The Smiling Fox

How full of smiley faces our world is.

Advertisements sometimes amaze me.

Image

Some are clever and amusing. We come across so many in the U.K. advertising no-win, no-fee lawyers for personal injury cases, that I had to laugh when football and acting hardman Vinnie Jones introduced an advert with “Had a work-related accident recently? Be more careful.” Mind you, I have no recollection of what the advert really was for.

A well-known beer is advertised with figures of smiling foxes dressed in human clothes. The beer is excellent, by the way. But this kind of representation of animals is very common, and not just for children. We show animals smiling and speaking when we’re selling their meat. Foxes are hunted. I’ve seen several representations of foxes as huntsmen. This is not a post against meat-eating or even hunting, but there is something in the psychology of showing a victim smiling that makes me curious. Here’s a poem about this.

THE SMILING FOX

The figure is of a standing fox,

Smiling, in huntsman’s jacket and cap.

The bloody hunt is turned to laughter.

The fox can ride, the fox can talk,

The pink pig smiles above the pork,

The smiling baby needs a nappy,

We should all buy, and will be happy.

The guards on the computer screen

Were much too slow, and they have been.

We zap the losers, keep a score,

The country’s power’s the country’s law.

The fox can ride, the fox can talk,

The pink pig smiles above the pork,

The smiling baby needs a nappy,

We should all buy, and will be happy.

The soil is falling from the rocks,

the wood is crumbling from the sap,

And what was now, and what is after?

The fox can ride, the fox can talk,

The pink pig smiles above the pork.

The smiling baby needs a nappy.

We should all buy, and will be happy.

 

Copyright Simon Banks 2013

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4 Comments

  1. The picture of the glorious fox and the implications of your words beneath made me want to weep….very powerful

    Reply
  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

     /  November 11, 2013

    I sometimes wonder if I will live long enough to see the humanity in humans for all Gaia’s creatures…man is not above the animal kingdom in the chain of kindness and compassion I think….far below….
    I just read an article about PETA….they euthanize over 90% of the animals that come through them….
    (very sad photos) but as usual, they will re-define the words somehow
    to show its okay to pick and choose what animal lives or dies…
    Beautiful picture Simon….and yes I wonder about the smiles too…
    ” We show animals smiling and speaking when we’re selling their meat.”
    I wonder if the people who think of these ads sleep without nightmares….
    Wonderful poem, even in its sadness….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mary. Despite this, I think there have been huge strides in our ability to see independent value in other life forms, not just valuing them for their usefulness or even attractiveness to us. It’s not fast enough to stop a great extinction event, though.

      Reply

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