Today I was using Microsoft Publisher 2010, part of the Office software suite, to make a flyer for my place of work. I was looking through the standard, included templates, trying to find a template with tear-off strips for phone numbers at the bottom. Among the three or four templates with that design I noticed one with a little dog icon and a suggested sample caption of “FREE Puppies or Kittens”.
The template can be found under “templates/flyers/all marketing” if you’re interested in seeing it yourself. I can’t find a link to it on Microsoft’s site, but here’s an excerpt from a Publisher “how to” book, telling you how to use an extremely similar template (“Free Kittens!”) in Publisher 2007.
The dangers of “Free to Good Home” ads aside…this is just a scary little picture of how pervasive the idea of “animal as object” is in our society. It’s so thoroughly ingrained that someone thinking I need to make a sample flyer with tear-off strips immediately came up with “giving away unwanted animals” as a subject for their sample flyer.