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Why Animals are more than “just” Animals

First and foremost, we are all animals, as much as we humans like to think we’re above evolution. Just because we have opposable thumbs and can build what our minds create doesn’t mean we’re smarter than any other animal. So why bring this up, why is this a big issue? Well, this last year my dog of 15 years (since 1st grade through Junior year of college) passed away and that got me thinking. “Why am I so upset, he was simply a pet, one that I can replace”. And then I realized, one of the most meaningful relationships in my life was not with people but rather my dog. So why then, when I talk about him, I refer more often than not that my dog was an “it”, a “thing”. I sometimes call babies an “it” but I never call an adult an “it” because it’s condescending and makes a person equal to an object (objects are “its”, not people). So why then, is a relationship with a pet any different? It’s not.

Yet we as humans, as people, with our infinite knowledge and wisdom refer to our companions, best friends as being lesser than us, which is messed up. We constantly talk down to our dogs, yelling at them when we’re angry, punishing them when they’re bad (instead of rewarding them when they’re good), and treating them as though they don’t have personalities, as if they don’t have brains. If we did this to our kids, we’d be called terrible parents yet it’s perfectly acceptable for owners to treat their dogs this way? Our dogs, that die to protect us, are there when we have no one else to comfort us, and create some of our fondest memories are nothing more valuable than a smartphone, something we can replace? Do we replace people? No, as much as we try. Yes dogs live shorter lives than people and we eventually need to move on, but it makes you wonder why exactly you’re getting a new dog. Honestly there is nothing more beautiful than a man or woman who has synergy with his or her dog as I feel there is a deep connection that is just as intimate as a relationship with a person. Thanks for reading!

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