I hereby decree…
Your pets are not your children!
And as such, you are not your pets’ parent.
Now I’ll admit I’ve never liked the term “owner” for the person in that position, since the idea of ownership of an animal just sounds icky. I don’t care for “master” either. I like to just refer to the human as the, well, human. But referring to these people as the pets’ parents or guardians is just way too far in the other direction.
You know whose parents you actually are? Your children! Your human children, born out of a human woman’s womb, whether yours or your partner’s or someone else’s. The dog? Not your child.
I have nothing against elevating the status of one’s pets to “member of the family” consideration. But they are still their own category. The actual children are the HUMAN family, moreso than the pets. Equating the kids to the dog just dehumanizes the kids. And it outrageously ignores the VERY different needs that actual human children and the dogs or cats you call “children” have.
I mean, aren’t there enough people out there who have children with this idea of having a permanent baby or toddler? Completely forgetting they are bringing forth a person with their own mind? Treating their children like their sole purpose in life is to obey their parents and live as their parents dictate and to their parents’ pleasure?
You see, those are the reasons one should get a dog or cat! Dogs and cats aren’t going to grow up to be members of your own society. They’ll go their whole lives wanting your affection and, while not necessarily obeying you, being around when you want them. You don’t have to worry about differences of opinion since they don’t (usually) tend to have that many.
Granted, the idea of seeing pets as children is out of affection, yes. Not intending to make any statement either way about the status of the actual children. But if the pets are being elevated to the status of children, where does that leave the actual children?
Or is it the idea that the pets, like the children, are those within your home that you are obligated to serve? Yeah… I don’t think I need to get into everything that’s wrong there!