Fat Animals Have Something to Say to Us

by Liz Colville

As we discovered but two days ago, obesity is all our fault, and the same is still true today, sort of. Animals are getting fatter and fatter, and it might be because they’re hanging out with us too much, facing the same hazards and hurdles that we face. Newsweek points out just some of the findings on expanding animals:

In macaques living in research colonies, average weight rose about 10 percent per decade. Chimps in labs had a 14-fold increase in obesity, with weight increasing 34 percent per decade. Pet cats: a 38 percent increase in obesity, with weight up 10 percent per decade.

But we can’t exactly attribute animals’ fatness to the things we blame our own weight issues on: lack of exercise and higher caloric intake. Um, as far as our pets go, can’t we? Like owner, like pet? But as far as other animals go:

Food marketing, more TV, and less phys ed can no more explain these fatter animals than they can the epidemic of obesity in babies under 6 months. All these creatures live near or with people, however…

And some of the horrors we humans keep close to our hearts include BPA, not very much sleep, and an increase in air conditioning and central heating. So, let’s give our hamsters a Sigg water bottle to drink out of, a blanket in winter, and a fan in summer, and stop keeping them up so late, and if we’re successful, try the same methods on ourselves?