This post is not going to be very PC. If you’re an animal lover, consider yourself warned.
The thing is, I don’t like animals. I know it’s not cool to say that out loud in public, but then again I’ve never been the coolest kid on the block (I say things like “coolest kid on the block”, for example).
I don’t mean “I don’t like animals” in the sense that they scare me (as if I don’t want to pat a dog because I’m morbidly afraid it will bite me)… I just don’t feel anything for them. I don’t hate them though, hate is far too strong an emotion. It’s really ambivalence in its purest form.
What I’m trying to say is… I will pat your dog… but only so you don’t think I’m a sociopath.
It is interesting, then, that my animal-loving friend Emily should challenge me to “Volunteer at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary” (www.edgarsmission.org.au) as one of the “top things to try before I’m 30“. I fear for those poor animals. Just what have they gotten themselves into? And, more importantly… do I haftaaa?
Edgar’s Mission is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals, going so far as to provide sanctuary to animals “rescued from abject misery in factory farms”. As for me? The closest I ever came to rescuing an animal from abject misery was looking the other way when my pet rabbit, Fluffy, enjoyed a little man-on-man soap-dropping jail fun through the wire of his cage with the wild rabbits that made their way into our yard.
This ambivalence must stem from being raised in a relatively pet-free household. My parents always denied me a puppy. Perhaps it’s because they could predict my unwillingness to take it on walks? Perhaps it’s because they gave me a “test pet” in the form of Fluffy, who I did not treat particularly well? Perhaps it’s because I was the only girl in the history of time to not actually ask for a puppy? In any event, I went completely puppyless until my younger sister was granted the honour and privilege of a baby golden labrador pup named Matilda or “Tilly”.
Now, let me be clear and say that Tilly is a loved member of the family. Still though, Tilly is more likely to rouse feelings of “guilt” and “remorse” than “love” and “affection”. She may have a few dog years on her but she can certainly still manage the “puppy dog eyes”…
Now, there is a part of me that wishes I felt something for animals. Society tells me I am wrong for not finding kittens cute, but I just googled “cutest kitten” and honest to God I felt nothing. Google “cutest baby” on the other hand and I’m all “Awwwww!!!!!” and practically tearing up from the sheer adorableness of it all. Flash me a photo of my nephew and you can almost guarantee squealing (100% guarantee if you get me the living boy himself). As for cute puppies I will concede “Boo” the Pomeranian and nothing more. And that’s mainly because, well…
Boo is clearly people.
Now, I know Andy judges me, because he is both a dog AND a cat person. (I kid you not! I didn’t know such a thing was possible?!)
I guess I’m just one of those other types of people… the ones waving happily from the top of the food chain, not condoning animal cruelty, but not particularly interested in throwing a tin of paint on an expensive-looking coat either. I’m all for using the “whole of the beast” when cooking and deriving clothing and other products, but I absolutely bags NOT eating the trotters myself. The way I see it, if it can make its way into a sausage without being detected then it will make its way into my belly at some point. If it’s still shaped like the part of the animal it came from, I am not interested.
Maybe volunteering my time at the sanctuary will completely change my perspective? Or, maybe it will just serve as penance for the last few plates of bacon and cage eggs…
Then again, maybe I just need to see the Zoo Psychologist.