Infatuation with Animals: An Unhealthy Obsession

I will never forget a conversation I had with a former manager a few years ago.

My son was born, and a few months had passed by; they inquired on how things were going at home.  As a general rule in the corporate world, I usually don’t like to divulge too too much to my peers, and in turn I try not to learn too much about them.

But given how excited I was, I decided to indulge this time.

“I think the best part of this whole experience has been watching him develop his own personality,” I was explaining by their office.

I continued, “I’ll be own my phone on the couch and he’ll just come running over with a toy, knock the phone out my hand and make me play with him.”

My manager replied with, “I know what you mean, I will be on the couch and my dog will want to play as well.”

In my mind I thought to myself. Did she just compare my son to her dog?

Another anecdote, another dog story from her.

I went back to my cubicle, disgusted.  People really think like that? I tried to shake it off, chalk it up as an isolated incident.

But as time passed, seeing politicians wanting to create bills to not put pets in overhead bins, learning people leave their entire inheritance to animals, and even reading people risk their lives and die to save dogs that could already swim.   

I came to a startling realization: There is a sector of people whose love for animals is greater than the love of their fellow man.

You cannot even mention Michael Vick’s name in the wrong crowd these days without being met with aggression and angry stares.

I started to make this a very scientific-based blog, to see if anyone else had dedicated time and research to this topic.

I searched on Google Scholar at first but manly received works from anthropologists and biologist studying the beginnings of the domestication of animals, with little to pick from examining modern views on animals.

I wanted to know the why animal cruelty laws were already in place while black people were still viewed as three-fifths of a person? Why people insist on calling themselves dog-moms and dog-dads? Why in particular studies, certain people would be more likely to save a dog instead of a human being from being hit by bus?

But hey, lets not pretend like even if I had the facts to prove this to be true, that I would be swaying any naysayers.

So instead, lets just make it purely, an opinion piece.

The treatment of animals as “quasi-humans” or “emotional accessories” is to simply to fill a void.

I think that void is created through some sort of traumatic heartbreak, or simply the growing dissonance that is the lack of empathy for the human experience.

We have become numb to caring for one another, and I am guilty of this as well. The exception being that, I seek understanding rather than substitution.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that pet ownership is rising at the same rate marriages are declining. The filling of a void.

I have heard so many times that a “a person can hurt you, but a dog’s love is unconditional.”

“A dog will never let you down.”

Did she just compare my son to her dog?

Maybe? Is that even realistic? Maybe there is something within yourself you need to fix? Maybe seeking unconditional love is the wrong idea entirely?

Maybe. . .these very thoughts are sick.

One last thought, those of you who that have watched The Sopranos know that a source of contention for the main character, Tony Soprano, was how apathetic he could be towards people, but so fond of animals. 

The slightest human inconvenience made him livid.  In therapy, when he could not get his way, rage would ensue. But when the thought of his horse dying, or his geese leaving him came into discussion, he would emotionally fall apart.

So often we say that those with total disregard for animals grow up to be serial killers, however; the show exhibits the possibility that the opposite is a problem as well.

That maybe this sort of behavior, is one of a sociopath.

Weather Your Storm, Maintain Inner Reign -E.

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