When we first found out we were moving to Germany, my brother and his wife sent us this lovely cat-sized lederhosen. We very much appreciated this gift and decided that we should go ahead and dress one of the cats up in it and then send them a picture so that they could see how it fit. Unfortunately, our lovable, easy going cat also happens to be the festively plump cat in our family. Because of this, we were forced to squeeze the bitchy, judgmental cat into the costume in order to get the picture. While it made for a great picture, I’ve begun to think about the ethics of forcing a pet into clothing that they don’t normally wear.
On one hand, we aren’t able to communicate with animals (yet), so perhaps their barks and meows are actually their way of drawing our attention to the fact that we’re parading them around our homes completely naked. By giving them clothes, we’re bridging the divide between animals and humans and getting that much closer to a multi-species government (excluding the animals that we eat and the ones committed to a life of buffoonery).
On the other hand, cats and dogs are covered in fur and thus putting clothes on them could be akin to putting a jacket on a person who is already wearing one. Outside of doing this to an individual that was ill equipped for cold weather, most would take a forced jacket-ing as potential assault at worst and in the least, overbearing product placement.
So I ask you dear readers, should we clothe our animal friends?