What We Do is Secrete

Yesterday I was brushing Hazel outside, and the fur was flying, and it reminded me of a wool festival I attended with a friend several years ago. There were, of course, passels of unique heritage breed sheep, goats, llama, alpacas… but there were also some bunnies. Looking at Hazel’s fur, I remembered this woman sitting at a spinning wheel, brushing the enormous furry Jabba-the-Hut Angora rabbit on her lap, and spinning its fur directly into yarn. It was supremely cool. I bought a scarf. And it was predictably, outrageously soft. Yes, this is a tangent. No, I will not be making a dog fur hat for myself.

Animals give us lots of things. Or rather, we take lots of things from them: food, shelter, clothing, sometimes companionship. You know about all that stuff. Maybe you avoid some or all of that stuff because you worry about those animals. Maybe that stuff is your favorite stuff, and you love sharing a honey tenderloin dinner with your leather-collar-clad chihuahua while wearing a fur coat in a teepee made of buffalo hide heated by a guano fire. I don’t know.

If I have a point in all this, it’s that those are most obvious animal products. But there are a lot more bizarro ones out there. Specifically, the host of  secretions associated with the sweat, spit, poop, and various glandular expressions of animals that pop up in all sorts of surprising places. Like your fancy French perfume, or your cheap cigs, or that bag of jelly beans you’ve been hitting up since Easter, or that $50 cup of civet poop coffee you pretended to enjoy on your last vacation.

Learn all about it friends, on my latest SciShow episode.



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