We visited a local pet shelter last weekend and the language used by the employees and volunteers shocked me. No, their language was not foul. Yes, they had personified the animals. They told us to look around and see if there was “somebody we liked.” We were offended by this language at two different shelters.
At the second of these shelters, they gave us a video to view before we should be allowed to adopt. In this video, new pet owners were called pet parents. Well, I have taken note in the last couple of years that folks don’t use the pet/master language as much anymore (if you know me at all, you will know that this only makes me use that language more), but calling pet owners parents is just going too far.
In case anybody (and I mean any person, not any animal) has not gotten the point yet, I shall make it explicit. Mankind was created in the image of God, the balance of the creatures were not, and the distinction is important to how we (mankind) view the world and care for it and its inhabitants. ‘Nuff said.
2 thoughts on “Of Pets and Their Masters”
So as the current Pima County Animal Shelter Supervisor, I have some insight to your problem. It is multi-faceted. First of all, if you get people to rearrange their perspective on how they look at animals, there might possibly be less abusive situations. For instance, if you were to treat them like a member of the family, you are less inclined to beat them, or leave them without water, shelter, etc. Secondly, people who work extensively with animals are constantly shocked by the intelligence and personality shown by animals previously thought to be simply mindless beings.
Of course I don’t agree with indulgence of animals or children for that matter, it has the same effect on both, producing behavior problems all over the place.
That is not to say that they are not subject to our domination, but that studies have shown that they are far more emotional beings than we ever thought over the last 100 years, so maybe the domination aspect should be tempered with understanding. It’s just a more efficient way to deal with them.
On the other hand, you got a dog?
Those are interesting points. I can easily see how issues of abuse would lead to the personfication of animals.
I’m sorry to say that as much as the boys would like a dog, C and I are not yet convinced. We were (are?) considering a cat, but we have been too alergic to all of the good ones (so far).