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Human Resources Executive,

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Why do we associate human characteristics with animals?

I've been party to many games where I've been asked to describe myself or those around me in reference to an animal, or sometimes a bird. Why do we/or did we, begin this association? How is it that phrases such as sly as a fox, quick as a rabbit, wise as an owl or loyal as a dog come to be?

I find it curious when, in a larger scope, man has struggled and taken efforts to differentiate oneself from animals and prove to be a better being. Yet, sometimes, describing someone as a 'pig' or a 'cat' tells me more about his human-ness.

Would like to know your thoughts.


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    Jan 16 2013: I always wanted to take this a step further with nonsensicailities such as
    'Crazy like a toaster' or 'angry like a sandwich'
    Sadly they never caught on (...yet)

    I suppose the reason came simply from the observance of said animals and then people used the terms to describe characteristics of someone in a way that could be universally understood
    (Afterall, you can't really say 'he was sly like steve' and expect it to make sense in a neighbouring village..)

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