Kittens playing keyboards, puppies on swings, a sneezing panda… Millions of us are addicted to animal video clips. But being a cuteaholic comes at a price.
Too cute to live!” ran a Sun headline this week above a picture of an animal whose eyes are as huge as egos. “This adorable creature is a slow loris,” the Sun explains, “but its cute looks mean it can suffer a slow, painful death.” Now, while I won’t take full responsibility for the death and possible extinction of this ferociously adorable breed, an animal that appears to have been designed by someone high on Starbursts, for the Japanese market, with a shaky hand, on CorelDraw, I will accept a flake of blame. For I, Eva, am one of the 14 million YouTube viewers that watch slow lorises on YouTube. Regularly. In particular, the video of one being tickled, its tiny arms raised, head lolling with myopic joy. Unfortunately, the Sun reports it is this YouTube fame that fuels a demand for slow lorises as pets; sold illegally, their teeth are extracted, and most die in transit. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a buzz kill. Luckily, YouTube is alive with puppy and kitten alternatives, though honestly they’re light beer to the loris’s tequila.