You can pretend all that you want that a dog or a cat is a child or a human, but basically biology tells us a different story.
This is the sentiment that I have been feeling for years. This is a huge part of the death in our culture. Speaking emotionally, for a moment, this makes me angrier than many things do, because it affects so many facets of our society. It’s not pro-life by any means, it’s sickening, and it’s vain. Better people than I have written on the subject, and better people have made better arguments. But I just want to get out some of my own feelings on the subject… as a person who has been silent for years about this, apparently, huge debate. Consider this my disclaimer that I need to vent it out.
We, as a culture, are racing at breakneck speed toward giving animals voices, rights in the courtroom, and even their own legal representation. To do such means that we actually consider that these animals HAVE a voice. I’m all for animal rights where cruelty is concerned. But personifying an animal, which is a still considered property, as something we need to consider the feelings of, as though it were a human child isn’t right. Giving animals the same rights as human beings in a world where human beings can’t even decide to give other human beings rights (consider the unborn child), is sick. How can a culture so easily dismiss the value and dignity of human life and idolize and elevate the life of a cat or dog?
Our world is full of people who become “fur baby” advocates but never once advocate for the life of an unborn child! And before it is said that both can be done, I must say that I disagree. I think a huge reason that we have such rampant disregard for human life and unborn babies is because we’ve blurred the lines so much about humanity due to this rising “fur baby” culture.
Whenever I scroll a clothing website and come across t-shirts that say something like, “I like dogs better than people,” or “blessed fur baby mom,” I feel simultaneously disgusted and full of rage. These sentiments on the rise aren’t fake. People actually act and feel this way!
The more advanced we become in the world…the more machines can do, the more we get away from nature, the less we know about humanity. We aren’t machines. Neither are we dogs. We don’t have cows in our backyard (most of us anyway) that we use for milk. We don’t slaughter a pig when we are hungry and want bacon. We don’t know the place of animals anymore and the average joe doesn’t have to collaborate with an animal, personally, to receive the bounty that most of us partake in. We can run to the store to pick up milk, meat, and eggs, never thinking of the origin of the product. We don’t have to respect animal life in the care-giving way that we were instructed to do at the very beginning. We don’t know that a dog is an animal we are meant to care for and collaborate with, we instead have put it on this pedestal we then worship. Don’t even get me started on cats… the practice of the ancient Egyptians has become much too real in our culture in this very day and age.
Because of this break from nature (we don’t experience these animals, other than house pets, on the daily) we have become this body of people who don’t even know the different between man and animal.
We are also full of empty nesters, divorcees, and control freaks in this culture who have no trust in God to care for their needs. The empty nester is so afraid of loneliness and living for a brief moment in the quiet of their spirit that they take matters into their own hands and fill their parenting hole with a “fur baby.” The divorcee hurts for a bond which was supposed to be shared in marriage and they, too, take matters into their own hands, forming a bond so idolatrous and unhealthy that it changes the nature of pet companionship.
“Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth. Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity!” – Ecclesiastes 1:2
We choke our heart with weeds and vines of distraction and chaos from the real problems. We were told not to harden our hearts, but we do through this infatuation of fur babies. We don’t know the widows and orphans. We don’t see the unborn child. We don’t give dignity to the homeless and poor. We, instead, prize the stray dog, spend time out of day catching it and caring for it, advocating for it. We give it rights. We let it sleep in our home when we would never do so with a poor man on the street. We patiently wait while it is rehoused “in a loving home,” and we ignore the real needs of our world.
Gross is the heart of this people. They will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them. Matthew 13:15
We have no trust in God’s goodness and mercy and kindness, so we ignore his offers and buy a puppy. Speaking as someone who desperately wants a snuggly pet right now, I feel qualified to say that shoving a puppy in that problem isn’t going to fix it or satisfy you. This is why we are waiting and discerning the right time to add some chaos to the mix of our family in the form of a pet, and not allowing my “need to nurture” or lack of patience (for this baby to get here) to dictate our moves. Sure, I’m impatient. Sure, there is an ache that wants to snuggle something cute and helpless and good. But that’s a right kind of ache. And I trust that it is what I need to feel right now, and not squash it out with a puppy. Maybe it will make those sleepless nights with a newborn easier to endure. Maybe I need to feel these little pangs so that I appreciate my own blessings more and stop searching for pleasure. This life isn’t about pleasure and what feels good. That’s vanity and meaningless.
I think I’ve probably ranted it out enough for one night, but let me just end by saying, pets aren’t people. Animals aren’t humans. A reading of genesis might help us understand their roles and our roles better. And please, just hear this: a dog (or cat) is not a baby. If you want to take on a cause and do something good, join the pro life movement, work in service of protecting human life, and throw some freaking cat food out on the ground for the stray cats if you must. Stop buying doggie strollers and gourmet dog food served in crystal bowls and start feeding the hungry and caring for the poor.