I remember as a kid listening to ‘Animal Stories,’ a regular feature on WLS Radio in Chicago whereon two DJs known as ‘Uncle Larry’ and ‘Li’l Snot-nosed Tommy’ would bring all the low-information voters up-to-date on actual happenings in and around the monarchial animal kingdom. Usually, said stories consisted of how a certain animal came to meet its unfortunate and untimely death in a bizarrely humorous and/or particularly grisly manner.
For example, Uncle Larry might tell Li’l Tommy about how the key to the city was given to a cat for saving its owner’s life then at the ceremony, the cat scratches the mayor as it is being held up to the crowd and in painful surprise is subsequently dropped into an operating wood chipper; or maybe how a black bear was shot by a neighborhood-watching brown bear who was reported on the news as being a polar bear further fomenting the whole bear-relations situation to where it was unbearable.
These stories of course, are terribly sad and Li’l Tommy, the highly concerned yet perpetually sardonic animal lover would always pipe up and ask “Are they going to be okay, Uncle Lar’?” to which Uncle Larry would break the bad news to Li’l Tommy that it was hard to say, but the animal would in fact probably not be okay.
As a typical pre-pubescent male, I found Animal Stories utterly hilarious. Now that I am older I am mature enough to realize that this type of humor is actually dark and inappropriate and utterly hilarious, especially when you throw in the occasional religiously devoted environmentalist as the cause of death. Last week there were a number of such stories in the news of which I will provide a synaptic synopsis while simultaneously offering a heart-felt ‘Animal Stories’ tributary tribute.
(Please note: I am not in favor of harming animals in bizarrely humorous and/or particularly grisly ways. In fact, I love animals and think they are delicious. I also think that insensitive sports teams that exploit animals by having them as mascots and perpetuate stereotypes by depicting them as exaggerated caricatures should be exposed for the hateful rabid speciesists they are.)
The first story is out of New Mexico, which is just north of Old Mexico, which really isn’t that much older than New Mexico making one wonder why they didn’t just name it Approximately Same-Age Mexico. Apparently, the Attorney General there created an Animal Cruelty Task Force for the stated purpose of combating animal cruelty. Said Task Force got wind that there might be cock fighting taking place within the state’s one-time tranquil borders, and so they sprang into action in order to make New Mexico once again safe and secure for all chicken-kind.
And what better way to protect all of chickendom from animal cruelty than to slaughter all the chickens? So using helicopters, police, and sheriff deputies dressed in sweet-looking black wind-breakers emblazoned with ACTF on the back, the New Mexico Animal Cruelty Task Force allegedly raided numerous chicken ranches, killing all the roosters, hens, and baby chicks they could find, even going so far as to smash unhatched eggs.
“Are they going to be okay, Uncle Lar’?”
Well, it’s hard to say but the good news is that so far none of the slaughtered chickens have been subject to further cruelty, which presents an interesting solution to the problem of animal abuse that could be easily expanded nation-wide. If we just killed all the animals no one could abuse them; problem solved.
The second story comes from the deserts of California, which is not to be confused with the desserts of California lest your mouth become really dry after dinner and you need more coffee. It seems in an effort to create more green energy, and thus make the planet more hospitable to its inhabitants (presumably including its many bird-like avian residents), tens of thousands of acres in the desert are being transformed into giant solar energy facilities where sunlight is bounced off of mirrors to a central tower where through the miracle of Newtonian physics, water is heated into steam and thus produces almost enough electricity to run said facilities.
Unfortunately, it happens that many of these solar plants are in the path of the four major north-to-south bird migratory patterns, cleverly referred to as “the Pacific Flyway.” It also happens that the green, planet-friendly facilities are harming these birds (many of them federally protected) by 1) appearing to be bodies of water and causing the more near-sighted birds to dive straight into them, or b) actually burning the feathers off the birds in mid-flight as they fly through the concentrated beams of heat and light, causing them to crash to the ground in spectacular flaming fashion.
“Are they going to be okay, Uncle Lar’?”
Well, it’s hard to say, but there is no doubt the situation is fowl. If only we could find an energy source that was under ground…
And finally in England, climate change experts from Bangor University attempting to create a paying position entitled ‘Climate Change Expert’ discovered a clam off the coast of Iceland that was determined to be 507 years old. How you determine a clam’s age is to count the rings on the inside of the shell, much like counting the rings of a felled tree determines that you have too much free time. Unfortunately, by opening the world’s oldest living clam to determine its age, they killed it instantly.
“Is it going to be okay, Uncle Lar’?”
Well, it’s hard to say, but one thing we have learned is that few things are as damaging to animals as someone devoted to saving them.