Animals

Ash-Matic Does Affection for Animals

Just like most people, I am asked on an almost-daily basis what my favourite animal is. The only questions I am asked with greater frequency are, ‘What made you think that was a good idea?‘, and variants of ‘Did you take my X?‘ – for which I have a selection of stock answers.

The problem with this question is that I have so many favourite animals – and this is because there are so many good ones.

I can’t tell you my favourite animal – nor even, say, my favourite aquatic animal. I couldn’t even narrow it down to my favourite aquatic mammal – but I can tell you that my favourite aquatic mammal that-looks-awesome-on-a-beach is the sea lion – and my favourite aquatic mammal that-doesn’t-look-awesome-on-a-beach is the whale.

But some people aren’t happy with this narrowing of the question. Some people live in a binary black-and-white world where there are favourite things, and then everything else. These people would insist that I must have one favourite animal amongst all others, and demand that I choose.

Usually when this happens they place a selection of my favourite creatures before a firing squad, and force me choose one to spare while they look pleadingly at me with big, wet, pick-me-pick-me eyes – which is quite wasteful, and I don’t think very fair.

In a world of cool animals, how does one choose one’s favourite?

If animals were monsters, my favourite would be the one that could beat all the others in a fight. Godzilla is therefore my favourite monster, and the animal equivalent would probably be some sort of giant mongoose with radioactive-breath and a grudge against Tokyo. If animals were songs, my favourite would be the one I could listen to over and over without getting bored – which might make it a cat, purring in my arms, and dribbling such quantities of catnip-induced saliva it would put the queen from Aliens to shame. And if animals were different brands of peanut butter, then they could just fuck off.

But animals aren’t these things. Animals are animals.

I don’t know why, but I like animals. A lot. And not just the tasty ones.

I never look at a baby human and want to steal it. I like to think this makes me a man of good character, and safe to be around, should you happen to be a baby human. But show me a baby polar bear, and before you know it I’ll be halfway down the street with it tucked under my T-shirt, making squuueeee-ing noises.

I don’t approach strange human adults with the intent of feeding and befriending them. Okay, fine, maybe when I’m drunk. But generally I don’t like people. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to hear your opinions. I don’t want your wet nose on my face. But show me a bull moose, and before you know it I’ll be halfway down the street, riding on its back as I try to get my T-shirt over its antlers, making squuueeee-ing noises.

And I don’t have deranged escapist fantasies where I run off into a metropolitan area and build a life amongst humans, doing the things humans do, eating the things humans eat, and curling up with other humans when I go to sleep at night. What kind of fucked-up fantasy is that? But I have that fantasy about all sorts of animals. Even porcupines.

We can learn a lot from animals, and I think there comes a time in everyone’s life where they stop for a moment – shove their office keyboard away, screw the lid back onto their fourth or fifth bottle of whatever, toss away that borrowed vibrator – and ask themselves if their favourite animals would approve of what they’re doing.

But the truth is, those animals wouldn’t care.

So I could go back to work; have another drink; open a fresh pack of batteries. Or I could grow up and admit that I’m just jealous of the creatures that share our planet.

Jealous of their simplistic lifestyles, and their lack of doubt. Jealous of the vitality with which they live their lives; the natural, primal calls of nature that are their only masters. Jealous of their shiny coats and eerie cries.

And then I could take off my clothes. Run for the door.

Run out under the wide, empty, skies.

Run, wild and free. Just as nature intended.

You could meet me there.

You could meet me under the trees.

You can film me rolling in my poo and trying to sniff my bits. And then you could get a chainsaw and cut down my habitat, and I could get hit by a car while trying to escape across a busy road – just as nature intended.

Then you could take me to a vet, who fixes me up, neuters me, and sends me to live out my life in a grassy enclosure under the miserable British sky – while ugly primates draped in fabric come and stare at me, and point at me, and offer me peanut butter sandwiches, and hoist their ugly little primate offspring onto their shoulders so they can stare and point from even greater altitudes – day after day after day.

And maybe – just maybe – one of those ugly little primates will add me to their list of favourite animals too.

But fuck those primates.

They don’t even know I don’t like peanut butter.

 

54 thoughts on “Ash-Matic Does Affection for Animals”

  1. I can’t really decide on my favourite animals, there are some really amazing ones out there, and it does seem unfair to make a person choose.

  2. I like the question, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” My answer is always Lucee because she gets to stay home curled in my favorite blankie while I have to go to work to provide for her expensive dog food habit. She also gets to ride in my camo dog pack while I work terribly hard to pedal my bike up the big hill to the dog park so she can sniff all the sniffs.
    I also love animals more than humans. I know this because in a movie when a human gets killed, I know it is sad, but when an animal gets hurt, or even ignored, I feel grief.

  3. My favorite animal that doesn’t care: the honey badger. Other than that, I really don’t have a favorite as they all fill some sort of niche. But if dinosaurs were still around? Then I’d have a favorite hands down! The pachycephalosaurus. Those guys are bad ass!

  4. Well, I’m treated like animal on a daiy basis. But, not the good kind that roam free amongst the grassy knolls. I’m moreso treated like the animal that eats its own poop and gets instructed by its superiors not to do so as it’s wacked by a newspaper.

  5. I am completely with you. I don’t even get the “Are you a cat or dog person?” If you are so simple that you can be defined as a cat or a dog person, we probably won’t get along.

