“It's a big responsibility”

jny published on
4 min, 795 words

I’m not a good pet owner. I’m not one of those horrible people who keep their dog chained up outside in horrid conditions or try to force their cat to eat vegan, but recently, after spending some time with people who know much more about dogs and cats, I’ve been made aware of how mistaken my view of what a “pet” really is.

It’s human tendency to see things as being like us. We mistake a shadow in our bedroom for a person, we see a face on Mars, and we understand dogs and cats to just be small, stupid, furry people. At the same time, we also tend to see them (and all animals, really) as appliances, as things that we obtained for a purpose. In reality what we have is a life: a complex nervous system with pattern-based learning and reward systems, fully capable of being effected by trauma.

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