America’s sacred animals: the truth about cats and dogs

Day Four / Five, you pick it, of a South African in California

“One dog’s life, and a horse-meat burrito please!” I’d order that if I could.

I’ve spent more time in pet stores in the last three days than I have in the whole rest of my life. When I was a kid, we didn’t have special cages for taking cats to the vet. We just stuck them in an empty orange bag and carried them in – they could be injected without even being removed from the bag. Actually worked damn fine.

The only reason I was in a pet shop was that I was looking for really strong flea powder. Not for my dog, silly. For me! Actually it wasn’t for fleas either, but for bed bugs (they are killed by similar chemicals).

A real pet semetery, near Huntington Beach, california

Americans are obsessed with pets. Many Southern Californian apartment blocks are even dog friendly (I managed to find one that only allows cats, thank god.) Like most people in post-industrialised societies (many South Africans included), Americans are picky about the animals they elect to love. Some kinds of animals are Americans. Others are terrorists, and their lives don’t have much value. Americans and American law are largely fine with eating sea urchins, endangered species of fish, fast-ripened and inbred chickens, confined battery cows, diarrhea-inducing pork that spent its life wading around in its own feces and turkeys that are even weirder than actual natural turkeys already originally were. But just as long as the chickens, fish, pigs and cows are supersized and as cheap as Chinese crockery, and well-greased. Even shooting horses for meat is fine here, provided the horses’ meat is only eaten by dogs and cats (which is hilarious, given that this wild horse meat may be the only truly cage-free, healthy meat on the market here!)

But dogs and cats are sacred animals, with entire warehouse store devoted to their worship, amusement, nutrition and even – get this – their bottle feeding. You can buy replacement breast milk for kittens! I think it’s called “survival of the cutest” or something.

It's hard to make fun of someone's heartbreak over the tragic loss of a beloved pet... or is it?

Naturally, nothing survives for ever. But never fear! Here in the USA, pet cemeteries aren’t ONLY something out of a horror movie. They’re real, china.

If the way a society treats its animals indicates what it’s like, America’s empitomizes first world moral confusion. It’s fine to breed animals for meat in the cruellest ways imaginable. It’s not ok to carry a cat around in an orange bag for its own good.

Take THAT, Just Nuisance of Simonstown. Dogs are man's best friend, but only after they bite your penis off, and not if you're speaking German and the German Shepherd's native tongue was English.

But hey, at least there are plenty of friendly places to buy flea powder.

The flag is everywhere, and comes in every shape and size EXCEPT wing mirror socks, which according to most people are uniquely South African. Perhaps it wouldn't suit the stars and stripes to be bent out of shape like that. I have SA wing mirror socks on my rental car, and get lots of curious looks (it could also be the way I drive).

2 Responses to “America’s sacred animals: the truth about cats and dogs”

  1. Tweets that mention America’s sacred animals: the truth about cats and dogs « Jean Barker's Sign Language -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jean Barker, Jean Barker. Jean Barker said: Cats and Dogs – America's sacred animals. #blogpost, with photos of a pet cemetery. Hoooyeah! […]

  2. How much is that doggie in the window? « Jean Barker's Sign Language Says:

    […] a thing. They’ll be loved. And they may even wind up buried in one of America’s many Pet Cemeteries… which by the way are nothing like the flawed near classic horror movie of the similar name. […]

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