Have you considered a pet snail?
➸ for those who think walking a dog is drudgery and keeping a cat is a chore, a smaller, if slimier, companion has slid onto the scene: the humble snail. Over the past few months, it seems that one man’s pest has become another man’s … pet. Mollusks are suddenly everywhere: popping up on the popular Instagram feed @aleia, where a snail named Velveeta can be seen painting at an easel in a studio; helping advertise jewelry designer Sophie Buhai’s spring-summer 2021 collection; and in the homes of people like Yoko Koide, a butcher at Marlow & Daughters, and the artist Chloe Wise.
This snail boom is bizarre but not altogether illogical: Snails don’t ask much of you (care-wise, they’re only one step up from a fiddle-leaf fig), and the fact that they spend their lives curled up in a shell means they’re a living, walking (albeit very slowly) metaphor for these times—one that happens to be incredibly easy to photograph and will look pleasantly weird (which is, incidentally, 2020’s resounding aesthetic) next to your Murano mushroom lamp. It’s taken a characteristically long time for snails to break into the mainstream as pets, but here they are.