Watching pet Passover: Should we allow animals to participate in the Seder?

Pesach is going to the dogs ... and elephants, and monkeys. Is it cute or just offensive?

By Drew Grant

Published April 18, 2011 8:40PM (EDT)

Pachyderm Passover
Pachyderm Passover

Pro or con, guys: Animal participation during Pesach? It's been a pseudo-trend for a while (evidenced by a cute New York Times piece!), and on the one hand: Sure, why not ... we have doggy yoga, right?

Oh wait, you say animals don't understand English, religion or anything about the significance of this holiday? So putting animals in a yarmulke and slowly explaining the four questions to Fido actually makes a mockery out of both the Jewish struggle to free themselves from Egypt as well as your humiliated pet?

Yeah, that's probably a good reason to refrain from letting your animal recite the Maggid.

Still, though ... did we mention they wear little yarmulkes?

Meanwhile, orangutans in Tel Aviv celebrate the holiday with matzo, which is cute until you consider that these are animals that spend their days throwing around poop, so even crackers probably taste like shit to them.

PETA is going to kill me for this, but the video of Ringling Bros. elephants going to town on a Seder plate is just too much. Especially when they start throwing up all the unleavened bread.

Actually, it seems sort of a bad idea to tell animals the story about Exodus? Because what if they do understand, and then decide that they, like the Jewish people, do not want to be enslaved anymore? That's just dangerous rhetoric to be teaching. Better just to stick with Bark Mitzvahs.


Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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