It’s always nice when I see werewolves popping up in random places. Take the new commercial warning folks of the dangers of not getting vaccinated against whooping cough, which features an anthropomorphic wolf cradling a vulnerable baby. You would be forgiven if you assumed the commercial was created on behalf of the government, but a speedy Internet search confirmed that it is actually paid for by a private drug corporation. Which is neither here nor there, as I am not here (or there) to argue for or against vaccination for whooping cough. (Generally speaking, I am always in favor of vaccination.) I strictly want to draw attention to the commercial. Because werewolves.
If I wanted to make hay out of the matter, I could argue that the commercials are an example of remnant theriophobia (literally “fear of the beast”) that has plagued wolves for centuries. In reality, wolves are in far greater danger from human beings than human beings ever were from them. Just as with sharks, it is human predation of the animal that is the real issue. But I digress. The commercials were obviously inspired by the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood which, even though a prime example of theriophobia, is an established classic, with the Big Bad Wolf as a psychological archetype cast as metaphor for sexual predation, not disease. But we shouldn’t overthink it. It’s just a commercial.