Wednesday 11 August 2021

Kitten head shape candy incites violence against cats

NEWS AND COMMENT: Jamie Laing is an English actor and television personality and also the founder of a confectionery business called Candy Kittens. Candy Kittens makes candy (sweets in the UK) in the shape of a kitten's head. They are dusted with sugar and as you can see from the photograph, they feature noticeable cat ears and the rest is just a round shape. It's a really good name, I think, and no doubt it is a successful company.

Candy Kittens
Candy Kittens. Image: online shop.

In what some believe is a fake tweet on Twitter, somebody criticised Jamie Laing's business for inciting violence against cats on the basis that you put the candy in your mouth and chew it. And therefore, symbolically you are eating a cat. This is not a good message to send out to others in an age when animal welfare is rising up the agenda (hopefully).

Candy Kittens - the criticism
Candy Kittens - the criticism. Image: Twitter screenshot.

The person who tweeted the post asked why people were legitimising violence against cats. They stated that the confectionery company encouraged violence towards cats. Of course, Jamie Laing found it unbelievable which probably led to the suggestion that it's a fake or computer-generated tweet.

The critic suggested that they could be called "fruity discs" i.e. no suggestion of an animal, a neutral object. One of Jamie's friends by the look of it, and an actor called Max George (The Wanted) said: "They're FIT. And I don't like cats."

I don't think that comment is helpful because it seems to suggest he does not care if the sweets encourage violence against cats. Thank you, Max, but it is not a good comment. It was suggested that when kids eat them, they might think that there are eating a cat thereby "degrading cats' right to exist. It's borderline animal cruelty. Ban."

Jamie Laing
Jamie Laing. Image: Rex.

Comment: what do you think? Certainly, Jamie Laing deliberately chose a kitten's head because cats are popular so he wanted to combine a popular companion animal with something that was sweet and tasty. A successful combination. He could have chosen anything other than an animal. Although Percy Pigs are pretty well the same thing but nobody has criticised that item of candy of encouraging violence against pigs. Or Jelly Babies.

This may be because cats and kittens are more closely associated with people as companion animals to be loved and cherished, whereas pigs are livestock normal.

When I think about the criticism, I have to admit that I do see the argument and I might have a slight resistance, at least, to eating Candy Kittens. If Jamie Laing had chosen a different name, it probably wouldn't have been successful. Clearly, the name was chosen specifically to include the word "kittens". In fact, the entire name has been very carefully constructed and I don't think this business would be successful without that name.

The co-founder has slammed Felicity the person who criticised the business. It's a pushback which is bound to happen. Perhaps we have to look at the wider picture, open the mind to the possibility that this is something which undermines animal welfare. It might do. We don't really know but there is at least a justifiable argument there.

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