Hey loves!! I hope you are having a fabulous Wednesday — I can’t believe we’re halfway through the week already! 🙂
Last night, our little family celebrated our spunky, adorable black lab, Oakley’s, 5th birthday. Actually, we completely made up his birthday being November 1st….he was a rescue pup, so we were never told his real birthday. But everyone’s gotta have a bday cupcake/special day, am I right???
He ate that birthday treat in literally less than 3 seconds. #proud
The same night, I stumbled upon an article that I found to be very disturbing. I typically let things like this slide, and try to forget the negative impact they’ve had on me- life is waaay too short to go around worrying about everything you disagree with in the world. However, since my husband and I had just sung Happy Birthday to Oakley, and watched him gaze up at his birthday treats in sheer joy, I felt like the timing lined up to where I needed to share my thoughts on the subject.
The article I’m speaking of is called “Pets Are Not Your Children, So Stop Calling Them That.” Link to full article here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/10/pets-are-not-children-so-stop-calling-them-that.html?mid=facebook_nymag
The author, who goes by the pseudonym “M.A. Wallace”, spends the bulk of his content bashing anyone who owns a pet and compares the experience to having a child, and furthermore, society for deeming it socially acceptable to forgo typical parenthood and instead opt for pet children. He likens calling yourself a pet parent to being certifiably delusional, and has no qualms about crushing any thoughts of pet parenthood being a credible reality.
We live in a diverse world, and it’s only getting more and more unique. It’s important to stay open to the ideas and opinions of others- so I will say- Wallace, you completely have the right to your opinion. And I completely have the right to disagree.
You say you have owned pets, but you obviously have never connected with an animal past the point of sheer possession. Your pets have been animals, a “rite of passage” purchase after you got married and had children, and felt it was the logical next step. Nothing is wrong with having children, and nothing is more accurate than saying kids are a handful. You are completely right, and I would never argue those facts. But, can you please just let dog parents be? What harm is it causing you that I’m throwing my 5 year old dog a birthday party??
Times are crazy- social media is getting to the point of complete and utter chaos. People feel the need to broadcast their political, religious, and other views, and to demolish anyone with opinions that even slightly differ from their own. This article is no exception. We already have a world full of entitlement, hatred, and arguments- can we just leave pets out of it?
Here’s a passage from Wallace’s article that particularly irked me:
“Are we coming to the point where the fundamental differences between pets and children are no longer understood, or worse, actively denied? Given the attention paid to pets today, I fear active denial is well under way (explore any pet “parent” hashtag to see for yourself). We now prefer the simulation to reality, where having a pet is like playing with a living doll, a chance to enjoy the activity and ritual of parenthood without any of the purpose, consequences, or hard work.” – Wallace, 2016
I implore you, anyone who has ever owned a pet- would you say that raising your pet required no purpose, consequences, or hard work? I myself can attest to countless sleepless nights, waking up every three hours to take Daisy outside, just to make sure she wouldn’t have an accident inside. Countless afternoons after work, where all I wanted to do was crawl into bed with a book, but was greeted at the door by Oakley, with his leash in his mouth, ready for a long walk. Raising a pet is a huge responsibility- one that should not be taken lightly, or mocked by someone because they believe raising children to be a more tasking feat. I’m incredibly proud of the countless hours I put into raising Daisy to be an obedient, calm, friendly dog. Much like a parent would be proud of their child earning an A on a test, I was proud when Daisy graduated from training school (thanks, Tori Roser!).
I will admit, I have never raised a child (and we don’t plan to for a loooong while, I might add), and I would never tell a parent of a child that their job is easy. It’s not. But if my reality is seeing myself as a parent to my dog, because it’s the closest experience I’ve had to parenthood, how dare anyone judge that? Or even more, judge society for loving and cherishing our pets as our children? Again– throwing my dog a birthday party reeeeally doesn’t harm anyone.
Furthermore, what about the couples who are unable to conceive a child, and do not have the financial means to adopt? For them- being pet parents might be their reality, and their only opportunity to experience parenthood. Maybe next time M.A. Wallace will think about more members of the population than himself, and his own experience.
Pets fill our lives with joy, give us an opportunity to be responsible and raise them as a part of our family, and provide loving companionship. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m certain that people choose to have kids for these exact reasons.
Ok- rant over. Like I how scattered pictures of my perfect pet children just to get my point across? #tactics.
Fellow pet parents- what do you think about this?? Anything I missed? I’m sure there are many, many more well-versed arguments than the ones I’ve expressed- feel free to comment with any thoughts. ❤
Until next time readers!! I have a feeling I’ll be posting a DIY sushi recipe in the next few days…. keep an eye out. 🙂