Maybe rabbits shouldn't wear jackets after all

I am a huge fan of Beatrix Potter.  I think it is partially because I identify with Peter Rabbit.  All my life, I heard "You can't just have fun all the time!"

Peter and his family, with their dapper clothes and cute furniture, made me think about how the animal rights people get upset when someone trains a bear to ride a bicycle like a human.  They say it's not the bear's identity, so it is not good for him psychologically or emotionally.  If that's true, and after some of the videos I have seen online, it seems very possible, then couldn't the same be said for humans who are encouraged by the media and the culture to behave like animals? 

This is tough for me because I love a good Maltese in a tutu and a crown, and I don't think that is really a problem.  However, I think progressives are right when they say identity is important.  The differences between humans and animals are being portrayed as murkier and murkier.  I think the culture has been draining away our human identity for years, culminating in the recent lockdowns.  But human beings have agency.  They are not supposed to be housed in pens, having their food brought to them like farm animals. 

It's all very insidious.  We have all grabbed a half-gallon of ice cream out of the freezer and stabbed a spoon in it and sat in front of the TV.  Afterword, you just feel icky, and not just because of the indigestion.  It injures our soul a little bit.  Somehow, we know that it just is not who we are, not who we were meant to be.  I know: "Oh, come on, it's just ice cream."  You're right that it doesn't change the trajectory of our life.  But if the occasional lapse of dessert civility makes us feel like that, what are the much worse behaviors that the culture encourages going to do to us in the long run?  What have they already done to us? 

I have to admit, it does drive me nuts when people bring their dog into the grocery store or push him around in a baby carriage like a child.  But I don't think we should shun those who train their dogs to behave like children.  We should, however, shun anyone who is attempting to train children to behave like dogs.

Image: Riversdale Estate via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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