Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exotic Pets and Douchbaggery; Direct Correlation?

I'm a traditionalist in my pet keeping history and philosophy.  Cats, dogs, fish...good pet material.  Snakes, rodents, insects and birds are a stretch for me.  Personally I don't think a bird should be caged. People could argue the same about fish.  Cats and Dogs are entirely domesticated and live very difficult lives without humans, but survive just the same. In fact, many parts of the world do not keep "food" as pets (I'm talking about you Asia!).

Snakes, Rats, Ferrets, Guinea Pigs, Tarantulas, Sugar Gliders (Australian Flying Chipmunk thingy...a friend in college had one that wouldn't leave her boom box speaker) and Rabbits are on the not-for-me-list because frankly I'd kill their cousin in a second...what really makes them any different?

I don't think I'm alone in my thinking about what makes a good pet and what should be left to the wild.  Talk to most about Siberian Tigers, Macaques, Chimps and the like and I'm pretty sure most people would say...WAY TO DANGEROUS!  None the less, folks have them.  I think it's a disorder for the most part.  Somewhere in the recesses of the mind we feel to domesticate and keep anything as a pet is a form of superiority, so the bigger and more dangerous, the better.   Not to mention the douche bag factor that skyrockets when you stroll through a party with a panther on a leash. 

So on my way to the store today I saw a guy walking this on a leash.  I was using my IPhone at a stop light, so it's a crappy picture I zoomed in on.
Here's a picture of what one of these things looks like up close and personal. 
It is called a CAPYBARA.  It's the world's largest rodent.  They hail from South America...I know, surprise right, largest anything coming from the Amazon?  Apparently they are much more common as pets than I realized.  I'd seen one in a zoo before but as I was looking for it's name today I ran across a bunch of accounts of people keeping them in America.

He actually looks pretty cool...douche bag factor aside...this is just not right.  The word rodent comes from Latin word rodere which means TO GNAW!  A rodent has to gnaw at stuff to keep it's giant front teeth from growing forever.  I'm not saying this thing would eat you in your sleep, but I'll be damned if I go near one who hasn't recently eaten.  I'd say to each their own, but that doesn't apply to the douche bag walking this creature down Brodie Lane today.  He's drawing attention and as you can see others are touching it..."pardon me ma'am, mind if my capybara uses your ulna as a chew toy?"

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