Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful
I’ve been thinking a lot about rats lately. Heck, my cute little girl Stacy is sitting atop my shoulder nuzzled against my neck as I type this. How could I not think about rats? Unfortunately, most do not share my unwavering passion. For the common folk, it seems that rat related thoughts come only seldomly, and sadly, these thoughts are accompanied by emotions of fear and disgust. I often sit and muse over why this is the case. Why do people hate rats?
Several months ago I was listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, as I often do, and Joe was discussing a Morgan Spurlock documentary he had seen on Netflix which seemed to have made him terrified of rats. I was naturally very curious and opened another tab to investigate it for myself. The film is called Rats, and within the first ten minutes of watching it, I found myself disgusted and utterly appalled. I was not alone with this reaction. Here are some reviews that were voted most helpful on Netflix:
“There were some interesting facts but way hollywood-ized and overly dramatic. Mostly is was just people killing rats, people killing rats, and people killing more rats in many different (and some horrifying, ways [. . .]Now I just feel nauseous from all the gore in it” - Anonymous Reviewer
“This was a bummer, it was really scare-mongery. I’m not pro-rat in any way, but this documentary pretty much only focused on rats as a problem for humans, when, I think they are just as interesting as any other critter out there, I would have liked something that included more history about rats, and more about their biology and what their role in a natural eco-system is and what they do away from humans. Also, while wild city rats are totally gross and a problem, pet rats are quite clean and docile [. . .]” - Anonymous Reviewer
Notice how the second reviewer made a point to tell us that they are “not pro-rat in any way.” This is a reflection of societies general aversion to rats and rat lovers. This reviewer felt that if they admitted to being pro-rat, they would be ostracized by their family and friends. This fear and hatred of rats all boils down to propaganda and the dissemination of ignorance. Rats is a blatant propaganda piece and easily Morgan Spurlock's second worst film. Spurlock ignores history, science and commonsense in favor of ignorance. This is abundantly clear in the films description on Netflix; it states, “Explore the icky world of rats and witness how their talent for surviving in almost any environment has led to catastrophic events throughout history.”
Give me a fucking break. This description completely ignores the distinction between correlation and causation. Rats have never caused catastrophic events. These catastrophic events, which Spurlock blames on rats, were in fact caused by the “icky” human practice of piling on top of each other in filthy, overpopulated cities where feces would flow through the street. There had never been a rat problem in Earth’s long history until humans began to behave so irresponsibly. The moral of the story here is that when we see disinformation and rat bigotry, we need to call it out immediately.
My girlfriend and I were aimlessly browsing the aisles of Costco the other day. We were arguing over whether or not to buy a case of diet cream soda when an old woman standing near us screamed at the top of her lungs. She pointed to a pallet of pamplemousse La Croix, claiming that she had seen a rat run across the top into the shadows. My girlfriend and I hardly believed this hysterical woman, but we watched in awe as she gathered several employees to track down the rat. It was a grotesque scene, watching these seemingly normal people turn into hateful predators. Luckily, the rat escaped without harm. Now I make it a point to let everyone I encounter know how great rats are. I often show them polaroid photos of my rat playing with gear that I order from igotrats.com. We need to spread the word, folks. Rats are people too.