A case against animals as gifts

Lee Thomas, the Evil Lee Thomas

As we enter the gift giving season and start pondering what to hurriedly stuff in a box for our loved ones, something that purrs or barks may come to mind as a possible option. It’s so convenient and hassle-free to give our dearest friends and family living creatures for the holidays. But we shouldn’t be fulfilling our holiday shopping lists by tying little puppy Lady in a bow for Darling on Christmas.

We already know the problems with gifting bunnies to children on Easter, ending up either abandoned or dead within weeks, but I argue that any animal as a present is wrong. Here’s why. 

Not everyone knows how to care for a pet. Young kids don’t have a strong enough moral compass to treat an animal properly. Little Jimmy won’t hesitate before framing Sparky for heinous criminal acts such as eating homework or farting in the living room or killing Princess Diana.

Illustration by Paloma Link.

Beyond the typical furry friend found at the pet store, most animals just aren’t suited for homelife. Farm animals like pigs are NOT biologically designed for domestication. They are meant to be eaten on a Sunday morning with hash browns and eggs. They are supposed to be served center of the dinner table, apples in their mouths, on Christmas Eve—NOT under the tree the next morning. Cows should NOT be homed in residential areas. They SHOULD be making ME some yummy mummy milk out their lil’ dangly cooter thangs. 

This goes for exotic animals, as well. Different animals require different environments, so purchasing a baby monkey off of the black market all willy-nilly just as a holiday present for your girlfriend is incredibly unethical. You have no right adopting that Bigfoot spawn from the shelter when you live in a studio apartment in L.A. 

In general, stick to non-breathing things as presents. Place no creature, no matter how big or small, under the tree this season. Not even a mouse.