February 20th is Love Your Pet Day! I know, right? Like we need a day to remind us to love our companion animals? Well apparently SOMEONE thought you weren’t showing enough love to your pets, because Love Your Pet Day was set aside to, “remind pet owners to set aside time each day to appreciate and celebrate the unique relationship they have with their pets.” I got that from News 12 KEYC TV.
Personally, I find the whole premise offensive. But I’m not a young woman who takes her baby to the doggy ice cream truck, either.
Yep, it seems that pet ownership is taking the place of parenthood.
Hey, this is not just another one of those lame assumptions people make. According to an article by Roberto Ferdman published at Quartz.com, the birth rate for women between the ages of 15 and 29 decreased by 10% in the past 7 years, while purchases of dogs 20 lbs and under increased significantly, and they’re being purchased by young women of childbearing years.
Not only that, but sales of premium dog food have increased by 170% in the past 15 years.
That’s right. What used to be the domain of the Crazy Cat Lady has now become the realm of the Little Dog Mommy.
The thing that disturbs me the most about Ferdman’s findings is that these young women are BUYING these dogs, despite the recent corresponding trend among the young, cool set to shame people who don’t adopt. How is that happening?
I chalk it up to effective marketing.
Let’s face it, the animal agriculture industry has done an excellent job of exploiting the Achilles Heel of the animal welfare and animal rights movements, and these movements haven’t done a very good job of fighting back.
No, PETA still exploits women, and makes themselves look like idiots in the process. But they are unapologetic and will keep being a laughingstock. The other major players look like they’re more interested in raising money than anything else. I mean, thanks HSUS for going to Arkansas and helping with that recent Puppy Mill bust, but your emails touting your efforts while simultaneously sticking your hand out get really old, especially when the only time I hear from you is when you want something from me. Reminds me of an old boyfriend I once had.
So for those of you that need to be reminded to show a little love to your pets, this is your day. I’m sure your beloved companion will enjoy the 15 minutes you spend with him today, as it may be the only attention he or she gets from you this year.
But for the rest of us? It’s another day.
Now excuse me, Rumpy is ready for his walk.