We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
... in modern Western science, the whole concept of life is so mechanical that, if you look closely, not even people are supposed to be anthropomorphized. Emotional, holistic terms such as love, sorrow, and concern have no place in an impoverished language of chemical transactions at the micro level and selection pressures at the macro. Not that chemical transactions and selection pressures are not essential influences, because of course they are — but from our current knowledge of them, they are acutely inadequate to describing the subtleties of lived experience.
This framework goes back to Descartes, whose dualistic universe of absolute mind at one end and absolute matter at the other admitted nothing in between. Indeed, Descartes reasoned that since animals are not rational, they are not conscious, and since they are not conscious, they cannot even be aware of pain; their piteous howls during the horrible experiments he conducted on them were to him mere reflex, the unfelt expression of material reactions akin to the shrieking of a teakettle.
For an orthodox Christian, this is not so. It is something intrinsically human. A soul is created immediately by God and infused in the new life at the time of conception, it is not produced by the parents and is immortal: It does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.