You would think that wildlife conservation folks and animal welfare types have a lot in common. But you would be wrong.

Most wildlife conservation professionals are terrified of even the slightest whiff of emotion. They slap the label “science-based” on their work and claim that everything they do is driven by the almighty algorithm. They disdain animal welfare types as “humaniacs,” implying that any emotional basis for protecting wildlife is counterfeit.

And in the annals of humaniac crimes, no misdeed is worse than attributing emotions or any other “human” characteristic to lesser beasts. Anthropomorphism is a crime that can get you kicked right out of the wildlife conservation club.

Comes now Carl Safina, with science credentials beyond reproach, to call bullshit.

In a moving article, Dr. Safina focuses on the emotional lives of elephants. No one who has studied these amazing creatures has come away with anything other than the firmest belief that elephants have a rich and complex emotional life. Safina makes a compelling case in fact that the idea that humans have a monopoly on emotions is rank species-ism.

Which brings us back to the likely irony that wildlife scientists almost certainly chose their profession because of their love for wildlife. So why on earth do they look down their noses on the rest of us lovers???

What does this have to do with fundraising? Do the math.