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Are We Substituting Human Interaction with Animal Interaction?

Recently an article published on Care2 by Sarah Cooke claimed we are filling our emotional needs with pets instead of people. The author said we are not appreciating animals for what they really are. Cooke maintains that having an animal and loving them is an amazing thing but we shouldn’t replace human interaction with animal interaction.

Cooke illustrates this by saying,

Some of us anthropomorphize our pets in a way that we didn’t in the past – and in a way that fails to actually respect the animals for what they are.

By anthropomorphize this author is describing an act where people give human characteristics to their pets. She furthers her point by saying,

And it is precisely this anthropomorphizing that suggests that maybe we are trying to replace human connections with relationships with animals.

Anthropomorhizing pets

Here at Trupanion we like to anthropomorphize our pets by giving them jackets to wear.

To make her claim more applicable she explains that we are not connected to our local communities as much as we used to be because of the long commutes to work and hours we spend there. At the end of the article she places a strong emphases on addressing the lack of relationships we have with one another.

I think there are many people out there, me included, who are extremely active in their communities and are also proud pet owners. I feel everyone should be free to view their animals in any way they desire, whether it is as a pet, or a best friend.

What do you think? Are people substituting human interaction with animal interaction? Is there an issue we need to address?

Read full article here.


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4 Responses to Are We Substituting Human Interaction with Animal Interaction?

  1. Linda Logwood says:

    For 20 years I lived in an apartment building that didn’t allow pets. Now, I can have a pet. Last January, I adopted an orange tabby, Tiger. I certainly don’t think my relationship with my pet interferes with any human interaction. Tiger is an indoor cat. I am retired. I absolutely value his companionship — he has so much personality!

    So let’s leave the labeling to those who must slap one on every living, breathing entity they come across.

  2. Garry Frost says:

    I totally agree with Sarah Cooke that people in general anthropomorphize there pets. Whether its changed in significantly in recent years is debatable. I think people have always done this, replacing human interaction that was lacking, with animal interaction.

  3. Bizous and Princepessa says:

    Humans anthropomorphize many things in life up to and including “God”. As far as pets go especially dogs they have been a part of human evolution for aeons, so it is natural to place allot of meaning on them and our relationship with them. As far as replacing human relationships/ I’ve never met a dog or cat I didn’t like!

  4. TLN2 says:

    This article is spot on. It is especially true with many, if not most, horse owners.

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