Came across this article from six years ago, on the hilarity, or seriousness, and the need, or abuse, of “emotional support animals”.
The author managed to get an exemption for carrying around a turtle (“Turtle“), and a snake (“Augustus“), a turkey (“Henry“), an alpaca (“Sorpresa“), and a pig (“Daphne“) everywhere, just to show how.
Reflecting on whether it is reasonable to be this inclusive of man’s best friends, I called the Australian philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer, who is best known for his book “Animal Liberation,” which makes a utilitarian argument for respecting the welfare and minimizing the suffering of all sentient beings.
Singer takes a dim view of the emotional-support-animal craze. “Animals can get as depressed as people do,” he said, so “there is sometimes an issue about how well people with mental illnesses can look after their animals.” He went on, “If it’s really so difficult for you to be without your animal, maybe you don’t need to go to that restaurant or to the Frick Museum. ”
During check-in, the ticket agent, looking up to ask my final destination, did a double take.
She said, “Oh . . . have you checked with . . . I don’t think JetBlue allows . . .”
“Give me one second,” the agent said, picking up the phone. “I’m checking with my supervisor.” (Speaking into phone: “Yes, with a pig . . . yeah, yeah . . . in a stroller.”) The agent hung up and printed out boarding passes for me and the pig’s owner, Sophie Wolf.
“I didn’t want to make a mistake,” he said. “If there’s a problem, Verna, at the gate, will help you. Does she run fast?”
I’m pleased to report that passing through security with a pig in your arms is easier than doing so without one: you get to keep your shoes on and skip the full-body scanner.
I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it (and seen the accompanying pictures).
Of course, this was six long years ago, and I’m sure this must feel quite normal now for everyone.
P.S. couldn’t come up with a title for this post, and http://www.randomnumbergenerator.com helped out.