Who do Americans really love? Not each other. Divorce is very much a part of everyone’s lives. The family unit is divided. Children rarely live anywhere near their parents. Nursing homes are full of our parents because no one has the time to care for them. Every one is stressed and lonely and done with relationships. So, who do we really love? Our beloved pets that give us unconditional love and are willing to be separated from us if we have to travel without them with no apparent anxiety. Just happy to see us again.
Animals are not just another possession, they are part of your family even if there is only the dog and you, it is a family. Since the baby boomers are mostly senior citizens and many of their partners have died. A older person finds much needed companionship with their pets. Many feel that they keep them moving. You have to get up out of that chair to walk a dog and many powerful dogs walk their owners. That pull of power from the dog’s leash is just enough to have your feet walk a little faster. After all, there is no one to hold your hand on a long walk.
Pets chase away loneliness whenever it happens. In 1972 Americans owned about 61 Million dogs and cats. By 2010 that number has climbed to about 165 Million. Everyone must have an empty nest to fill. Extreme pet owners are buying large properties and filling the land with farm animals and simply enjoying them for pets. The trillions of on line businesses and many people having the new opportunities to work at home find that pets fill the empty void of not having co-workers. Yes, why work with a pig when I can own a pig.
Those who own large numbers of pets in the double digits find the expense and the hours spent cleaning and caring for them are nothing compared to the happiness and healing power of the innocent creatures. Divorce settlements cost far more money. The animals feed people in a way that human relationships haven’t. People are far too much judgmental. At night many cuddle in bed with their pets. They don’t snore!
Many wives would say, “I’m sleeping with a pig!” well they used to say that about their husbands but now they got rid of the husband and are happier sleeping with a real pet pig! Go Figure! Now in our two legged nation, humans fill stomachs, pets fill our hearts. More than ever, pets have become the companion of choice,
According to a survey, 62% of households are home to at least one pet. That is 73 Million homes. It takes a lot of money to care for them. Last year alone we spent $48 Billion dollars on pet care products. Even after the earthquake in Haiti, the total donated by United States citizens was $1.4 Billion in donations. We love our pets at any cost!
The pet population has grown faster than the human population. Maybe twice as much at the moment. James Surpel is a Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania’s Vet. School. He noticed that, “People are having fewer children and having less substantial friendships. Animals are filling the gaps in relationships.” He notices that a growing body of evidence suggests that love for our pets is much a matter of the head as the heart. Specifically, a neural chemical called oxytocin. He said, “We know when a Mother or Father handles their own infant, there is an increase of oxytocin levels in their blood stream. Oxytocin is associated with a decline in the stress hormones.” Society has become very stressful. “The animal is doing the same thing for us essentially. They give us a rise in oxytocin levels thus relieving us of stress.
It make sense that the burdens of life are eased by pets. More burdens than ever mean more pets than ever. It also explains the behavior of people acting like they are caring for people , not animals. Talking to them, asking them questions, sleeping with them all unnecessary but seemingly essential to some.
This is no surprise considering a recent poll that asked these questions:
Do you consider your pet a member of your family? 89% yes 11% no
Do you think pets share some of their owners’ personality traits? 75% yes 20% no
Well, I might hug my new puppy after I see all my bills but I’m not about to sniff someone’s ass or lick my balls like most pets do. Ugh!