For your consideration, here is the best thing I’ve seen all day: Eternal Earthbound-Pets is an organization of atheists who will, for $110 ($15 per each additional pet, per household), look after your abandoned pets in the event of the Rapture. Animal-loving, atheist representatives in 20 states will assume responsibility for your animals, provided the Rapture take place within ten years of contract initiation (tagline: ‘The next best thing to pet salvation in a post-Rapture world”).
Genius. Hilarious. Exploitative? Actually rather touching, and possibly boundary-crossing? I’m voting for all of these things. From the FAQs section of the website (which assures us this is a real service):
Q: How do you ensure your representatives won’t be Raptured.
A: Actually, we don’t ensure it, they do. Each of our representatives has stated to us in writing that they are atheists, do not believe in God / Jesus, and that they have blasphemed in accordance with Mark 3:29, negating any chance of salvation.
Q: How can we trust that you’ll honor your service agreement, afterall, you ARE atheists.
A: Being an atheist does not mean we lack morals or ethics. It just means we don’t believe in God or gods. All of our representatives are normal folks who love and live for their family, are gainfully employed, and have friends of varying beliefs. Some of us are married to believers. Many of us volunteer our time at food banks, animal shelters, meals on wheels organizations, etc. We fully endorse the “Rule of Reciprocity”, also known as “The Golden Rule.” We just happen not to believe in God(s).
Q: When the Rapture occurs, how long before my pet is rescued?
A: The timing is contingent on the number of subscribers we have in each state/region and travel distance. Our rescuers know that this is a time sensitive service. Pets’ lives are at stake. We will limit the number of subscribers in each zone so that any given rescuer will not be over burdened. Naturally, we must anticipate that there will be widespread chaos and confusion immediately following the Rapture that could impact travel times. Thus, we are targeting a maximum of between 18- 24 hours from realization of the Rapture, to animal rescue.
The obvious ethical consideration is, as an atheist, is it fair to take advantage of someone else’s belief system in this way? The approach of the website seems fairly respectful, and takes the added step of asking that anyone who might wish to use the service also respect the beliefs of the service providers. While I don’t subscribe to the notion of “the Rapture” personally, I would certainly give props to anyone who wanted to ensure that their pets were cared for in the event of existential emergency.
I’m considering contacting the British contingent, Post-Rapture Pet Care, to do my part (come hell or high water!).