An Honest Proposal: Why Guinea Pigs Should Rule the World (And What if They Did)

Isabelle offers a view of a world dominated by guinea pigs, where peace, prosperity and carrots reign supreme.

Recently, I was up in a bout of insomnia, ruminating over the chaotic reel of news from the day… that is, when all of a sudden, I was visited by an apparition of my own two childhood guinea pigs (R.I.P.), retrieving those long-forgotten feelings which still lay buried in my soul toward them (this never happened – I just thought the image of ghostly guinea pigs drifting toward me in the dark would be funny). This brought me to an excellent, very relevant idea – with all the crazy events happening in the world, what if guinea pigs ruled the world?

I can attest: Guinea pigs are cute, loveable creatures – whether I used them as a flex to raise my social status anytime I had a friend over, or as a means of quiet delight whenever one such pig decided to seek asylum from the confines of her cage so as to raise the decibels of the house by more than a few notches, these furry, albeit vicious, creatures certainly spread cheer by the unending (I swear) trails of their *beep* and in nipping your finger whenever they “feel like it” (they personally told me that).

 

Source: Unsplash.

No, I don’t hold a grudge toward my deceased guinea pigs – I’m just being honest. Nevertheless, there are still a few lessons that can be gained from the world of the ever-squeaking guinea pig; but first, to set the scene: what if guinea pigs, indeed, replaced people as kings of the animal kingdom?

Imagine: Times Square, New York City – it’s buzzing, it’s electric. You look out across at the billboards – what do you see? Why, it’s a guinea pig, completing a somersault in a campaign for ZARA, with a carrot-printed graphic tee! Across the Atlantic, another vision – of a guinea pig extending its itty paw toward its Guinea-God, surrounded by a holy retinue of winged, guinea pup cherubs, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This painting has become an iconic work of art studied in classrooms worldwide, alongside verses like “wherefore art thou Piggy-omeo?”, and historical events like Guinea-ghis Kahn’s rise to power in the year ACP 1206 (for Anno Cavia Porcellus, of course). Sometimes Zoomer guinea pigs like to catch up over a smoky-straw flavored vape sesh outside the local convenience store “Nibble ‘N’ Wiggle”, where they’ll discuss climate advocate Greta Ice-berg-lettuce who, with a puny paw raised at the camera lens and a beady eye bulging out with quiet might, bravely told the UN that day “how dare you!” (shrieks and squeals abounding). 

As you can see, the possibilities for this “Guinea-topia” are, simply, endless in the imagination. But as amusing as it is for me to imagine the facade of such a world, I’m convinced that the dynamics underlying these moments of time and history would look somewhat different from that of our own society.

To understand the logistics of such dynamics, let’s take some lessons in “Porcellogy”: a world dominated by these waddling balls of fur would surely be defined by more cooperation and acceptance. After all, guinea pigs only have three goals: eat, sleep, repeat (same). Actually, that was quite ignorant – guinea pigs do have other necessities, but perhaps most notably, desire our same sense of connection and community; however, tell me, honestly… do you really expect to stumble across (you never know) a mob of guinea pigs ganging up against Suzie Snickerdoodle for swiping the last orange slice? I think not; gossip, prejudice, and hate have, quite frankly, no room in the world of the humble mountain pig, who only cares about befriending more humble mountain pigs in order to, straightforwardly, collab, partition resources, and cuddle in underground burrows (or, if you’re the more urban type, a plastic igloo). Who cares to hold a grudge when your chew toy, glittering in the single shard of light from your bratty ten year old care-taker’s musty window, is too enticing to pay such petty attentions as to that sorry orange slice.

 

Source: Unsplash.

Furthermore, the lifestyle of a guinea pig is not suited for human intellectualising or politicising. Who cares about how airplanes can lift off the ground (the aerodynamic will of God?) or why a leader would joust against half the world for a square inch of territory (Napoleon complex + mommy issues?) when you can just roll about your luscious meadows of hay with your fellow piggy-pals and gals in blank-eyed peace and harmony.

I should emphasize: I don’t mean to undermine these human habits. For one, gossip has even been considered to promote our evolution (not that it should be done without consideration), and intellectualizing leads to such innovations as life-saving medicines. Wars and other man-made catastrophes are, also, not to be taken light-hearted, as the effects, of course, are absolutely devastating for a majority peace-seeking population. Rather, by even substituting guinea pigs for people, we can derive a satirical view of the complexities of our own society and highlight means for more compassionate approaches and balanced ways of living. Guinea pigs are such adorable, gentle creatures. Whether observed in the wild or as domesticated pets, guinea pigs, likewise to other pets, display valuable lessons about empathy and connection. They are blind to what their fellow piggies might look like or seem like, seeking to live in mutual solidarity and bring affection to those around them. In the end, from the hallowed streets of Guinea-topia to the “amber waves” of wood shavings, one thing stands clear: that is, that in a world dominated by guinea pigs (or at least guinea-politics), the only thing we’d really be concerned about is making sure to pounce upon that next orange slice before Suzie Snickerdoodle!

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