For the Love of Pets The Growing Trend to Humanizing Animals

For the Love of Pets

The Growing Trend to Humanizing Animals

ROME, FEB. 14, 2010 ( In the lead-up to this year’s celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, a surprising poll came out that revealed about a fifth of adults would prefer to celebrate the occasion with their pet rather than their partner.
The survey polled 24,000 people in 23 countries, according to a Feb. 8 report by Reuters. It found that age and income were more of a determining factor than gender or nationality. For those aged under 35, around 25% opted for their pet over their partner. This compared to 18% of those aged 35-54 and 14% of people aged 55 or more.
Those choosing pets over people were also more likely to be those who have a lower income compared to those who were middle or higher income earners.
The survey was only the latest news in the growing trend to the humanization of animals. On Jan. 23 the British newspaper the Telegraph reported on the return of the ancient pagan practice of pet owners being buried with their animals.
The newspaper reported that earlier in January planners in Lincolnshire approved the latest in a series of joint animal and human cemeteries.



This brings to mind many of PETA’s absurd campaigns and their tendency to value animal life over human life. Telling little children that their mommies are murderers because they wear fur, for instance. :rolleyes: I don’t wear fur, never have, never will, but come one… Getting to the parents by scaring the living daylights out of a small child? Please.
If you would rather spend a holiday with your pet than with your partner, you seriously need to re-prioritize. And that might just be what the issues in your marriage is.

I think childless women lead the pack in people prone to this. I’ve seen childless couples also humanize their pets. It comes from too much family planning and human loneliness. Normal needs for human intimacy get directed toward pets, bonds are formed in the vacuum created by social isolation and/or childlessness.

I don’t quite make the connection on how pets-over-humans has to do with whom or what you spend the day with. With the ammount of divorced children and family strife…especally in those under 35 is it really no surprize that people don’t want to deal with the drama?

I don’t have a boyfriend, but I do have days when I’d rather go hiking or cuddle with my dog than go out with friends. Today’s society pressures us far to much into obsessive relationships.

People who are too into their pets weird me out… that or I just try to ignore that aspect of them and like them for who they are (which usually happens since I try to get along with people). In any case I don’t like it, I think it shows either a certain lack of maturity or a severely misplaced affection. Before I had my son, I was crazy about our dog, then I had a real child, and realized that the dog was just a dog. I still play with the dog and try to treat it right, but it’s an it, not a he- a dog.

I guess some people’s pets are like dollies or teddy bears for adults. They project a reality that is not there onto them.

I’m a single woman with two cats. I always joke that I’m going to end up a crazy cat lady. I don’t think there is anything wrong with spoiling my cats, since no one is really affected by it. To be honest, if it wasn’t being spent on the cats, it would be spent on me. :stuck_out_tongue:
I would still want to spend St. Valentine’s Day with a hot blooded man. I would much rather share my bed with a man than with a cat. But until I get married, I guess I will cuddle with two hungry cats.

I’ve also seen it used as a coping mechanism for “empty nest syndrome” but I don’t know if this is typical. The worst is when the owners of the pet start referring to themselves as something like “momma” or “daddy” when talking to the pet! :eek:

Yes, I know a couple who experienced empty nest and used their affection toward their pets to get through it. And I know another couple that weren’t able to have children and seemed to think of their dogs as a kind of substitute. I don’t think there’s a problem with this. God gave us animals to be our companions and if they can relieve lonliness for some people, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Aren’t there studies that say that having a pet can lower a person’s blood pressure? And how about the programs where dogs are taken into nursing homes so the people there can see and pet them? These are good things.
The problem I see is that pets have short life spans. The childless couple I knew were absolutely devastated when their dogs died.

Well, in the case of a childless couple, adoption is an alternative. My biggest problem about excess pet love is when it turns into self-deception. It’s okay for little girls to have dollies and boys to have teddy bears, but when they turn into adults, that kind of thing has got to stop.

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would be worried about the amount of pit bulls that seem to be coming into the world. :smiley:

Seriously, dogs and cats are not human, and they don’t have the same emotions, senses nor thought process of humans. People who ascribe human characteristics to their pets are way off base. Dogs think they smell better after a roll in some manure, not after they are given a bubble bath. Cats are stalkers of prey - they enjoy tormenting mice and birds.

Also, there’s way to much money spent on pets these days. Toys, food, beds expensive medical procedures, cemetaries and even lawsuits. It’s perfectly ridiculous.

I think dogs and cats are interesting and I can see how people get misplaced affection for them, since dogs are very fawning to their owners and cats are soft to stroke and entertaining to watch.

But definitely, this humanization of pets and the money spent on them is very wrong.

