Last week I had the opportunity to observe parents and children feeding and petting baby animals. I wondered why baby animals give us such joy when we watch them run and play, so I did a little searching to try to answer my question: Why are baby animals so cute?
I actually found sites, animalhow.com and lifegate.com, to explain “cuteness”. Apparently, we are drawn to baby animals’ big eyes, large heads, small faces, squat limbs, soft skin, funny gaits, and playful behavior as they learn to walk, and eat, and explore their new worlds. There is a scheme, called the “baby schema” which explains why we feel such positive emotions when looking at baby animals.
Perhaps baby animals remind us of infant babies which we want to protect, and/or baby animals cause us to feel empathy when we interact with them. The desire to protect, interact with, and care for babies and baby animals are believed to be linked to survival. If you read about care-taking within animals, it is interesting to learn that replies and fish, once they are born, stop caring for their babies.
I am happy that my genetics cause me to have “warm and fuzzy feelings” when interacting with baby animals. It is so gratifying to go to petting zoos or pet stores or just to hold new little puppies or kittens or other baby animals, just like it feels so wonderful to hold human infants! Our genetic wiring is a true wonder to me.
I include a few photos of the animals for your viewing pleasure. Next I include a poem about babies that my mother composed. I think the words of this poem apply to human as well as animal babies. Enjoy…
You are our little charmer,
With a face that’s all aglow.
You bring us joy and laughter,
And we love to watch you grow.
May your life be filled with sunshine,
That you spread where ever you go.
For we will always care for you,
Where ever you may go.
Marian E. Blake, 1997 from “A House Inside of Me: Poetry by Marian Elsie Blake (2013) by Mary Blake Huer, available through Amazon books on Amazon.com