Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pet Taxidermy

Used to be an extremely esoteric practice, but does stuffing your beloved pet or subjecting them to taxidermy after they die a symptom of pet owner’s insanity?

By: Vanessa Uy

“Civilized people bury their dead.” - or so everyone with a Western / Christian orientation were lead to believe. But does stuffing your beloved pet or having then worked by a taxidermist after they die in order to have them displayed on your living room like they are still alive a symptom of their owner’s insanity? After all, isn’t letting go a part of one’s loving devotion?

The practice of taxidermy used to be the preserve of big game hunters and museum curators exhibiting unusual animals usually acquired during an “African Safari”. But during the last twenty or so years ago, the practice of stuffing your deceased pets or pet taxidermy had gained popularity in the United States. Were pet care practices that are deemed “too unusual” in the rest of the world, is seen as just business as usual.

Given that the practice of taxidermy would have become extinct decades ago because of relatively recent International Wildlife Conventions had made the wholesale slaughter of endangered animals – especially from exotic locales like continental Africa - a criminal act. The practice of pet taxidermy could be seen as a godsend to every professional taxidermist.

Maybe it is just that I find being in close proximity to dead animals – no matter how well preserved – really freaks me out. To me at least, taxidermy has its place in museums and the like – but not in my living room. If pet taxidermy is your thing, by all means have your beloved dog, cat, or any other pet stuffed and displayed on your own living room. You could be commended for keeping the endangered trade of taxidermy alive and well. Maybe those ancient people who invented “civilization” were on to something when they chose to bury their dead?