Keep Houston Press Free

The Mammalian Fascism of Peppa Pig

Having a four-year-old I watch a lot of children's programming. In fact, it's the only television I do watch these days outside of Doctor Who, and if you want to call Doctor Who a kids' show I won't argue with you. It's fine though. Not every person has managed to turn arrested development into a paying gig like I have.

So anyway, I was watching Peppa Pg with the Daughter With One F because it happens to be on these days when we're eating dinner. I've seen a dozen episodes, but finally something disturbing became apparent. All the sentient talking animals are mammals, and I think there's something sinister behind it.

Seriously, there are no avian or reptile named characters. There are pigs (obviously), dogs, cats, zebras, cows, sheep, and gazelles, but there are no ducks or lizards or chickens or turtles. What animated show doesn't have a goofy, slow-talking turtle? Why the kind where the populace is secretly ruling the internal world through species-based oppression.

The episode that finally tipped me off was number 27, "Freddy Fox". In it, Freddy demonstrates a keen sense of smell, and tells various children what they smell like. One of them, he says, smells like eggs.

Mammals almost never lay eggs, and since previously he'd mostly remarked on dietary items that means that Freddy is alluding to the fact that eggs are a staple food stuff in the Peppa Pig world.

"What about the platypus?" asked my wife.

"Do YOU see any platypi on this show!" I retorted. If they do exist, they are probably treated like the half-savage freaks.

In the exact same four-block of episodes that was running there's another short, "Doctor Hamster's Tortiouse". Doctor Hamster is the local veterinarian, and she brings a selection of animals to Peppa's school. These include a turtle, a lizard, and a parakeet. Two reptiles and a bird, no mammals of any kind. These animals, in contrast to the sentient ones, are all diminutive and simple.

Because they are slaves and food.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I do not know what led to the world of Peppa Pig, but I do know that it freaks me out. The technology is a weird hodge podge of the last 40 years of human accomplishment where the archaic stands alongside the modern. Then there's the curious fact that most of the main characters are domesticated animals. Madame Gazelle and Freddy Fox are rare exceptions, but most of the cast is made up of species that we ourselves have kept in cages or otherwise held under control.

All I can come up with is that at some point everything went completely Animal Farm leaving humanity dead (There are no apes or monkey in the show either as far as I can tell) and the mammals of agriculture in total control of an abandoned world. Rather than build a utopia for animal kind, they immediately aped their predecessors and claimed other animal families as their dominion. The bright, lighthearted world that Peppa shows us is only the Big Brother marketing campaign in a animated, world-wide Island of Dr. Moreau.

I may be wrong, of course, but I'm watching the cats a lot more closely now.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.