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The Animal Kingdom and Me; a Broken Relationship.

Animals and human

The other night I was at a friend’s house (Mat Black). There were several of us socializing. This friend of mine has a small dog as a house pet. My friend also has a roommate who also has a dog, only this one is large.

The large dog is overly friendly and very eager to violate any type of personal bubble he can find. I had mine with me on this evening, and he was prompt to be all up in it (so to speak).

I pushed him away while craning my neck back and away; my way of avoiding a sloppy kiss. The dog then would proceed to the next person, and the next. But he seemed to gravitate toward me. I assume this is because I put the most effort into deflecting him; he took this as a game.

This was somewhat of a show for everyone. Rachel asked me why I behaved the way I did. And I said “because I don’t like animals.” To which Rachel emitted a burst of gah in the form of the sentence that reads something like “WHAT!?”

I quickly attempted to clarify my statement. My statement was a quick snippet of my real feelings toward animals. But I didn’t feel it necessary to elaborate more than to say I didn’t like them. My choice of words may have been poor. Because it’s not that I don’t “like” animals. I like them just fine. I just don’t like house pets. The reason for this is simple logic. Animals are animals, not people. And people belong in houses. Animals don’t belong in houses, because they are not people. And houses are for people, not animals.

That’s pretty much the gist of it. But this brings me to a deeper look into my past. Because I’ve always found it weird that people think it’s weird that I don’t like animals. But just now, tonight, I discovered why this is.

I grew up on somewhat of a farm. In my opinion it was not a farm. But most city dwellers would call it a farm. We had two barns. A large front pasture and a large back pasture. 4-8 horses at any given time. And over the history of my tenure at this house we had quite an array of animals. They include Chickens (60-80), Geese (5), a goat (1), cats (29,872,917), dogs (16), cows (6), etc (in case I forgot something).

Now, we didn’t have all of them at once. For example, the dogs, we probably max out at 4 or 5. But dogs don’t seem to live very long in our neighborhood (for varying reasons). And cats, well there’s always tons of those. I suspect there is some sort of unspoken rivalry between cats and rabbits; to see who can reproduce the most the fastest. Rabbits have the advantage in the hindquarters; they are naturally built for the activities required in reproducing. But cats are naturally seductive, so it’s hard for them to congregate without some sort of reproducing going on.

You may ask how this has anything to do with my friend’s roommate’s dog. Here it is. All those animals I listed above were at some point depending on me for their day to day living. I was on rotation to take care of them. And it was a chore. And I don’t like chores. And I didn’t like taking care of them. But I did this for a good portion of my youth.

To me, animals are animals. That’s it, just animals. But to most my friends; and definitely Rachel (the previously mentioned burster) animals are friendships, and connections.

When they see their pet, they have all this feeling jumbled up inside, confusing everything. When I see their pets, I see a dinner that’s still in the making (granted I don’t eat dog meat, but let’s just say it would be a survival situation).

Title image used with permission (permission pending) and courtesy of Wirestyle [1], check out the original here [2].