Posted by: Leah | December 24, 2012

The Particular Sadness of Ikea Monkey

Two weeks ago Toronto made international news: a cute and adorable monkey in a faux shearing coat was  discovered strolling in Ikea on its own.

After that, the Ikea monkey was picked up by animal services, sent to a primate sanctuary and the owner’s pursuit to return the monkey has started. She has admitted to be the monkey’s mom and said the monkey belonged to her home.

I am not here though to discuss the legal challenges to return the monkey, but I am here to talk that I find the whole situation with humanizing animals and pets particularly sad. As we call our pets children and try to give them more human features that they will ever possess, we miss out on opportunities to connect with people. We use and if you wish even abuse animals to fill voids in our lives. We call our pets our children, and if they misbehave we blaim it on their bad behavior  We hold birthday parties for our pets and weddings.

Recently, I have run into somebody I used to see so frequently in my gym, as we nodded to each other, I saw the hesitation in this person’s eyes – should I come to talk, should I not? Will I disturb  I went and talked to him myself, but it has occurred to me that we seem to be losing this ability to connect and sometimes are even afraid to say hello – because it may inconvenience somebody or may seem intrusion.

No, I am not a mom to my cat, and I will never be. I recognize that a cat is an animal, and sometimes behaves so not because he is a bad child but because he just follows his nature.

As we enter the holiday season, I would like to wish you meaningful human connections. The void if any in our lives can only be filled with people, and not with however cute and adorable but animals.


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