In the past, when we studied the collapse of civilizations, we learned about Barbarian invasions and slave revolts. When our history is written, I suspect it will include peacocks on airplanes and emotional support hamsters.
So how did we get here?
How are farm animals such as pigs getting into first class to keep their owners soothed and sedate? That’s what the Jack Daniels was supposed to do.
As we’ll see in a moment, we can blame the unhinged era of Eric Holder at the Justice Department.
In case you missed it, Spirit Airlines is getting grief for advising college student Belen Aldecosea to flush her emotional support hamster Pebbles down a toilet in Miami International Airport because it couldn’t go on the flight. PETA is demanding jail time for everyone involved.
Let’s unpack this. First of all, how much emotional support could a hamster provide? Does Ms. Aldecosea share emotions with the rodent? Does the hamster give advice?
What sort of civilization will we be in forty years when those of the generation that required hamsters when they travel are in charge?
Few of us love to fly. No travel experience is more unpleasant than being squeezed into 7A next to a stranger on a CRJ 800 landing with 25 knot crosswinds and a ceiling at FL 003. I’ve experienced my share of aborted landings in swirling storm fronts, aborted takeoffs, and turnarounds over the Atlantic.
But never once did I crave an emotional support hamster. That would be infantile.
And then there is the emotional support peacock. United had the good sense to say enough was enough, and bar the peacock from a flight.
But there have been turkeys clucking on planes and dogs relieving themselves in the aisles and barking the entire flight – which a real support dog would never do.
Let’s say out loud what everyone is already thinking – most of these support animals are completely fake. It’s a racket. A scam. A way to avoid paying the hefty pet fee.
American charges $125 for a pet, but not if it’s a support pig.
United also charges $125, but not if it is a “trained service animal.”
And so we find not only dogs and pigs on flights, but sheep, horses, peacocks, sheep and giant tortoises.
So how did we get here? Some consider this madness enlightened evolution. That should put you on the scent of who is responsible.
If you’ve been following along here the last nine years, you might have correctly guessed that the utopians at the Obama Department of Justice carry a good deal of blame.
The Civil Rights Division under Eric Holder and now-DNC Chairman Tom Perez sued colleges and other entities to force them to allow emotional support animals like cats. Before the Obama administration, the Justice Department brought cases primarily to allow genuine service dogs, as federal law requires.
Holder and Perez did what the bureaucrats at DOJ wanted to do for years in the Bush administration and expanded the reach of federal oversight – even without an act of Congress – to emotional support animals, including ferrets, horses, pigs, turkeys, anything.
For example, in 2013, the Justice Department sued Sally Lund in federal court. Lund rented a single family home in Pennsylvania and refused to rent to tenants who had cats. That was unacceptable to Eric Holder’s Justice Department, especially when one prospective tenant – Sharon Dunfee – said they were necessary for her emotional health. She called them “emotional assistance cats.”
Airlines, aware of the seemingly subtle but critically significant shift at Holder’s Justice Department, began to capitulate to anyone with a pig on a leash wearing a “Service Pig” vest. Turkeys, horses and sheep soon followed. That’s one reason why the friendly skies now resemble a barnyard, and you’ll never get the turkey back in the barn.