"I am an animal"

There's a movie about the life of PETA president Ingrid Newkirk, called "I am an animal."  Saying "I am an animal," in that context, is an expression of ethical solidarity with animals.  In my course on animal rights, I use the term "animalism" to encompass all who give more-than-traditional status to animals, whether rights advocates, utilitarians, or people with other perspectives.  So "I am an animal" is an expression of animalism, as I use the term.

There's a position in metaphysics that says each of us can truly say "I am an animal." This is the view that the lifespan and persistence conditions for me are the same as for a particular organism--the one now sitting in my chair.  On that view, I came into existence before my mental life did, and I may very well go out of existence after my mental life does. It so happens, the standard name for that metaphysical position is "animalism".

So--metaphysical and ethical animalism.  Do they just coincidentally have the same names and make us utter the same sentence?  Or is there some real connection between the two? Sometimes I share my thoughts in progress here, and sometimes I just share my questions in progress! 

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