Animals Are the New Child Stars

Tough luck, Haley Joel Osment-wannabes


Lil Bub has 719k Instagram followers. That number is pronounced seven hundred and nineteen thousand, which somehow sounds more impressive than Kim Kardashian’s 29.9m. Maybe it’s because 719k is a stickier, less phonetically-pleasant number than twenty-nine-point-nine million (the harder to say, the higher the pay). Or maybe it’s because Lil Bub is a cat.

Cats (think Grumpy Cat, Choupette, that one with a mustache), pigs, rabbits and dogs (Marnie, Boo, Toast, etc.) have stormed the Internet, providing Instagram with a purpose beyond selfies while giving all future stage parents a reason to pause their human procreation and instead focus on babies with fur.

Raise your chalice, Old MacDonald: animals are the new child stars.

Gone are the days of precocious children with dimples. BuzzFeed lists asking, “Where are they now?” will be no more. Rehab centers will have to increase their marketing strategies and E! True Hollywood Stories could very well cease to exist.

Children will be allowed to resume normal lives — the transition may be hard for such celebrities as Suri Cruise or North West, but when they reach an age where they can understand the cautionary tale of Justin Bieber or post-Even Stevens Shia LaBeouf, they’ll thank their lucky stars; as in, they will kneel down at the paw prints of Taylor Swift’s cats on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

With great power comes great responsibility. This we already know. But we cannot ask, as we’ve long expected, for children to maintain sainthood when put under the microscope of our unrelenting media. Animals, however, rise to the occasion. As recently as this weekend, celebripups Toast, Tuna and Finn hosted a pup-up shop to raise awareness for the United States Humane Society. And Lentil, “the cleft palate puppy,” has two missions: “to raise awareness for those with craniofacial differences and to teach all of us to be kind.”

No offense to cinematic babies, but what have you ever done besides cry?

The idea that animals have eclipsed child stars was officially solidified last night during the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. Despite a roomful of big-personality celebrities including host Amy Schumer and the cast of Magic Mike XXL, two cats stole the show. Telling of MTV’s (lack of) influence on the current generation? Perhaps. Or, it’s proof that America has long been championing for the return of real heroes such as Lassie and Mister Ed.

Like the band Horsier sang: Neighmen.

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