Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'll piss anywhere I want, is what this miaow means, bitch

A few weird things happened to me in the course of a 15 minute trip today.

Firstly I saw a man waiting at the traffic lights who was sporting the most perfect handlebar moustache I have ever seen. That, combined with his air of utter nonchalance and the fact that he was wearing a t-shirt so well-worn-in that it looked super soft made me want to burst out of the car and hug him.

Thirty seconds later, and on the same street, I saw Thom, who either didn’t recognise me or was embarrassed to admit to knowing someone who was, at the time, attempting to make a right hand turn while stuck somewhere between first gear and neutral and waving out the passenger window in a state of apparent hysteria.

Finally I met this awesome grey cat who befriended me while I was walking back to my car. It was collarless and just sort of wandering the street but plump enough that I figured it probably belonged to someone nearby so I stroked it and played with it and then attempted to get back into my car. The problem was that it seemed keen to get in with me.

No matter how many times I set it back on the pavement it jumped on to my bonnet or followed me around the car to hop in with me. It was adorable but also worrying because I was on Beaufort Street and I was shit-scared it was going to get cleaned up if I just left it there.

Eventually I hefted it over my shoulder and dumped it near a house, then got the hell out of there but it got me thinking about how different things would be if animals could speak English.
I’m not sure what this cat was trying to communicate with me, other than ‘hey I sort of like you,’ or ‘a little bit to the right’ but would I have had the heart to leave it behind if it had opened its little cat jaws and said in perfect English “excuse me but could I possibly come home with you? I’m awfully cold and lonely”?

Similarly I think a lot of you carnivores (ok, omnivores if you must) would convert to my team once you experienced the trauma of meeting a little piglet or cow who asked you, if you wouldn’t mind, not to eat it. Then again, if animals made out of the tastier meats turned out to have really annoying personalities or were closet racists or something then maybe I'd change my stance on the whole vegetarian thing.

Someone whose name I can’t be bothered looking up famously said that if lions could speak we wouldn’t understand them. Meaning not that they would be speaking Swailee but that their experiences were so different to ours that we wouldn’t have common words to communicate with. I’m not so sure about that but the possibility of what animals could tell us is pretty fascinating. Oh sure in reality it would be all “I have soiled myself - how embarrassing” but in my mind they’ve discovered the secrets of the universe and are just trying to tell us all about it.

11 comments:

observer said...

It reminds me of the Silver Chair when the giants say the deer they were eating begged for mercy before it was killed. It scared my little child brain at the time. Not enough to make me be vegetarian though.

Dave said...

What would happen if the vegetables could talk, Kate?

my name is kate said...

I was similarly traumatised by a short story I read when I was younger about a man who invents a machine that can pick up frequencies the human ear can't.

When he plugs into the machine he can hear this horrible, horrible screaming noise. Turns out it is the blades of grass being cut by a lawnmower on a nearby verge.

I seem to remember the story ending with a tree falling on him or something like that. Good times.

my name is kate said...

They'd say "you're a bint, Johnsy". Because even carrots are that clued in...

Dave said...

I'm sure they'd say "don't eat me" too. Just like the animals. And by the way, if animals could communicate they'd probably tell each other not to eat them too, and the entire food chain would collapse and we'd all die. See? THAT'S why I'm not a vegetarian. That and I love meat.

my name is kate said...

Balls! (Ooh you've done it now, Johnsy).

First up: vegetables don't have central nervous systems so I'm yet to be convinced they can feel pain. Nor are they as smart as a two-year-old child... unlike the cute little animal that provides ham, bacon and pork. Animals feel pain, discomfort and distress and when we kill them to eat we expose them to all three.

Secondly, just because we can eat meat and our ancestors have in the past doesn't make it natural or normal or mandatory.

In the western world at least we breed ridiculous amounts of animals purely to kill them - if we stopped eating them we could stop breeding them... we're not exactly living off the land and keeping the cow population in check over here.

Genius' like Einstein, Pythagoras and Divinci lived and freaking prospered without eating flesh and so can we all...

(Phew)
*the sound of heavy breathing*

Bolton said...

You start to anthropomorphise vegetables like that and you'll be fucked. You'll never eat.

By the way, all these animals you don't eat, were only born in the first place because someone farmed them. Technically, the in the wild, they wouldn't exist: Firstly because most breeds have been selectively bred for their meat over centuries and are not really natural species. Secondly, because they were specifically bred to be consumed by humans.
And thirdly because herbivores pretty much exist to be mowed down, grazed on and shat out by other animals with fewer stomachs and bigger teeth.
This is nature. I accept my nature and take my part in the chain.
Hey you're a herbivore, aren't you darling?

my name is kate said...

Get away from me, Dans, what are you doing with your teeth... ohh god, oh god no...

Dave said...

I'd be worried more about the 'shat out' bit than Dan's teeth Kate....

T-Dog said...

Where was I? What? I totally wouldn't have blanked you...was it raining? I don't like wet hair...

my name is kate said...

Well I'm pretty sure it was you - unless your horrid-sounding brother bears a striking resemblance. You were moseying along James St in Northbridge with some floozey. I was the nut job grinding my gears at the traffic lights...