The Joy of Discarding

What’s sad to see after Christmas is people going on FB to get rid of the pets they received as gifts but don’t really want. I’m happy, of course, that nobody is throwing them out in the street. But it’s still sad for these discarded animals.

As Zygmunt Bauman used to say, a consumer’s greatest joy is not buying but discarding. And the biggest fear is not being able to toss away anything at all at will. 


8 thoughts on “The Joy of Discarding”

    1. Oh no, these were gifts people wanted and begged for. But then they got bored, it’s too much of a hassle, it turns out that there are limitations pets place on your freedom, your time, etc.


    1. My granpa used to say that pets are a little like kids; they poop, they eat and they get sick, so thinking they’re cute is simply not good enough a reason to get one.
      So, yes, first of all, be sure someone 100% wants a certain pet and has time, money and patience to take good care of them.


      1. “be sure someone 100% wants a certain pet and has time, money and patience to take good care of them”

        Part of me would like to have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the dog in a city apartment (I’d want a dog around knee high at the shoulder) and another issue is finding reliable substitute care when I travel which wouldn’t be easy…. so I do without.

        A cat might be easier but I don’t enjoy their company as much (I don’t dislike them they’re just not as fun as dogs) and there’s still the pet sitting problem…


  1. You should have called this article THE JOY OF EATING!

    Processed food packages (“Swiss Colony” baskets, “Pittman & Davis” fruit boxes, “Omaha Steaks” meat banquets, etc.) are the the one gift that you can always give that can never be re-gifted or returned to any store. (And if they’re thrown into the trash, who cares?)

    When I was a much younger man — think back 40 years — I had a rather large list of so-called family (uncles and aunts, cousins of various degrees once or twice removed), to whom I was expected to send small Christmas gifts, and they invariably sent me junk like tie clips, cuff links, and cloth handkerchief sets. (Fortunately, none of them were stupid enough to send me any pets, but the gifts were basically useless.)

    Then one year I got the bright idea to send ALL of them mail-order processed food packages, no matter what they gifted me. It took those relatives several Christmas seasons to get the the idea, but eventually they all started sending me food packages back as presents. They may have thought that for a medical student on the way up, I didn’t have much imagination — but what the hell, I was ending them something they could actually use, and I quickly trained them to do the same. (I used common sense, and didn’t send sugary foods to diabetic or obese relatives.)

    Those relatives are mostly all dead now — time and fate have a way of thinning such lists out — but the few who are left still invariably send usable, tasty edibles for me (and now also for my cat, who in recent years has become a member of the family who also likes to eat.)

    Hey, you want to send and and in return receive useful presents?? It’s simply a matter of training! 🙂


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