I love my dogs and do my best to take care of them. But I agree with you that people spend a lot of money on their pets. As I said on another thread, I know of a shop in my town that sells little t-shirts, dresses, fancy collars and paw-printed picture frames for dogs and all these things are expensive. Who would buy these? My dogs are happy with basic things: plastic food bowls, plain collars (they’d be happier with no collars!), and a dirty tennis ball to chase and run around with. These are some of the things I love about them. They’re happy with very little. Food to eat (very important!), a warm place to sleep, and some love. This is a great way to live and is something to keep in mind.

*I don’t agree with elevating pets on the same ‘‘level’’ as humans…but my kitties think they are humans, and we let them think this way. :smiley:

We have a bakery that just opened up by us called Wuffgang’s Bakery. hee hee ;)*

Sorry I quoted you, but this is a general reply to most of the people who have posted here. To be honest, Im a bit shocked at the uproar. Valentines day is an over-commercialised event, hardly a day of obligation. So it really is not anyone’s decision to make for someone else how they spend that day. Even on Good Friday and Easter, we are obligated to go to church and behave appropraitely, but the church has never dictated who or what we spend the rest of our days with.
NOw im not some crazy lady who talks to her pets. But I have never spent Valentines with a significant other, not due to lack of one but simply because I hate the idea of it and expectations that couples are expected to adhere to. I dont refer myself as ‘‘mummy’’ to my pets but only because I have no maternal instincts whatsoever and honestly just love them and want to take care of them as I enjoy being around animals. However I think it is very unfair and uncharitable to write off people who do this as crazy. Not only childless couples do it, mothers and fathers who love their pets as well. It is not necessary, as the animal does not know the difference, but to each their own.
I understand there are extremes out there, but dont paint everyone with the same brush. If one earns their own money it is up to them how they spend it, as long as they fulfil all thier duties first, as im sure many do.
I prefer the company of my pets to those of certain people, and I more than enough fulfil whatever obligations I have to them. No one feels left out or ‘‘hurt’’ by my actions-I would’'nt let them.

God bless

I have nothing against people having pets, I just think the pet industry is getting out of control. As someone mentioned above, animals are just fine with the simple things, they don’t need fancy food, bedding and clothes!!

Also dogs and cats live very short lives compared with humans, so it is silly to give them intricate medical procedures that a lot of humans can’t even afford to get.

I guess my pet peeve is that they are gradually gaining human status in our society, and that it just plain wrong. People need to care about other humans more than they care about pets. Pets don’t understand about sin, liberty, justice, agape, etc. They are animals!!!

Very well said Jane. As you said to each his own. It is ridiculous telling people how and to whom they should show their love and affection.

I actually agree with almost everything in your post. Pet owners who spend on unnecessary things give the rest of us a bad name unfortunately. However, it is still relatively harmless. It is pointless and counterproductive to fret over how much money/time/love people shower on their pets when there are other issues to be concerned about in the world. I have not heard as much concern over young girls exploited in the fashion industry, for example. This is an issue close to my heart. Also I dont understand how people who dress their pets up,(silly as it may be) do not care about humans as much?
I just dont see the link.

God bless

While I agree that people can take this overboard, I think it’s dangerous to generalize. As you can tell from my signature, I “humanize” my pet. I also have a cat. I have great friends and family that add much blessings to my life; however, I am single and live alone and my pets provide some blessings to my personal life. I do not dress them up – I have for a Halloween party :smiley: – but I do talk to them like they were human – again, I’m single and live alone. It provides a release at the end of a hard day of work and it does relieve stress to have some other creature to care for.

So as in all things, people can go way overboard; but please don’t assume that all animal lovers that do things a little different than you think is appropriate are forming relationships in a vaccuum or are socially isolated.

PS - I know she’s wearing a shirt in the picture – that picture was taken when I picked her up at the rescue association where she’d been fostered for a month because the “humans” who had taken her into their home neglected and abused her for four years.

As others have said, some people do seem to get carried away. But animals are also creatures of God and we are to take care of them as well to the extent possible. Even many of the saints did so. If someone does get carried away, it can be because they are lacking something else in their lives - they are lonely and, for whatever reason, their pets can serve as a coping mechanism. Pets are also, often, therapeutic helping both their owners and others. Some are used to help people with severe anxiety disorder thus allowing them to go out and ultimately develop relationships with the outside world.

Personally, I would never have gotten through my parents illnesses and deaths without two horses (owned by someone else) and our own cats. I really see no reason to get irritated over someone pampering their pets and for the life of me can’t figure out why others do. True, there are extremes where both the pets and the owner are actually suffering and all parties need immediate help but those are not the average situations. Also, since we can’t really know the person’s circumstances and what else they do with their money, time, love, etc., it isn’t for us to rail against them that there are poor people in the world who need taking care of. Of course there are, but it may well be that that individual already does significantly more than those who are chastising them. Could they do more? Perhaps but it really is between them and God.

Neither do humans.:slight_smile:

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