The latest economic figures released by The Park’s Finance Office indicate that Animals whose coats are striped or spotted have a tougher time securing full-time employment than those with coats of solid or mixed colours.
The 2011 statistics, known colloquially as the “Employment and Enjoyment Stats” were compiled for Finance Office use by The Park’s Departments of Statistics and Records, Well-Being and Safety, and Employment and Economic Opportunity. Their release today caused an uproar among Animals of every stripe.
“This paints a very bleak picture of Park life and attitudes” said Aiofe Badger, current President of Sisters and Brothers of the Narrow Band and a vocal advocate of equal rights in The Park. “This is not the kind of [economic] result that Jor would have been proud of.”
Keeva Moffatt, President of The Park’s Spotted Skunk Sedan Patrol, said the figures came as no surprise to her. “Some of our members have a terrible time finding work and they all know why, even though they can’t prove it,” she said.
Dominick Skiro, of The Park Alliance of Chipmunks, called the statistics “a crushing disappointment” and “something that challenges our belief in The Park’s system.”
At The Tabby Club, though, (the pub established by Jor, The Park’s first leader and the founder of modern zoocracy), there was much frustration but little surprise among the clientele.
“I think Jor had the right idea…the right vision, being a Tabby, himself,” said Donal Ronnach. “But it’s obviously still just an ideal. It’s hard to overcome old prejudices.”
Prejudice against stripes and spots dates back thousands of years, says historian, Beatrice Zilonis, currently a professor in the Department of History at the University of West Terrier.
“Not surprisingly, it started with Humans and and the way they treated striped and spotted Animals,” she says. “They were suspicious of them, considered them evil and the bearers of bad luck. That kind of thinking eventually made its way into the minds of Animals and this is the result.”
But, at The Tabby Club, no one cares very much how it all began.
“The most important thing is that it should come to an end,” says Ronnach. “Right now.”