I feel like every animal species plays an existential lottery, the rules and outcomes of which are pretty simple: If humans determine that your species is cute, you’re mostly gonna be okay. If not, say hello to at best indifference, at worst unspeakably cruel, ritualised, methodical bondage and slaughter. Fun! It’s a good game. ‘Have fur’, is one of the main steps to
avoiding destruction victory. ‘Have human-ish eyes’ is another. ‘Express human-type emotions’, a third. And though those traits might make things easier for you, it must be said that neither are any of them a guarantee. Just ask the furry, cuddly Bos taurus—aka the humble domesticated cow. On paper, it would seem to tick all the boxes for humanity’s approval and sorting into the ‘CUTE! DO NOT HARM!’ camp. In reality… Well, let’s not go there.
One species that most people are united on not ticking any of the boxes is Werner Herzog’s ‘bottomless stupidity’ vehicle, the chicken. Battery farms, baby slaughter, hormone injections—they certainly get treated en masse as if they were not just an unfeeling disposable robot, but actually some sort of extraterrestrial invading nemesis that we must kill in order to prevent our own children being bred in captivity and fed into a meat grinder before they’ve even learned how to walk. But look! They can be cute too (never mind that every species deserves respect and love and the right to life independent of their perceived cuteness—apart from wasps obviously)! Look at this rooster greeting its human after school every day!
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