As a new CC student, I had my first encounter with the shouted sermons of street preachers. From their invisible pulpits on the sidewalk next to Worner, the group screeched their warnings at the unflinching students as they walked past on their way home from classes.
“You’re all animals!”
“The men are rabbits!”
“The women are cockroaches!”
In their minds, our wild behavior was reprehensible; the boys hump like bunnies and the girls survive nuclear fallout.
Their animalistic comparisons were meant to shame us, reduce us. Instead, CC students embrace their animal side, searching for a connection between the human and the wild. One CC student found this connection through their passion for falconry (p. 36).
But even this example proves that this connection is complicated by our complex relationship with owned animals. Most CC students have owned a pet at some point in their lives. Many pet owners say that they see similarities between themselves and their animals. Meet Sandy, a local stripper who owns two hairless cats (p. 14). Both the owner and her animals spend their time bare to the world.
With humanity’s love of anthropomorphizing their animals, how would they react to raising an animal knowing it was destined for the dinner plate? That’s the question raised by 4-H and their animal-rearing programs (p. 18).
And sometimes the desire to see the human in animals can go horribly wrong, like the Zanesville Massacre where dozens of wild animals, kept as exotic pets, were murdered after being released to roam the streets. CC students may love to show their Tiger pride but I’m sure that most can agree that a Bengal tiger was never meant to be a house pet. Yet even here in Colorado, many exotic pets are completely unregulated (p. 32).
It’s clear that the debate over where the line should be drawn between human and animal has never produced a universally accepted answer, just like the debate over evolutionary science theories (p. 6). Some try to push the boundaries, emphatically declaring that humans are not superior in any way to nature except in their ability to ruin it (p. 30).
But our writers aren’t sheep. We can’t always herd them on topic. Which is why this issue contains articles on free speech (p. 8) and rising tuition (p. 20), both important topics but completely animal-free. Perfect for our vegan readers.
So, without further ado: rabbits and cockroaches, welcome to the Animal Issue.
–Hannah Westerman and the Cipher staff