Home Living Today Commentary WALSH: Your Pet Is Not A Person And You Shouldn’t Treat It Like One By Matt Walsh

WALSH: Your Pet Is Not A Person And You Shouldn’t Treat It Like One By Matt Walsh

4 min read

A college student from Florida has a harrowing tale to tell.

Belen Aldecosea says she ran into trouble when she attempted to board a Spirit Airlines flight with her emotional support hamster, Pebbles. It seems that Spirit has a policy forbidding rodents from flying in the main cabin with actual human beings, even if they are the sort of rodents who provide emotional support to the sort of people who need emotional support from rodents.

Belen was in a bind. Forced to decide between forgoing the flight or forgoing her beloved hamster — the hamster that she claims she needs — she decided to flush poor Pebbles down the toilet. Belen, of course, blames Spirit Airlines for all of this. But Pebbles, if she could speak from her watery grave, would probably blame the madwoman who drowned her in the bathroom.

This news comes only days after another passenger of questionable sanity tried to board a United Airlines flight with an emotional support peacock. She was also turned away. I’m not sure if she flushed the peacock down the toilet.

Now, I support anyone’s right to use a service animal if they have a legitimate disability. But an emotional support animal isn’t a service animal any more than a skateboard is a wheelchair. You may find “comfort” in your rat or your bird or your pig or your llama, but you can’t turn an airplane into a flying zoo just because it makes you comfortable. Your comfort is not the concern of everyone else, and the rest of us are significantly less comfortable when forced to share our accommodations with a bunch of non-human critters. A blind man who uses a service dog is being reasonable and asking the rest of us to make a reasonable concession for his sake. A college student who carries her rodent around like a purse is being selfish and demanding that the rest of us acquiesce to her selfishness.

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