Balthazar: Has He Crossed the Line?
HAUNTED WOODS - Surely, you have heard about the atrocities committed by Balthazar,
the infamous faerie hunter. Not only does he imprison faeries in bottles, he
also eats Petpets, as revealed in the new game, Extreme Herder. I can find his
past time, or job perhaps, catching and bottling faeries acceptable, mostly
because of his disastrous child hood experiences with a particular group of
dark faeries. As described in the Gallery of Evil, Balthazar was abandoned as
a baby in the Haunted Woods, and was then cruelly tormented by some dark faeries.
Finally, he was left to fend for himself. Naturally, I believe you can understand
his attitude towards faeries. It also explains his ruthlessness and roughness.
I would feel that way too if I had been treated that way! However, his predatory
behaviour exhibited in Extreme
Herder is inexcusable. To be precise, he attempts to eat innocent Babaas,
Noils, Angelpusses and Doglefoxes! What did those Petpets ever do to him? I
find this eating of Petpets as repulsive as the members of NOPE find eating
Neopets. Imagine coming home, only to find your one and only beloved Petpet
has been savagely ripped apart by a maniac Lupe! Even worse, you can't even
bury the deceased Petpet, since all of the remains have been eaten! This is
probably how your distressed Neopet will feel after losing their Babaa, Noil,
Angelpuss or Doglefox.
On the other hand, most people eat meat. In a way, humans eating meat is no
different from Balthazar eating Petpets. Then again, the pig that was last night's
dinner probably wasn't somebody's treasured pet. I mean, people in certain parts
of the world eat dogs, but those dogs weren't pets (I hope), were they? Luckily,
there are no Petpet food products that I know of in Neopia, so there's almost
no chance of the owner of the victim Petpet bursting into tears once at the
dinner table. Also, there is another pressing matter. Should Balthazar be treated
as a human eating meat, or an animal merely hunting? This brings to light the
Lupe-Chia debate, but I'll leave that for a different time. If we consider him
to be merely an animal, I suppose he could get away with it morally, but in
my view, Balthazar has shown every sign of sentiency and intelligence, like
all other Neopets, though some would rather consider him as a monster rather
than a Neopet. As horrible as his crimes may be, Balthazar is not a Babaa, Angelpuss,
Doglefox, or Noil himself, so I think cannibalism is would be the wrong term
for his misdeeds.
To get right to the point, I was compelled to interview Balthazar about his
Petpet eating habits. After a surprisingly short search, I, along with Bluefire104
(my Scorchio), found Balthazar beating up a poor Kacheek (who obviously never
had a chance) in the Battledome. As he finished off the Kacheek, I curiously
asked him a few questions.
Bluescorchio104 (Bs104): Why the heck do you eat Petpets? And don't
even dare touch me. My Scorchio is more alert than a burglar alarm, more dangerous
than a herd of rampaging Tonus, and has reflexes sharper than a Golden Butter
Balthazar: As a matter of fact, I wasn't even going to hurt you (looks
warily at Bluefire104). And I eat because I'm hungry.
Bs104: But why do you eat Petpets? Why don't you just eat some Streaky
Bacon or something?
Balthazar: Um, I'll tell you on one condition. Do me favour and don't
tell anyone. And give me two thousand Neopoints.
Bs104: That's two conditions, not one! Can't you count? Oh, fine, I'll
give you your two thousand NP (Grumble grumble, darn con artist, grumble grumble).
Balthazar: That's much better. To tell you the truth, I don't really
eat all those Petpets. I just store most of them in my stomach, I actually regurgitate
and sell them later. Of course, there are those few unfortunate Petpets that
go to my stomach and stay there.
Bs104: You sell them!?!?!?
Balthazar: Well, yeah, lately I've had a hard time finding Dark Faeries,
since Hubrid Nox kicked me out of his estate, and with the declining value of
faeries, I have a hard time making ends meet.
Bs104: What about those few Petpets that you said "Go to your stomach
and stay there"?
Balthazar: Well, sometimes on a bad day, when I've been out all day
hunting faeries, I get a little hungry, and I accidentally-on-purpose forget
to regurgitate some of them.
Bs104: That's sickening!
Balthazar: Well, fine, be that way. If Neopets can eat Sun Dried Techo
Claws, why can't I eat a Blue Noil or two?
Bs104: Well, you've got a point there, I suppose… who do you sell all
those Petpets to anyway?
Balthazar: I really shouldn't be telling you this, but I sell them to
a variety of people, generally anyone I can find. Mostly unscrupulous shopkeepers
and Dr. Sloth
Bs104: Dr. Sloth!? What would Dr. Sloth want with Petpets?
Balthazar: To experiment on? I don't know, he creeps me out. Hey, what's
that shiny badge you're wearing?
Bs104: Oh, this? I received it when I became a Neopian Times reporter.
Balthazar: You're a Neopian Times reporter? Hey, you wouldn't happen
to want to publish all the stuff I told you, would you?
Bs104: Um, certainly not. Oh, look at the time, I've gotta go. Bye!
Balthazar: Why you little!
So you make up your own mind. Sure, Balthazar has to make a living like the
rest of us, but should he be eating Petpets? In many ways, this is a moral issue,
much like the issue of foods that consist of Neopet flesh and the Lupe/Chia
debate. In the act of eating those innocent Petpets, has Balthazar crossed the
* You better appreciate this article, because since my Scorchio, (who is
supposed to be more alert than a burglar alarm, more dangerous than a herd of
rampaging Tonus, and has reflexes sharper than a Golden Butter Knife) happened
to doze off, I was mauled horribly and forced to reside in the Neopian Hospital
for several weeks, eating nothing but Musho Mushy Peas.
** Keep all Noils, Angelpusses, Doglefoxes and Babaas under tight security,
unless you want them to end up as horribly deformed products of Sloth's experiments.