#3. Throwing Them Birthday Parties
Yes, this is a thing that really happens. There are websites dedicated to it and everything. If you're one of the pet owners out there who are currently doing this, or even just planning to do it, understand this: Nobody gives a shit. Not your family, not your friends and especially not your dog or cat. House pets are content with just being fed and petted on a regular basis and having a place to sleep. They're extremely low maintenance in the emotional department. When you organize a party for your pet, what you're really doing is making it absolutely clear just how dire your need for attention has become. It's not enough that you get one special day dedicated just to you each year, but now you have to have one for your pets also? No, of course you don't. What you really need is another excuse for people to go out of their way to make you feel special.
"Does this nearly asphyxiated dog make my clinical depression look fat?"
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cake just as much as (if not more than) anyone else, but having your local bakery whip one up in the shape of a bone and making me buy your stupid dog a gift just to get to it is where I draw the line.
#2. Buying "Exotic" Pets
Sure, a dog or a cat might be sufficient for "normal" people, but you live outside the lines, man. You don't play by the same rules as the rest of the world. That's why you're the proud owner of a goddamn chimpanzee. Coincidentally, that's also why your best friend is currently being mauled in your living room while you chat with a 911 operator about the best way to subdue an enraged beast who's tired of living in the captivity of your tiny home and has decided to express its anger by tearing someone's face from their skull. There is a reason that dogs and cats are the most common house pets. That reason, of course, is because they know that their role in this world is to be our loyal companions. They just naturally like the way we operate and have taken a shine to the great indoors, just like humans. You know what animals don't feel that way? All of the rest of them. Every single one. Be it a bird, fish, iguana or total fucking asshole ferret, those animals have one thing in common, and that is their intense desire to not live in a cage for your entertainment. Take the Slow Loris, for example. These adorable little critters have been popping up in YouTube videos for a few years now, with seemingly heartwarming results ...
But there's more to that video than just a cute animal being cuter than it already is. What you're really seeing is an animal whose main defense mechanism when threatened is to be as docile as possible. It's not throwing its hands up because it loves being tickled, it's just terrified and thinks that letting this cackling freak of a pet owner touch its stomach will keep it from being slaughtered. Oh, and they're also extremely sensitive to light, which explains this adorable video ...
And did I mention that the Slow Loris is one of the only mammals that emits toxins when it bites? No worries for the pet owner though, because poachers just remove their teeth with wire cutters before they ship them off to whatever shady black market sells inappropriate pets to rich assholes. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exotic pets that nobody should own. But, hey, at least you get a unique pet out of all that horror. It's probably cheaper than buying a sports car to make up for all of your shortcomings.
#1. Breeding In Negative Traits to Satisfy the AKC Appearance Standards
I accept that most of you read the title of this entry and had no idea what it meant. I wasn't all that sure myself when someone brought it up in casual conversation recently. To give you some background, the AKC stands for "American Kennel Club." These are the people responsible for deciding not only whether a dog is "purebred" or not, but also whether that purebred dog is pretty enough to partake in dog shows and whatnot. While their aim may seem innocent enough, some of the things they require of show worthy animals could very well be killing them, or at the very least, making their lives miserable. And that's not just because they have stage mom owners who live their lives vicariously through their canines. Take the absurdly cute if not somewhat 1970s blaxploitation-ish dog in the lead photo here, for example. This beautiful thing was the winner of the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, the longest running sporting event in the history of the United States. As awesome as it would be, the dog is not sticking its tongue out in some sort of Michael Jordan tribute boast aimed at the other dogs it bested. It probably just can't breathe that well. Check out this quote regarding what kind of havoc the AKC is wreaking on the dogs of the world: "As they deliberately manipulated the appearance of dogs to create or accentuate physical characteristics that were considered aesthetically pleasing, like the flat face of a bulldog or low-slung eyelids of a bloodhound, breeders also created physical disabilities. The excessively wrinkled skin of the Chinese shar-pei causes frequent skin infection; bulldogs and other flat-faced (or brachycephalic) breeds such as the pekingese have breathing problems because of their set-back noses and shortened air passages." So that's nice, we're intentionally breeding dogs to have health problems all in the name of making them look acceptable to a group of people who judge which dogs look better while doing shit like this ...
And the health problems don't end with irritated skin and breathing problems. Everything from tumors to sudden cardiac arrest has been traced back to purebred breeding standards. And this comes from the people who allegedly love dogs more than anyone else. Sorry I couldn't make this entry funnier. Fuck these people. And if you're raising a dog to live up to their Third Reich-like standards, fuck you, too.
For more from Adam, check out The 7 Most Terrifying Corporate Mascots of All-Time and 5 Horrifying Food Additives You've Probably Eaten Today.