Who’s better? Animals or people?

If I see one more person post on Facebook that dogs (or animals in general) are “better than people” I just might . . . OK, I won’t go there.

I don’t know what it is or when it started, but I’ve been on the planet for a long time and I don’t remember all this animal worship going on when I was younger. People had pets, sure, and they loved their pets, but I never heard anyone say they were better than people. And the pet owners who dressed up their dogs or cats or had them buried in pet cemeteries were considered, well, just weird.

Don’t get me wrong—I look at cute kitty and puppy photos online just like everybody else. But I don’t worship animals any more than I worship people. Worshiping is for God, a greater power, the Eternal, or whatever you might want to call the creator of the universe.pet_collage

I admit that I’m not a pet person. I’ve had pets in the past—quite a few, in fact. But I was never really a pet person. When I was a kid, it was my mother’s idea to get a dog. He turned out to be totally neurotic and his favorite pastime was killing our cats (we had a bunch of cats). I’m not saying all dogs are as weird as he was, but for me, who didn’t really want a dog in the first place, he was pretty strange.

Later on, after I had kids, they wanted a cat, so we got one. The cat would run up on the roof and meow until we had to call the fire department. Then we got birds. I actually liked the birds, even though one of them shredded my paycheck to make a nest.

To me there’s a big difference between an animal and a person. I’ve seen people on Facebook attributing all kinds of human qualities to animals. For instance, they think that their dogs smile. Dogs don’t smile—they just look like they’re smiling.

I live alone, and several friends have suggested that I get a dog or a cat. My reply is: been there, done that. Having a pet is like having a kid (done that, too)—it’s a huge responsibility, and one that I simply don’t want to take on at this point in my life. Why is that so hard for some people to understand?

Anyway, I’m convinced that something has changed over the years. People really didn’t worship their pets or think they were better than people when I was growing up, unless I missed something. And I have to admit that I cringe when I see photos of very small babies snuggling up with dogs. Fine, as long as you’re there with the camera, watching. But there have been too many cases of dogs just flipping out and attacking children for me to feel comfortable with that. And it’s not always the owner’s fault—we’re talking about animals, here, folks. They’re animals, and they have animal instincts. These may not become apparent at all with certain pets, who have gentle personalities. On the other hand, I’ve read about cases where the owner swore that the dog was sweet and harmless, but suddenly attacked someone out of the blue.

I’m just talking common sense here, but I think when it comes to pets, some people are losing their common sense and refuse to believe that their cat or dog is anything but perfect. What I find completely ironic is that a lot of these same people don’t give a second thought to sitting down to a steak dinner. I’m not judging them for eating meat, because I’m a failed vegan myself, but it somehow just doesn’t add up. Love your pets, but please don’t think they’re better than people—they’re not. And if you think they are, maybe you’ve been hanging out with the wrong people!

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6 Comments

Filed under animals and pets

6 responses to “Who’s better? Animals or people?

  1. melissa nacinovich

    I don’t know… Maybe it’s the unconditional love pets offer. The relaxing, calming effect they have on people because they don’t play games or have ulterior motives for loving you. Those are my reasons for having a dog as my best friend anyway. He listens when i cry or complain and I know he’s not going to tweet about it the second I walk away. There is comfort in that level of acceptance that I have a hard time finding in people. Don’t get me wrong, i know not all people are bad and I know quite a few good ones but the dog knows all my secrets and he’s not sharing them. lol

  2. Oh dear!! The love and innocence of dog, cats, horses, etc. are the appeal. They ARE God’s creatures. I do not worship but I do love all my pets (2 dogs–3 cats) and many more in my life. Dogs just want to love you–cats want to be fed and love you and horses love back too…all of them in their own way. They can be trusted to do that always–whereas-people can not be trusted in that way. The best thing about people is talking to them, experiencing all the different ways in which they interact. People sometimes scare me–most animals don’t because they are consistent in their behavior–Except those trained by people to do their bidding. Worshiping is not a good way to look at–loving them and understanding them is!

  3. Hi Libby, I agree that loving animals and understanding them is the right way…and of course they are God’s creatures. I don’t think they can always be trusted, though, even when they’re raised by good people. That’s one of the points I was trying to make.

  4. The best way to guarantee one’s safety around animals is to cling to this idea from Science and Health: “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible.” If you accept and expect that, no animal is dangerous. I’ve proved it!

  5. Thanks, Melissa, that’s a good way to think about it.

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