of the sanctuary referred to the chimpanzees as people. I noticed this because I wasn't used to that definition of people, I understood the word to be limited to human beings.
On the drive home, I listened to a radio program called "On Being" with Krista Tidbit. Her guest was Robin Kimmerer. An expert in moss — a bryologist — she describes mosses as the “coral reefs of the forest.” Her work opens a sense of wonder and humility for the intelligence in all kinds of life we are used to naming and imagining as “inanimate.” She says that as our knowledge about plant life unfolds, human vocabulary and imaginations must adapt. And she too, in the program, referred to plants as persons!
This got me thinking about language; how we use it and how it shapes our experiences.
....The connection language has to empathy