Friday, June 01, 2007

A new way to see pets?

I was all set to do a post about the amount of money spent on our animals in America, which even I think sometimes go to an excess, not on the money spent, but on the things we may buy for them. I was ready to say that cat spas are silly, that painting your dogs toe nails the same color that you favor is a bit much and that all the money spent on clothes and costumes for your furry friend could probably be put to better use someplace else.

Then, I did a search and the first article that Google presented was an opinion piece by Gary Bauer. Oh, that was a mistake on my part. Not double checking that it was the Christian Science Monitor, also a foe pa. But, its too late now and I am up in a lather.

Basically, at least in my view, he is tying the fact that we spend money on our animals to the fact that less people are having children in the United States.

Census data reveal that the proportion of childless women 15 to 44 years old reached an all-time high of 45 percent in 2004. Moreover, he National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of women who choose to be "child-free" has swelled 160 percent in a generation.

Both singles and couples without children are more likely to own pets and are significantly more likely to develop strong, even parental bonds with them. In San Francisco, pet owners – "pet guardians" according to city ordinance – outnumber children nearly 2 to 1.

Standard reasons for choosing pets over people include the rising costs of raising children, and careers and social standing taking precedence over family life
. From the Christian Science Monitor.

Now, tell me, what in the world does the fact that we have two cats have to do with the fact that I don't have children? Nothing. Pets and Children are not a mutual decision. We don't sit down and say "oh we have Lola and Bettina, so we can't have kids". No, right now we don't have kids because I personally am not ready to be a father and we are still not sure how healthy it would be for Mrs Duck to have kids. Mutually exclusive decisions!

Plus, the information he points to is very flawed, especially the 160% number talking about generational choices for children. He forgets the fact that people have different lives now, the woman in the family works and is sometimes the bread winner. We are not the baby boomer generation, thank the goddess, because I do not think that our economy would be able to handle it. So, good ol Gary thinks that the woman better be home barefoot and pregnant? Nothing wrong with that idea, if it is your choice, not what you think society wishes for you as a woman, or a man for that matter.

So, Gare, I am not going to be buying mini Eagles Jerseys for the girls. They will not be eating caviar anytime soon. But, I am insulted by the insinuation that the money that we spent when Kittie broke her leg and had to have it amputated was a waste of money. She had been my girl for 14 years and that last year and a half I got to have her around was worth more then ten times the money I spent. And, I would do it all over again if I could.

So, no Christian Science Monitor subscription for Christmas please.


EC said...

Huh - I guess I see what he was saying, but I'm almost positive that people aren't taking in pets to avoid having babies, lol.

I agree people do have tons of reasons for not having children - 40 years ago, even 30 years ago, it was expect, and almost looked upon badly if women didn't have children... now we just have options that aren't frowned upon.

People with children also have pets and spend lavish amounts of money on them as well!! In fact Miss Prissy - one of my readers and totally cool person - right now is picking out clothes for the new puppy she is buying, lol. AND - go figure - she has kids!!!

Ugh, I don't like the Christain Science Monitor... It is Christain for me :)

Tilly Greene said...

Hmmm, I have no kids and no pet's [although my kitty lived 25 years and yes I'd call from abroad and talk to her through the answering machine, so what?!?] and my sister has a pug [psycho with special outfits for her walkies] and four kids [ummm, as an auntie I'll say nothing to incriminate them], I think his theory is piddle!

And what does he say about people who adopt? Or didn't they factor into the equation?

Ooo, Sparky, this made me angry - no Christian Monitor for me either!

This Girl I Used to Know said...

On the other hand... when I hear people talk about all the crap that they go through with their kids, I sure am glad I have a dog!

Not a clothes-wearing dog, though. She'd never put up with that crap.

I do buy her healthy choice lunch meat as treats, though, because the vet says she needs a lower-sodium diet. So maybe a little crazy.

Hmmmm... I let my nieces and nephews eat any old crap, though - Sodium be damned - so maybe I'm actually a better dog mom that I would ever be a kid-mom.

Lady Jane Scarlett said...

What?? No CSJ?? Damm. Looks like I'll have to go Phase 2 of the Duck's Christmas presents-The Ann Coulter anthology.
Adam's apple not included.

Faux Pas.