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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Are Four Legs Better than Two?

This commentary cracked me up: "Animals make the perfect humans."

In case there are a few on two legs who aren't convinced, allow me to present my case.

Your dog is a great food tester. If she won't eat it, you'd better not either.

No cat snores as loudly as a human.

Your cat, dog, horse or bird doesn't care if you're young or old, rich or poor, fat or thin. She loves you just as you are.

No animal has ever tortured himself by trying to be perfect.

No herd of horses or pack of hounds will ever ask you to clap your hands in unison. Nor will any animal -- even in front of a TV camera -- introduce another as "the lovely and talented ..."

Humans routinely breed past the food supply. Most animals are too smart to do this.

Some animals are monogamous. Some are not. They accept their fundamental natures. When it comes to humans, the kindest way to approach this is to understand that monogamy is contrary to nature but necessary for the greater social good.

Animals do not pay for sex.

Animals cannot damage the water table. Humans are doing this all over the world even as you read this.

No animal is ever a hypocrite.

A cat doesn't care if another cat is black or white, so along as she catches mice.

A dog may steal from you but will never lie to you.

And so on.

With all due respect to the valid points that she makes, she is wrong on a couple of points:

Animals do pay for sex. Many animals exchange gifts of food, for example, for sex. Others just force the female. Nature isn't always pretty.

No animal is a hypocrite? Tell that to my cat. After having a moderate-to-severe urinating problem (he didn't want to go inside the box), we had both of them neutered and I, who had lavished praise on little Newton for any box-doody, began rewarding him with food if he used the box. Well, I'm happy to say that Newton has had a complete attitude change - if anything, he's turned into the happiest little puppy that a cat could be - running at my heels with his face upturned, wagging his tail, and "barking" - but he also learned to scratch in the box whenever he wants a treat (which is constantly now). Actually, random rewards are best - I did try that, but you know how cute they can be when they want something!

What a little shit! Plus, I cannot eat cheerios without both of these characters (they're tuxedo cats, but I think they more resemble killer whales) in my face, running over my feet, jumping on the counter, meowing, etc. These little twinks get breakfast, then also get a taste of my cheerios before I have any breakfast. And since I loathe eating in the morning, cheerios or oatmeal is about all I can stomach. (Yes, they have to lick my oatmeal bowl, too!) I admit it; I let them manipulate me.

Animals aren't "too smart" to overbreed - any animal can and will overbreed. That's why we get our little darlings fixed. (If you own a female cat, you know the routine: "Meeeeoooaauur! I want to have a million kitty-brats!")

Do I need to mention that, even if your dog will eat it, you'd better not? (Cats, too. Loki throws up on the floor, and there's Newton, running over to see what's tasty. He'll even eat his own barf. Eeeaaauuugh!)

But for the most part, this article is true. Animals don't care if you're ugly or pretty, fat or thin. Animals work well with disabled people, and people with autism or brain damage respond positively to them. They love without condition, without reservation; I never felt judged by an animal, or alone in nature. Also, it goes without saying that animals have a sense of humor; every single cat I ever owned sure did. They were all sweeties, and I swear they were laughing at me, and playing tricks on me! Animals are happy "just because," and this year, I resolved to do just that.

One of the reasons we made a social contract with domesticated animals years ago was to "borrow" their power, speed, senses. In return, we feed them, care for them. We have broken this contract. They have not.

Man, that's the truth.

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Blogger Kristine said...

I should probably add that animals also do not spam people's blogs with off-topic rants about Shakespeare and belly dancing. I'm thrilled to see that you have more than two fingers, James, but your spamdexing has been deleted from this site. Get lost.

November 08, 2009 11:10 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Thanks for the warning. I'll avoid Shakespeare and belly dancing. So... what kind of vinegar do you use and what's your opinion of the Catskills? Sorry. Couldn't resist. I think Jonathan Swift had more to say about the animal kingdom, and wasn't it Mark Twain who pointed out that the word, "inhumane" was a falsehood because animals are never cruel to each other simply for the sake of inflicting pain and cruelty? Other than the observations of humankind's negative interactions with our fellow travelers, I think the animal kingdom does get idealized a bit. For the overpopulation comment, I offer this direct observation. My family was lucky enough to have a lake cottage when I was young. There was a cycle on the lake. Some years, the insects were particularly thick, then the frog population would explode, then the snake population would explode and suddenly frogs were in short supply. Then the snakes would become more scarce and the insects would be thick again. Now why do you suppose that was? :-)

November 08, 2009 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Exactly. In the Galapagos, the boobies laid two eggs and had two chicks, the smaller of which was forced from the nest to die. It's awful, but yes, not intentionally cruel in the sense that Twain spoke of.

Don't avoid Shakespeare and belly dancing - just don't post six long screeds in the comments (I'm not kidding) about them! I couldn't believe this guy! And it was Saturday night last night - geez, I was at a party while spamfingers visited.

November 08, 2009 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, that James character was clueless about blog etiquette. The first rule is to be brief and to the point.

November 19, 2009 1:44 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

He didn't even tell me that my kitties are cute. :-(

November 19, 2009 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Chanelle said...

LOL @ 'no cat snores as loud as a human'. so true!

December 09, 2009 5:17 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yes, but Chanelle: remember that 4-legged animals are bad dancers because they have two left feet. Ba-dum, chh!

December 09, 2009 8:14 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Actually there are records of animals paying for sex. See for example: in which sex is exchanged for grooming.

Also in experiments in the last few years trying to teach chimpanzees the abstract value of money (by giving them tokens which they can put into machines to receive various rewards such as food). One of the first observed behaviors once the chimps got the hang of the tokens was males given tokens to female in exchange for sex.

December 15, 2009 11:30 PM  

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