Thursday, November 12, 2009

An animal by any other name is just a human

I'm sure this pup wouldn't appreciate being associated with the neighborhood playboy when he's labeled a "dog".

When a man leers at a girl, he gets called a pig. If he’s stepping out on his woman, he’s a dog. Someone who finks out his friends is a rat. A shifty character might be labeled a snake in the grass. If he’s gutless, he’s a chicken.

As for someone being called an animal in general, that could be used to describe rapists, murderers, pretty much any person lacking moral fiber and good character.

Why are animals getting all the blame for our unsavory human characteristics?

I’m not taking a writerly sanctimonious stand against society here. I’m guilty of it too. I catch myself pinning ugly human traits on unsuspecting animals, although much less lately since I decided enough was enough. Now I make an out-loud correction to try to reprogram my mental descriptive go-to phrase, and possibly the listener’s too.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped bagging on the animals for our shortcomings. That would be the humane—and human—thing to do.

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