Just Thinking

Are We Replacing People For Our Pets?


There is this new commercial or various commercials from Petco that has gotten my attention. In these commercials people go in to talk to workers at Petco about what they need for their pets. That seems normal right? But what got my attention is that the people talk about their pets as if they were humans. The first time I watched one I didn’t know that it was a commercial for pets until the end; I thought that the people were talking about a human child trying to decide what they wanted that night for dinner. I find that odd. And it stated making me think about how much people are humanizing their pets. I don’t have pets yet, I hope to in the future but even if I did, actually especially if I did, this would be something that would be of bigger concern to me. Do we humanize our pets? Make them as important or more important than other humans in our lives?

Growing up all my friends have or had pets. I saw the way that they treated them. Obviously with love and care but at some point there has been a change to the way that people treat their pets. Where love and care has taken on a whole new meaning. I’ve always seen people treat their pets as if they were part of the family, but now its hard to find a pet whose owners are not going around calling them children out in public. Introducing their pet as “oh this is my baby” or “have you met my son or daughter yet?” I find nothing wrong with giving your dog or cat or whatever pet your last name but going around saying “this is my child” and treating and speaking of it like a human, there is difference! I have seen people buy strollers for their pets and instead of going for a walk with your dog on a leash they are pushing a stroller as if there were a 6 month old human baby in there. People who won’t let their pet walk on the ground because “It’s really dirty and Roxy hates getting dirt on her fur”. What?! They are animals no matter how many Disney movies we watch they don’t care about beauty and looking good or smelling clean like we do. They want to run around and play and get all up in the dirt. And no matter how civilized we try to make them they don’t rationalize in general. Animal yes, have feeling and think, I’m sure of that, but they don’t think about the best way to react to a situation before they do something, they work by instinct if they feel a certain way they just react. And we can’t change that in them. I mean yes some times we might that’s why we train our pets when we get them, but no matter how much training they have when a certain situation is brought up they are going to go back to their instincts and just react.
You know what I think; I think that people are trying to replace other humans with their pets. Because it’s easier to control an animal that you can train to act however you want other than humans who have their own thoughts and ways and it wont always been what you want. My mother works for a lady whose pet is horse, and one day my mother asked “Don’t you ever want kids?” and the lady said to her “No. They are too much work. I’d rather have my horse.” She wakes up at 5am everyday and goes take care of horse, she has for over 10 years. And that’s what I’m talking about, she sees her horse as her child and maybe is replacing it with a real one, because she doesn’t have to bring the horse home, it won’t cry in her ear at night, and when it grows up it won’t give her any trouble like backtalk or hanging out with the wrong people. Another thing that I see that makes me feel this is when I was younger being told you were going to grow up a cat lady was an insult. Now people are going around say things like “I rather be a cat lady than be with other people because at least they are not complicated”. Or seeing this tweet go around that has people cuddled up with their dog and having the tweet say something like “I’d rather this than with anyone else”.
When did we become like this? Rather talk, cuddle, have the company of animals who don’t answer back (at least we can’t understand what they say if they do) so we can’t have real conversations, have love but not the kind we need to share, and that we can to a certain extent control. Like I’ve said I have no pets but I wouldn’t trade my friends, my family, my future husband and children who I can have those things with for animals. Because although treating animals well is important and I agree just like we should not harm people we should not harm defenseless animals but they are animals. And we should not be humanizing them like we have been doing. Our animals should not be taking place of other humans and the relationships we need with those humans in our lives.


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