Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover: True or False?
When one creates an account with Neopets, they can either create a Neopet or adopt one from the Pound. The newbie may sway towards creating a Neopet, because they are rewarded with free Neopoints for creating a pet, while adopting one costs Neopoints. This fact can answer this question: Why are there so many Neopets in the Pound? However, recently, I found myself asking another question: How can we get them out?
This question had me thinking, and I decided that I wanted to find a way to get these Neopets out of the Pound, and I wanted to start working on it now. So I did a little bit of thinking; What would make a Neopian interested in adopting one of the Neopets in the Pound? Sadly, many Neopets in the Pound are the ones with terrible names, so nobody wants to adopt them. I realized that beautifully painted pets would be snatched up in a second. Who would want a blue Gelert when they could have a Maraquan Gelert? However, that being said, I knew how many Neopoints it can cost for a paint brush in Neopia. So, my last and only resort was the Secret Laboratory Ray.
The Secret Laboratory Ray, for those who don't know, can be found by obtaining all nine pieces of the Secret Laboratory Map. It seems like an easy task, right? Wrong. The Secret Laboratory Map can be bought at the Trading Post for 800k or more--YIKES! Yes, it is cheaper to buy each piece separately, but it is much more of a tedious job, since the pieces of the map are not numbered (*growls at TNT*).
Once you have obtained all nine pieces, to get access to the Secret Laboratory Ray, you must trade them in for unlimited access to the Secret Laboratory. Yes, this does mean that all nine of yours hard earned map pieces just poof out of existence. However, the Secret Lab access may be worth it, depending on what you want it for. You can zap one of your pets once a day, and it can do a variety of things to your pet.
It can change your pet's gender; your pet can gain or lose levels, defense points, strength points, movement points, or hit points; sometimes, nothing happens at all; or, the most coveted result of all, it can change your pet's color (excluding Usuki, Quiguki, Baby, Pirate, Plushie, or Royal). The Lab Ray also has exclusive colors, where these colors can only be obtained by using the Lab Ray; MSP, Jelly, Marshmallow, Robot, Snot, Sponge, Ice, Coconut, Garlic, Chocolate, Custard, Alien, and Clay.
However, this is where the controversy comes in. I have read and seen many people on Neopets who find the Secret Lab Ray to be a terrible thing. Yes, Neopets makes it perfectly clear that there is risk in zapping your pet, and I have found some risks. Besides for possibly having your beautiful Faerie Kacheek zapped into a Grarrl, the Lab Ray has also depressed some of my pets that I foster (Fostering: to take in a pet, zap them or paint them and make them happy, then find them a good home).
However, despite what people have said about the Lab Ray being terrible and how painting should always be used, I still find the Lab Ray much more convenient, because it can be used more like once unlike a paint brush, and you don't have to pay the outrageous prices for just one paint brush. Also, unlike paint brushes, it can change the pet's stats.
There is yet another controversy that comes with the Lab Ray use and the idea of fostering a pet. These two things, when combined, contradict a common moral that we are taught; Don’t judge a book by its cover. All Neopets should be loved for exactly who they were created to be. However, this happens to not be the case most of the time in Neopia and many worlds. Many Neopians just want certain Neopets because of their color. They don’t want to play with the Neopet and keep it smiling, they just want it for show. That being said, I must congratulate the Neopians who adopt pets and take good care of them, because there are some Neopians like that out there. Kudos to you!
I realized that my idea of loving every Neopet was somehow contradicted by my buying the lab ray and zapping pets into cool colors so they can find good homes. I was doing the opposite of this idea of loving every Neopet for exactly how they were created. However, no world is ever perfect. Neopia is no exception. As nice as the idea of don’t judge a book by its cover is, I’ve also found that books with ratty covers stay on the shelf; this can be shown in the Neopian Pound. Also, not to say that books with ratty covers stay on the shelf should be the new idea taught at all, but I guess it just seems to be true.
This realization made me pretty confused, but I had to sit and think about it; was what I was doing actually very wrong, or was I doing right for these lonely Neopets? I thought and realized that I don’t think I am doing anything wrong. I am simply making a poor, lonely Neopet into the best version of itself, and then finding it a good home via applications. This way, because I advertise a colored pet, many people will jump at the chance and send me applications for the pet I have up for adoption.
I have also found a good way to figure out if the possible new owner is good or not for the pet, and not just a collector: I do a little bit of spying, which is something every fosterer should do. I hold on to the applications for a week or so, and I keep a close watch on the people who sound like they could be good owners. I check for one thing: Are their Neopets happy? If their Neopets aren’t happy, I know it is just a collector trying to snatch up the Neopet I have up for adoption, so it can be a part of their collection.
However, if their Neopets are always happy, then I know that this could potentially be a very good owner, and I can certainly give them the Neopet I have fostered.
So, on that note, you can make your own decision about your opinion on the Lab Ray. Is its use good, or is it bad? That’s your decision. Also, you can make your own decision on your thoughts on if fostering is good or bad too. Some people will say sure, it gets pets out of the Pound and into homes, but it doesn’t get them into good homes many times. However, I must disagree and say that sometimes they can be put into good homes, depending on how you go about finding a new home for the pet.
Many thoughts have been made about the Lab Ray, fostering, etc. I suppose there will never be a happy median; however, I hope that my explanation of the Lab Ray and how it can be used for good has inspired you to either get the Lab Ray, or write an article to be published in the Neopian Times to show your position on this subject as well, whether it be the same as mine or totally different.
Whatever you choose to do, I hope you find a way to help the Neopets of the Neopian Pound, and I hope you find a way to make a difference in their lives.
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The explorers continued their upwards journey, shouldering their backpacks and using pickaxes to steady themselves as they slipped through the powdery snow.