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Humanization of Animals - Animalization of Humans

Xenophon's picture


The "humanisation" of pets is a continuing trend, whereby pets (particularly dogs and cats) are increasingly cared for according to human patterns, and human aesthetic standards are applied to pets. Pets are increasingly regarded as family members, and are often considered as equivalent to children in the level of attention and care they gain from pet owners.

This has led to a heightened awareness of the special health needs associated with pets at different developmental stages, and an increased tendency to pamper pets with toys and treats that are not really needed from a care or nutritional standpoint.Full

So this whole thing has me thinking. The humanization of pets, Jesus! Humanization, is like the Old Jedi Mind Trick. People go bonkers. If I hear another person speak of their pet as if the animal were an actual child, or worse yet, as if they, themselves, are a parent, I’ll scream. The United States produces three thousand calories/person/day for every man woman and child in the country. So what do we do with all that excess food? Do we feed the hungry? NO! we ramp up the pet industry.

Pet devotees across the globe, from the United States, Britain and France to Japan, South Korea and Singapore, are flocking to buy products and services that enhance the well-being of their pets. Businesses, meanwhile, facing slimmer margins on their human-oriented products, are seeking to capitalize on the craze by serving pet keepers and the increasingly sophisticated needs of their beloved companions. The statistics are riveting. In the United States, where the pet industry was worth $32.4 billion in 2003, there are more pets than human beings. The market that combines the sale of live animals, pet care and supplies and veterinary services grew to its current size from about half that level 10 years ago, and it serves about 378 million pets, most of them cats and dogs, compared with 290 million humans. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, which compiled the statistics, American pet owners are poised to spend $34.3 billion this year.


It’s a little scary. I think the lines are getting a little blurry. I think we’ve spent too much time in cubicles and SUVs and have forgotten how to do the human companionship thing. I think Americans are becoming increasingly neurotic, delusional, and sociopathic. Guess what? Dogs are not people. You just think they are because it’s good for industry.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

i mean Vick, (whatever his name is) not Vicks.... Vicks is a greasy smelly petroleum like product you slather all over your kitty or doggie when they have a cold. A totally different neurotic scam.


chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

but i swear, again, i didn't mean to steal any of his fictional characters. i don't read your stuff often enough for it to be that familiar to me, dude.

but anyway- no one is denying that being cruel to animals is wrong. forcing them to fight is one of the cruelest things you can do to them. as a pet owner my whole life, of dogs, cats, horses, etc., i can say that it sickens me whenever i come across yet another story of how people abuse animals because animals are the easiest to abuse. i don't want to drone on about how much i love animals, but really- i am very soft when it comes to strays, and very hard when i encounter people who abuse them.

all that said, the point here isn't Vick's dogs, the point is 'why are we talking about it in the first place?' if you want to spend some time doing Highbrow Thinkin' you can also see all of the ways in which, as Xeno points out, some people are being reduced to animals, by our media, by our consumerist culture, in other ways. it's sad, ironic, something, that there are millions of hungry kids in this country, and at the same time, plenty of fat dogs who die an early death because their owners feed them mcdonald's leftovers. it's more than annoying that people will get Sofa King Angry about Vick's dogs, but can't be bothered to take action to stop a war that kills thousands, or save the Constitution.

the Vick media swarm is a distraction. i promise you that there are thousands of animal abusers out there, some even as rich and pretty, but if word of their abusive habits comes out during a poor time in the media cycle, these same "outraged" animal lovers babbling about vick now will be nowhere you can find.

Submitted by lambert on

CD, I don't think you've seem farmer when he's pissed. And I don't think you want to. And this catty little remark:

i don’t read your stuff often enough for it to be that familiar to me, dude.

Is not going to help. Do some research, yo.

UPDATE I missed the "Kitty the Deer" concept. I don't think, though, that "Pete the Deer" and "Kitty and Roberts" have a great deal in common--except the quality of imagination that both writers share.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by lambert on

I think that would be excellent, and I wish it were tried more often.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.