Ask me if I'm surprised about an increase in rat conumption. Not at all.
Of course I am referring to the consumption of rats as pets. Ever since 'Ratatouille' hit theatres rats have been big pet store business. Sound familiar? Ever wanted to by a clown fish, say around 2003?
People are oblivious when it comes to animals. I don't mean to generalize, but they are. People want pets. Scientists, those shady and selctively trustworthy types, say pets are good for your health. Get something furry and you will live longer and have a better heart rate and cut down on anti-oxidants and calories. Or was that pomegranites?
So you get something furry to pet. I know many folks who are furry and wouldn't mind being petted, but they have consciences of their own, and insist on personal freedodms. Personal freedoms: another reason why getting a dog is not practice for a child or lover. People who need people are not people who need pets.
Pet people want control. For the non-furry critters they get to observe them in cages and tanks and control the heat, weather, food source, and play God. Of course the creature won't love you back, but I suspect that's the case in the real scenario anyways.
If you want control over something which adores you you get a dog. Dogs are happy and stupid. Some dogs are smart, but it's a type of smart that requires training and guidance from you, the master. That's why people have badly behaved dogs, they are not dominant. It's very primal and Konrad Lorenz would love it.
Cats are furry and aloof, an attribute often associated with intelligence. They want to be free! Therefore they must be smart. I think that argument only speaks to the owner's personality such that is that even a cat wants to be free from their presence. Cat people dote on cats because they see them as aloof and smart and selfish and perhaps even cunning.
Cat people are what's wrong with this world. Cats are anthropomorphized into these seeming vices, and we praise them for it. We wish we could live like cats. They are, as is a common repeating theme in my writings on humans, as selfish and egotistical as we wish we could get away with.
Yet cats are complex creatures. (Perhaps. This may just be our desire to see ourselves in the analogy as something more than yowling animals who like food but not your company.) They kill things, and go on adventures. Cats are known to attend secret cat-only meetings on fencetops and hidden places. Cats are mysterious. 'Lolcats' helps dissuade this theory.
Because cats are just as dumb as dogs. They aren't trainable, though. Cats do stupid things like get stuck in bags and chase strings that wiggle, and we embrace this. Perhaps we see these foolish things as part of our own nature. Yeah, we're composed most of the time, but sometimes the mood lightens and we make fools of ourselves and are thought endearing for it.
We're not, incidentally. But its a nice thought.
So maybe that's why people are now turning to rats. Think of your old cartoons, who go the upper hand, the cat or the rat? The rat always won out and was loved for it. Often the rat sided wiht the dog and the two fought the cat together, the little man with the brains and the big man with the brawn fighting the middle man with neither.
Are cartoons the opiate of the masses or a medium that lays down the ideological grounds for revolution? You decide.