“You must avoid Sloth, that wicked siren” – Horace
In my life I have seen a lot of animals; it helps growing up near a zoo, being a boy and playing with dirt in the garden and having sisters. Some of these animals are as grumpy as they come, such as a camel or the aforementioned sister; others are stoic and nonchalant, something you could easily level at an ant or a cat. However, nothing beats a happy animal; dog who bound about because “Oh my god! You are home! I thought you’d NEVER come back!”, penguins who waddle, bump into things and flop into water while making happy sounds. These animals are great because the happiness can be infectious, much like the theme to Peter and the Wolf or, again, one of my sister’s many, many diseases.
The happiest animal I’ve ever seen is a sloth. They have a constant smile on their face when awake or asleep and is probably the most relaxed animal you’d ever find barring a dog having a massage in a sauna while reading Which? Lamppost magazine. Or my sister in a mud-bath (OK, I’m going to have to stop these sister jokes).
As happy as they are, sloths are given a bad image, mainly for their name alone. Being named after a deadly sin has got to be hard for an animal and sloths drew the short straw it seems. It does seem unfair that they’re lumped with a sin, while pigs aren’t lumbered with being called ‘gluttonies’ or rabbits being called ‘lusts’. This isn’t to say they actually do move a lot; they don’t at all, but it’s not because they’re lazy, it’s because they really don’t have the muscle capacity to; it’d be like someone criticising a tree for not getting out his way despite being given many warnings.
Sloths, much like American TV networks with sitcoms, love to recycle their crap. Although they only excrete once a week, they put their defecations to good use by burying them into the soil around the tree on which they reside providing their own natural fertilizer for their habitat.
The best thing about sloths though is that they have their own ecosystem. Much like my sist…. I mean, er, Russell Brand, organisms like beetles, algae (which provides camouflage from predators) and other non-parasitic creatures reside in its flowing locks. It’s body is also the home to a certain species of moth (Bradipodicola hahneli, if you’re so intrigued) that lives exclusively on sloths.
So as we can see, sloths are brilliant. However, as we all know, they’re also great online video fodder, so I guess I should placate everyone who came on this page wanting to squee at sloths. Sigh, here you go. Just be grateful he’s not crapping next to your house.