Badgers bite, bees sting. If you hug a fish you will get wet. Snakes come in two varieties - ones you shouldn't hug because they might hug you back, and ones with venomous teeth.
|Warning - do not eat|
It's safest not to hug other Beaker people. By sheer chance, occasionally a Beaker Person might hug a suitable other Beaker Person (within the meaning of the Hugging Equality Act 2002), but the risks of being involved in a hug with the wrong kind of person are just too high. You might end up hugging someone you really wish you hadn't, or you might find that the person you're hugging takes out a court order against you.
Hugging telegraph poles is like hugging a tree, but there are four obvious reasons why you wouldn't:
a) They're not alive. They're dead trees.
b) They leak creosote
c) People who see you doing it will avoid you
d) Dogs have uses for them.
So you're down to trees, teddy bears and cuddly pets. In practice most pets aren't that cuddly - cuddle the Earless Beaker Bunny and you will have a future of being able to count to nine at most. Teddy bears have almost no religious purposes. Well, OK - just the one.
So that's why we hug trees. Trees represent the primeval earth-force, surging up into the sky - if deciduous, a symbol of dying and rising each year, while evergreens symbolise eternal life. Yggdrasil, the world-ash, joins heaven and earth. The oak speaks of strength, and the holly and the ivy - yeah, you know that one.
So we hug trees to affirm and be strengthened by their mystic connotations. And, as I've just illustrated, we actually have no alternatives.