Monday, November 18, 2013

No, these are not my "Furkids"

redjar / / CC BY-SA
Okay, let me start by saying that people should define their relationship to their pets however best pleases them.  Parents of fur-babies.  Sure, why not?  Knock yourself out.

But can I please have the same respect in return?

I own dogs.  They are full adult canines, and I assert property ownership rights over them as a conscientious and highly committed head (and only human member of) the household.

They are not my children.  They are not even like children to me. They are like dogs. This is because they are dogs.

I am becoming a little frustrated that all pet owners are increasingly shoveled into a category of "pet parents"--complete with mountains of anthropomorphism and infantalizing baggage.  And when I protest this I get treated like the devil-spawn reincarnation of Descartes.

Yes, dogs have feelings, thoughts, expectations and personalities.  But they are the feelings, thoughts, expectations and personalities of a non-human (albeit domesticated) dogs.  And I choose to respect that by speaking of them at all times as dogs, not proxies for juvenile humans--not even metaphorically.


1 comment:

  1. I think the "pet parent" trend was probably created by smart marketers. After all, spending hundreds of dollars on behalf of a "dog" or "cat" on a special occasion might feel ridiculous, but if a marketer convinces you that you are buying all those expensive accessories for your (fur) kid, then that might cause the kind of shift in your thinking that makes you more willing to spend.