Was having a conversation tonight with my friend Harriet, and she found my philosophy on animals to be rather funny.
Now take pets out of the equation for this. Cats and dogs don't count, because they're mini-humans, basically. I separate animals into three categories - crap, neutral and brilliant.
Neutral animals are animals like sheep, fish, perhaps owls. Yes, I know they're trendy now with the whole Harry Potter thing, but fundamentally, they're just a head with feet. Neutral animals are ones that I really have no opinion on. They are neither crap nor brilliant, they're just there.
Brilliant animals are animals like badgers, leopards, anteaters and maybe pandas. Not because they look cute, but because their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo, and barely gives them enough energy to survive. So they have to eat almost constantly, just to not die. Such a pointless diet - and surely easily curable by perhaps eating things that they actually can digest and that give them more energy. That's what makes Pandas brilliant.
And anteaters, well, they like eating ants. So they have to grow ridiculous noses to get the ants out when surely the more sensible option is to not eat ants at all. If you had to choose something to eat for a million years, so much so that it meant growing a two foot long nose, you wouldn't choose ants. You'd perhaps grow bigger claws and perhaps some teeth to eat something else.
I just like the pointlessness of them. Like flying fish. There's absolutely no point allowing a fish to fly. Where's it going to go?
Unlike birds, which frankly, are crap. Oh I know, they do all that flying around, but it's wasted on them. They're dull. There are a few notable exceptions, of course. Hummingbirds, for example, which have to evolve wings that can beat hundreds of times a second and tongues that wrap around their brains, just to eat essentially flower juice. What a pointless use of evolution. But I like the idea of pointless animals, which is what makes them brilliant.
And I do like those mad birds in the tropics that puff themselves up to do those crazy sex dances. They are absolutely brilliant. And robins, which are just so damn spherical, they look like they were designed by the winner of a Blue Peter competition in Heaven to design an animal.
However, apart from those, birds are fundamentally crap and dull. As are goats (with the notable exception of the mountain goat, which, if it butts its opponent too hard, its hooves fall off).