Usually we just edit titles that are triggering people. If I were to do that here, I might rename it "Elephants and Anthropomorphism". But when an article is this rich, moving, even profound, taking away its title would maim it. It bears a much better discussion than the thread has given it so far, so please let's talk about what's interesting.
Btw. - and off-topically - almost shockingly for a magazine style publication these days: The New Atlantis pages stand on their own - they work ouf of the box, without any of the usual reliance on scripts and external crutches. I am hereby a fan.
Most would agree there's a point at which moderation goes too far. I can't tell if you're making an appeal as a person, or making a decree as a moderator.
I read the article, and it's absolutely full of metaphysics. From the questions surrounding determinism and free will, to the questions of the moral responsibility of those in dominant positions, to the nature of love and pain and grief.
These metaphysical topics interest me, and apparently they interested the writer, even if they don't interest you.
I'm making an appeal as a moderator person. When the delta between an an article's quality and the HN discussion's quality gets that severe, it's proven helpful.
And I realized that the fact is probably for most of HN the question of "Do souls exist?" is just more interesting to them than "Emotional bonds with 1 out of the X million species." And I realized there was a time in my life when those philosophical topics didn't seem exhausted.
That big gap between in ways of looking at the world ("Wow what a beautiful emotional article about connection" vs "Human connection is just some evolutionary detail, let's look at Objective Big Picture (TM)") is something worth minding; it can help us understand each other.
There are references to literature ( Pope ) and scientists ( Darwin ) and elephant researchers, but the central themes of this article is a philosophical one. The ethical and metaphysical questions that cannot be answered by science or emotions.
Cogito, ergo sum