    I like cats for some reasons (they’re independent, and they like to snuggle, and they are pretty much born potty trained) and I like dogs for some reasons (they are loyal, they protect my home, and they don’t hate me ’cause I won’t let them on the couch).

    I always wanted a pet monkey when I was little, ’til I saw one flinging poo. I just can’t get behind a poo flinger.

  6. That’s really deep lol. I don’t like animals at all, and I guess it’s because just like you, I’m so jealous of their simple life and the freedom that comes along with it..

  7. Yay for living in the gray area! I have a similar relationship when it comes to pretty much anything else in life (particularly, ice cream).

    I say head for the trees and be one with the porcupines. As least the bipedal primates will only manage to point up at you and not hoist their offspring unto their shoulders.

    -Barb the French Bean

  8. I must be pretty messed up. I thought this post was hilarious, but everyone else seems to be taking it very seriously.

    I get that you love animals – and aren’t so into humans – but the way you’ve written this is still funny. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a human quality ;-)

    I’m not particularly crazy about animals but I do love almost all dwarf animals. You should google “Vechur cow” – they are the most adorable little creatures ever. I wouldn’t mind being a vechur cow.

  9. I once applied for a job (true story) and the owner asked me three questions that I found rather peculiar: 1. What is your favorite color at night (I don’t freakin’ know!); and 2. What is your favorite insect and why? (Oh, I don’t know, something deadly I suppose); and 3. Who is your favorite cartoon character.

    I never got the job by the way, but to this day I believe the owner was a former shrink or something, who was analyzing prospective employees.

    My favorite animal is the one that doesn’t tear up my home or yard, and who furthermore doesn’t make me walk unsuspectingly into its dung.

    1. I’d be terrible at those questions. I’d probably answer, ‘The colour of night’, ‘The stick insect, because sticks are better than insects’, and ‘Does hentai count?’

  10. I think I am in that animal habitat that you mentioned . . . the one where people stare and point and are draped in fabric. I really want to throw my poo at them. Is that wrong?

    If I had a nickel for all the times I’ve been asked what my favorite animal is . . . is sixpence a thing? Cuz I’d have that, I think.

  11. Trying to picture you running around with various animals tucked under your t-shirt, whilst you make squeeee-ing noises.

    Just the fact that there’s a grown man making squeee-ing noises, is enough to have me erupting into a giggling fit.

  12. great post! and for the record, I am one of the few people on the planet who despise peanut butter. I do not like the flavor, nor do I like how it makes everything in your mouth stick. It is like eating bad tasting glue.

    and you never answered the question: which is your favorite animal?!

    best,
    MOV

  13. Loved the idea of taking off with a baby polar bear or riding a, what was it? Ah yes, a bull moose. My favorite animal used to be dolphins because dolphins are creepily intelligent, can read minds, and take you to where the mermaids live. And I might have gone out into the woods as a child looking for the pack of wolves that would accept me once of their own. Great post!:)

  14. So what is your favourite animal?… just kidding! But if you have asperations to give up city life and run naked, may I suggest you go be a mountain man and live in the forest in a cabin! Then you’d almost be like an animal! and you would still be able to use tools! Best of both worlds! (cause you know most animals are out there asking eachother, if you had apposable thumbs what human tool would you use?)

  15. Did you ever watch The Wild Thornberrys? The girl from that was practically my idol. All animals hate me because I am so obsessed with touching them and picking them up and pretending they’re my babies. err… hm. I’m definitely their least-favourite human. It doesn’t even need narrowing down.

    1. How about Medusa from The Rescuers? The animals seemed to hate her an awful lot. I’m sure I could come up with quite a long list of challengers for you.

  16. i dig animals too – i might not be able to narrow down a favourite… but i do know that cats and i, while sharing a mutual sort of respect for each other… we mostly just tolerate each others existence – and only for short periods of time.

    oh, by the way – my dog looks exactly like a baby polar bear when he was a puppy… many many folks tried to steal him.

  17. By the way, even though you’ve probably already won this award, Hanny and I want to grant you the Versatile Blogger Award over on our blog! :D Congratulations!

    -Barb the French Bean

  18. Could you pick a favorite *category* of animals? You went immediately to marine mammals. Is that becasue you prefer marine mammals to reptiles, birds and any non-marine mammal?

    …and I’ll have all your peanut butter. That’s nice to know. There is balance in the universe.

  19. While I, too, have dreamed many a time of running off into the woods and living among the simpler, happier creatures of the planet, I take a few issues here.

    The first is that you’re insane, because peanut butter is the shit.

    The second is that while the woods involve things like squirrels and rabbits and other creatures of exceeding adorableness, they also contain things like banana spiders. And I know you googled them, and know what I’m talking about. Just think about that for a minute. Naked, in the forest, curled up with a nice, warm….BANANA SPIDER.

    They call me the Dream-Shatterer.

  20. Animals are cool, except turtles FUCK turtles! They just walk slow to keep you waiting and for what? To show you how fucking ugly they are? Take it from me, turtles are CUNTS!

  21. come back! we miss you! who cares about silly little things like “4 major assignments” and life and work and making money???????

    best,
    MOV

  22. I love your blog and this post.

    Also, I just tagged you in a question game. If you’re interested in playing, please check my blog for the questions and rules. (=

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