A female passenger on a United flight bought a seat for her peacock, claiming it to be an emotional support animal. She was prevented from boarding the flight, in a nod to common sense and out of respect for other passengers. Thank God.
What I know about peacocks comes from reading Flannery O’Connor, and from the trip I made to her farm outside Milledgeville, Georgia, with my friend Phyllis. Peacocks shriek at random moments, sounding as if a human is being disemboweled — you can hear the shrieks from a long way away. They are nasty, snarky creatures, not a bit friendly. And they poop copious amounts, and all over the place, coating everything within range in a crusty foul smelling layer. Does that sound like an acceptable airline passenger to you?
Without venturing a comment on who would find such a beast emotionally supportive — O’Connor loved her birds but certainly would have never said that — I’m all in with airlines cracking down on people trying to board planes with random animals. I’m not a big animal lover and don’t look to them for support. I understand that for some people, traveling with an animal is crucial. But a peacock, or a diapered duck, or a potbellied pig? Come on folks. Try a stuffed animal, or a little Xanax, or a stiff Scotch. Air travel is stressful enough with a screeching peacock lining up to board right behind you.