David Sedaris
Contributed by Larisa Brooke

In Untamed, Sedaris gives an account of both domestic pets and wild animals as well as the extent to which they can be tamed. The author discloses that he does not love cats and this is the basis for why he argues with his cat-loving boyfriend, Hugh. His hatred for cats is derived from experiences he witnesses of his sister who owns a cat. He says that cats have a habit of mauling poor animals in the house which he finds savage. His sister has to keep changing her doormat due to the cat’s mischief in bringing dead animals and eating them on the mat.

Sedaris argues that it is quite hard to tame animals, even those considered domesticated. As an example, his sister's cat eating birds on the couches oblivious to the fact that they are domestic animals. Sedaris also finds that people who try to convert their dogs into vegans are cruel since it is in dog’s nature to be carnivorous. The author advocates for people to feed domesticated animals as much as they can since these poor animals have nothing to do but eat.

Sedaris describes his encounter with a fox that appears at his home. He names the fox Carol. He likes feeding her with leftover meat. Hugh is against Sedaris feeding Carol stating that he should give Carol vegan food. The author, on the other hand, argues that Carol enjoys finding the food and being fed like a wild animal. The point Sedaris drives home is that despite Carol being fed continuously by Sedaris, she is still a wild animal and nothing can make Carol lose her natural survival instincts.


Untamed is about letting animals be exactlywhat they are, animals. According to Sedaris, taking an animal, for instance, a cat, and making it live in the comfort of a home does not remove the nature of the cat behaving like a cat. He feels that it is absurd for people to convert domestic animals to vegans or to control animals’ diets. The author argues that even though people profess their undying love for animals, the animals feel like its incoherent noise to them. Human’s love for animals should be conveyed by letting the animals behave according to their nature.

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