Animals are pretty awesome.
That was probably the most obvious, least controversial opening line I’ve ever started with. Don’t get used to it.
Whether you like dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, turtles, birds, monkeys, tigers or just fur coats, most people love their pets. I don’t know what it is that makes animals so adorable to people. Something about a creature that constantly sheds hair, scratches up furniture and poops in a box so you can pick it up with a little plastic shovel just makes them irresistable.
As a pastor, I’ve had people ask me if I think their pets will meet them in heaven. I tell people that, sure, their pets just might be waiting for them in heaven. What biblical evidence do you have that they won’t be? Zero. Pets bring joy to people on Earth, and only a heartless pastor would burst the pets-in-heaven balloon. It’s like the last Santa Claus adults get to believe in. I think it does no harm.
No doubt, a lot of people are obsessed with their pets. Some of you go to expensive bakeries to buy cookies and other goodies for your dogs, or just to McDonald’s as a reward for a good day. Some of you dress yourselves and your pooch in matching running suits, and then you snuggle in bed like a married couple in love. Gross.
I think people treat animals like little people, because they desperately want animals to be little people.
I’ve got big news for you. Animals are not people, No matter how much you want them to be. They should not eat McDonald’s…Actually, people shouldn’t even eat McDonald’s.
Meet “Winona Ryder,” the guinea pig. Though this cuddly little rascal shares a name with a wealthy celebrity, it lives in a box full of rubbish. It eats barely edible pellets from a box and drinks exclusively from a bottle. It sits in its own garbage with no thought for cleaning up after itself. If left alone, it’s box and itself would become ever more filthy. Does that sound like any human you have ever heard of?
Okay, bad example. But seriously, a bunch of people are trying to lobby to elevate the status of ‘animals’ to ‘people,’ with all the rights and priveliges pertaining thereto (really.) That means they wouldn’t be ‘property.’ I don’t know how people feel about animals in other societies, but in India, cows are sacred, so I guess anything’s possible.
I’ve written before about the whole system of unintended consequences. People have a problem, think up a solution, and it invariably causes another problem. This is exactly that, only I’m a genius, so I can tell you what unintended consequences it would have. It’s a rather common and seemingly innocuous thing to think of your pets as ‘people.’ Trust me, you don’t want your pets to be ‘people.’
Problem: animal lovers think there should be tougher penalties for animal abusers. Seems like a good cause, right? Solution: elevate the sanctity of an animal life to higher than that of an unborn baby human. Result: Michael Vick has to go back to prison, and say he’s really really sorry.
Unintended result: you can no longer afford healthcare for you precious little LoLCat. What killed healthcare in America? Malpractice lawsuits, for one thing. Right now, vets can count on being sued only a handful of times in their career, far less than a medical doctor. Thus, their malpractice insurance is far less, and emasculating Toonces the cat is very cheap. But what if Toonces was a ‘person?’ Suddenly malpractice suits against vets becomes much more lucrative (though no less baseless) and costs skyrocket. Then you have cats crying in heat and spraying everything in sight and doing it right in your yard with no shame because a chop-job just quadrupled in price.
And yes, I found this topic important enough to bring in my very own Church of No People LoLCat, despite my complete distaste for them.
So the next time your little ball of fluff does something to make you say “Aww, he thinks he’s people!” I suggest you smack man’s best friend for making you think he’s a person, and remind him where his place is: at your feet.
So tell us about your non-human pets! Tell us if it’s a yard dog, or if you sleep with your pet. We have a chocolate lab and an Australian shepherd. It was part of our wedding agreement that there would never be a dog in the bed. In fact, the whole bedroom is kept dog free.