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Lessons from Rodents (Famous Ones, but Still Rodents)

May 2, 2022 | Articles

Author: Nicole Olynk Widmar, Associate Head and Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics

Children clutch stuffed renditions of Mickey and Minnie before they can say “mouse”, and we all fell in love with Stuart Little at first read. Then, you grow up and try to glue that mouse in your house to sticky paper. We’ve come to accept these dichotomies, as we already previously established that we’re all hypocrites.

What makes Mickey Mouse not just palatable, but downright huggable and epically famous? Well, for starters, he’s all of the good parts of a mouse and none of the bad. He’s furry (good), he’s got adorable whiskers (good), he’s generally cuddly (good) and he’s as smiley as a mouse can smile (good). Rodent features that are less attractive might include rodent teeth and rodent paws. Mickey has neither. He’s curiously lacking prominent rodent teeth (I have no explanation, so we’ll accept that at face value), but hugs from Mickey Mouse are the things of childhood dreams. Being hugged by rodent paws with the little scratchy nails (those same little nails you hear scratching in your walls) is not attractive. Hence, the big white gloves. Mickey Mouse is ALWAYS wearing his gloves.

We’ve previously outlined (with photographic evidence) why Mickey keeps the gloves on and whether we in agriculture need to consider when and where we take the gloves off. We recently refined these thoughts on wearing (or not wearing?) our gloves and what it means for agriculture in the March/April edition of Agri Marketing Magazine