Vs. Hamsters

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Animals
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  Hamsters are rodents.  They’re just furrier, slightly cuter versions of rats.  Take your average rat and add some extra hair and suddenly everyone thinks it’s adorable.  What’s up with that?  I’m just like an average man with some extra hair…nobody thinks that’s adorable.  Not fair.

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Image via Wikipedia

I’m telling you, if it wasn’t for the hamster wheel, they’d have nothing going for them. 

“Look, everybody, Nibbles is running in his wheel!”

Big deal.  I could do that.  If I had a really big, plastic wheel…and slightly improved stamina.

What else can they do?  They just sit there, cagily, as if plotting a late-night escape.  They can’t fetch anything.  They can’t protect your house from intruders.  They can’t even purr.  Useless.

And, of course, the most condemning anti-Hamster argument is that they eat each other.  Moms eating their kids.  Brothers eating their sisters.  That’s not cool.  When I was a kid, the one time I tried to barbecue a little piece of my brother, my mom got really upset at me.  “You are not to cannibalize your siblings,” she instructed.  And, you know what?  She was right.  I learned a valuable lesson that day.  A lesson no one ever bothered to teach hamsters.  I love my parents for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is that they never tried to eat me.

You know what else bugs me?  I don’t know the difference between hamsters and gerbils.  If someone says, “I have a hamster,” and then someone else tells me, “I have a gerbil,” I’m picturing the exact same thing – an aquarium full of wood chips with a hirsute rat in the corner.

So, I looked up the difference on wikianswers.com, and here’s what I found –

“1. A gerbil has got a long tail and a hamster has a short stub.

2. A gerbil is a bit like a rat, but smaller, with a furry tail and a shorter snout.

3. Gerbils LOVE chewing and shredding up things, but hamsters don’t as much.

4. Gerbils come from the desert. They don’t pee very often because they don’t drink much.

5. Gerbils are awake during the day. Hamsters are nocturnal.

6. Hamsters have more dark meat.”

This answer raises an important question – how many people out there are raising hamsters for their meat?  Are they somehow confusing hamster with ham?  Trust me, the “ster” makes a big difference.

And I learned other negatives about hamsters from this answer.  Apparently, hamsters are constantly urinating.  I don’t see how that goes in the plus column.  And they’re nocturnal – so all day long your kids can play with the hairy, sleeping rat.  Fantastic.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I convince the pet-purchasing public of this potential pest?  I could make everyone watch G-Force, that movie is a public service announcement against gerbils and hamsters.  I could take out the miniature, plastic wheel industry – without their support, these rodents would be helpless.  Ditto with the wood chip consortium.  Or, I could just sit back and wait.  After all, it’s a hamster eat hamster world out there.

  1. Elizabeth Dodd says:

    Dear Makya,
    About hamsters:
    Parents have some deep inner desire to be punished for having kids (Google it!) and one way to achieve this is to buy pets for their children that they will end up having to take care of. (In some cases, grandparents) That is just one more thing that they can add to their already over-busy day.
    They search pet shops to find just the right pet for their child that will take the most care and/or have the most expensive upkeep. For dogs, there’s the license, veterinarian bills, walking, cleaning up after, and so on. I think that is the highest on the list for inside pets. Cats, on the other hand, take care of themselves for the most part, just have to be taken to the vet, nails cut, oceans of shed hair swept up, special food bought–but these two have uses. Companionship, rodent exterminator, etc. The hamster is very special because you have to buy the cage for him to live in, shavings for him to sleep on, water bottle, food, wheel so he won’t be bored, and on and on if you want to go into the double cage with all the tubing to climb around and through. Also comes the most wanted plus–urine smell all through your house. And the cannibalism thing. What parent in his right mind would pass up the opportunity to be punished by that!

    • Makya McBee says:

      A well-designed essay on the link between pet ownership and masochism. Many thanks for your thoughts, I shall put them in my brain and see if anything transpires.

  2. angelina says:

    Well my Sister and I we’re lured in by the cute fuzziness of the hamster. But the adorable-ness wore off when her hamster ate my hamster!!!! They are truely evil!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I don’t like dark meat, too greasy. So, I guess this means I won’t be eating hamster. I can only imagine people that do eat hamster, roasting it on a little hamster spitz. Do hamsters taste just like chicken? Gross!
    No rats, hamsters or gerbils for me thank you.

    • Makya McBee says:

      Anglelina – stay strong. If all else fails, you can always fill the hamster’s water bottle with holy water.
      Jennifer – If only hamsters found hamster unappetizing, they might be easier to stomach.

  4. heathersnyder1 says:

    Having previously worked at a Veterinary Hospital, we used to get Hamsters, Gerbils, Mice & Sugar Gliders in all the time. We referred to them as “Pocket Pets”. However cute they may be, I don’t want anything like that in my pockets. I will do a freaky dance of sheer terror.
    Yeah and the Hamsters’ names were soooo original, too: Hamlet, Hammy, Hambone, Hamsta.
    That whole thing about Hamster Cannibalism freaks me out. What are they thinking…Bluuurrrrp. Makes me gag just thinking of it.
    Oh yeah, there is a thing called Hamstercide…Google it!

  5. I really don’t like Hamsters. Hamsters can chew on the bars of their cages. They are nocturnal, so they will be making lots of noise at night. Hamsters are masters of the art of escape and are very hard to find around the house. They don’t even live that long, only 1 & 1/2 to 2 years.

    My cats are the only ones that really love hamsters and that is only to eat them.

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