Yes, I know my boots/wallet/belt may be leather. I also eat meat. But these animals are not disrespected in any way. They are killed quickly and butchered without toying with them. I am thankful for the use and food they provide. However, this high-five practice crosses the line in the uncanny valley because we’re no longer making useful objects out of animal parts. And this isn’t educational taxidermy.
What are we talking about? It’s technically taxidermy because it’s dealing with the preservation of animal parts. Here’s a link to the New York Post article about the practice.
We’re anthropomorphizing the paw-as-hand of the animal in a frivolous way for sport and sale. This ticks high on my unethical meter. It would be like flaying my grandfather’s hand and making a high-five bobble toy. It’s like the medical student who continually stabs his scalpel into the deep muscle tissue of the specimen on his lab table out of ennui… Be the specimen human or animal, it’s plain outright disrespect. We must not lose the bearings on what remains of our own humanity.
So… No. This is ethically dubious at best. Horrific at worst. Devaney, the taxidermist in the article makes other dubious toys too. I think he’s doing it more for the controversy and fame and the inevitable profit he’ll make off something this sketchy.
What are your thoughts?