Get an Introspective Look at the Animals We Hate in “Trash Animals”
There’s a scene at the beginning of Inglourious Basterds where Christoph Waltz’s character (Col. Hans Landa) is describing how the average person would react if a rat ran across their floor. The exchange goes something like this:
Col. Hans Landa: If a rat were to scamper through your front door right now, would you greet it with hostility?
Perrier LaPadite: I suppose I would.
Landa: Has a rat ever done anything to you to create this animosity you feel towards them?
LaPadite: Rats spread diseases. They bite people.
Landa: Rats were the cause of the bubonic plague, but that’s some time ago. I propose to you, any disease a rat could spread, a squirrel could equally carry. Would you agree? Yet I assume you don’t share the same animosity with squirrels that you do with rats, do you?
Pigeons, rats, cockroaches, snakes–these are the animals that make our skin crawl for reasons both understandable and irrational. Trash Animals: How We Live with Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive, and Unwanted Species is a collection of essays and memoirs that cast a different light on society’s most hated pests. From essays that compare snakes to homeless people, to others that focus more on animal admirers who have a devoted kinship with certain pests, the scope of material in Trash Animals is large and varied. But regardless if you’re reading a true story about wolf dens or an essay about a roach-infested house, all the pieces tie a single theme together about mankind’s struggle to accept creatures that society has deemed “disgusting.” Even if you don’t agree with the writers, it still makes an interesting/fun read, especially if you love underdog stories.