I laugh every time I look at the butt hurts cartoon. It’s funny for a few reasons. First, the idea of two dismembered chocolate bunnies speaking to one another is, in itself, darkly silly. What makes it even funnier, of course, is that neither bunny seems to know what’s causing its distress.

The image also dredges up a certain buried shame we have about our own animal nature and about our vast capacity to inflict suffering on those who are vulnerable. As hilarious as the visual is, we know that it was a member of our pack who ate these unsuspecting wabbits shortly before they became cartoon characters, so snickering at the wolves who live within us helps to take the bite out of this reality.

There’s something else about our nature that’s reflected in the cartoon: As much as we might wish to deny it, human beings, like all other creatures looking for their next meal, are inherently self-centered. The rabbit on the left absently tells the one on the right that it’s got a pain in its rear, and there doesn’t appear to be any awareness that the latter has an affliction of its own.

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