This is my personal opinion. I know people will have their own on this topic which will polarise opinion. You either see it as okay and understandable or as aberrant and self-indulgent. Social media comments will reflect this. And the fact that viewpoints are so divergent is actually disturbing to me. It points to disharmony. Self-indulgent means “characterized by doing or tending to do exactly what one wants [without thinking it through properly and objectively]”.
An Australian family decided to turn their deceased Golden Retriever into a rug. They employed a taxidermist: Chimera Taxidermy owned by Maddy who said this sort of thing is on the rise.
Maddy proudly declared to the world on social media that “the pelt has been tanned and turned to leather, so the fur won’t fall out”.
Is this right? Is this disrespectful of the deceased? How do we find the answer? For me the answer is found by asking if we would do the same thing with a deceased human family member. The thought will make people cringe. There’s the answer.
This family and this business only did it because it was a dog. A lesser being. A non-human being. A possession. Even the law regards dogs as possessions like televisions. The bible says humans have ‘dominion’ over animals. Humans can do this to a dog because they are only dogs.
It is okay to walk over their pelt every day. I find it disgusting. What is wrong in having beautiful memories of your loved and lost ones? Photographs can jog those memories.
Companion animals can live on in the memory of those who outlive them. This is a far more respectful way of keeping alive a deceased companion animal.
I see the process of turning a companion animal into a pelt as self-indulgent. The owners did this to satisfy their emotional needs. They did not want to say goodbye because they had a great connection with their dog.
Emotionally, they couldn’t release themselves from the animal companion on his parting, so they decided to keep him ‘alive’ in their home in a dead state as a rug.
The motivation is a failure in the human to accept the passing of a beloved companion animal. To accept the passing is the natural way to behave. We all have to face these moments. We lose human family members and animal family members. We mourn and grieve. We cry and gradually learn to accept it.
It hurts but we accept the hurt as the natural order of things. We don’t try and turn the clock back and recreate the animal from his remains. That, for me, is disrespectful of the animal.
Preserve her or him in your mind as a brilliant memory. That’s respectful.
Maddy said that pet taxidermy ‘has only really become more popular in the last five years or so’. It is a modern development but like many other modern developments it is a backward step. It is a manifestation of things going wrong in the world.
It seems that the world is getting worse, not improving as we might expect. The root cause is too many people. Life has become too competitive. There are increased stresses. There are too many people because countries are competing with each other in seeking economic growth which has to be fuelled by an increased labour force.
Perhaps the desire to turn your pet into a pelt for the living room is an outlet for the stresses of modern life. Perhaps it is trying to recreate what has been lost. I understand but it is not the right way to go about it.
Companion animals are therapy animals on tap at all times. They are very beneficial to family life. A dog can be the cement for a family, helping to keep it together and functioning reasonably harmoniously. Don’t try and bring them back on their passing.