Part 24 of 30
My Fragile Self-Esteem
Everyone likes animals. That’s easy to understand. You get a dog, a cat, and you’re responsible. Every dog I get start right in step by step on the protocol with veterinarians (thank you for your service) of spaying or neutering them. One, I don’t want a bunch of puppies on my hands. Two, I don’t want my couch humped raw.
Of course taking care of these commonplace animals is a lifetime commitment -- sometimes sentence -- but nature has blessed us by speeding up their metabolism to the extent that by the time they’re 7 or 8-years-old they’re senior citizens, verging on death. How it is with giraffes, of course I don’t know, and hope I never have to know. You figure, though, they’re large, they’ve got a neck like a smokestack, they chew their food, then later in another zip code it’s undergoing digestion, there could be all kinds of things different about them from the run-of-the-mill house pet.
Fortunately we have circuses, carnivals, and zoos to take care of the ones in captivity. Then there’s raw brutal nature -- out on the glens -- for the ones lucky enough to have the world at their feet. I’m sympathetic to all the issues surrounding animals. If there’s no good reason to own a giraffe (and other animals), you shouldn’t. Let them roam the veldt as nature intended, frolicking, leaping place to place above the 6-foot-tall grass, and eating from the highest tree. That’s the purpose of the neck, reaching food. It’s not for slower eating.
If for a moment we could see the tables turned -- like in Planet of the Apes -- and we people were captive and the animals were our masters, we’d say, “Please, set me and my wife free to roam the forests, the veldt, and we’ll never come around bothering you in your thatch cages. I’m kind of cooped up right now, in a tiny house, feeling a bit stifled, when I could be out there foraging and living off the land. The big problem would be our fellow man, robbing us blind and leaving us to die. We’d need guns, then they’d be going off, disturbing everyone’s sleep. And we’d never luck out to have some overlord other-species to come in and straighten things out.
I have to think, though, that we’ve done it wrong. We’ve made a mess of things. And maybe that’s a good reason to have our self-esteem deflated, because we’ve abused it. Hunting and gathering wasn’t too terrible, within limits, but taking crazy dominion over all things, that’s obviously bad. If we feel a little depressed about it, so be it. I’m so down about it, in fact -- my self-esteem’s been fragile for years -- it’d be nature’s perfect justice to come in and kick us all to death and take over. May that happen in the next 10 minutes or less. Amen.