Humans Come First

I guess I’m not a “pet” person.

We used to beg my mom for pets. She was always adamantly anti-pet, so we were raised without very many pets and without great sympathy for animals either. In spite of that early programming, one of my brothers in particular tried endlessly to get mom to agree to various pets. Only one type was a non-starter: cats. Mom was allergic (turns out, so am I).

All told, I think we had two or three dogs and a few finches to satisfy his pet urges, but that was when we lived on a farm. After I turned 5 or 6, it was no pets, period.

So because of my anti-pet (and especially anti-cat) upbringing, I’ve never really understood people’s love for their animals.

I had a bird, which I recently blogged about. Otis was slightly neurotic and not a very good pet, and I will admit that we were not particularly bonded or anything. I like birds mostly because of their beauty and smarts, and the fact that it’s acceptable to leave them in a cage most of the time. (not something that will go over well with CPS if you try it with children..)

I have no problem with people loving their animals, caring for their animals, or even domesticating them to begin with. What I do have a problem with is when the animals start taking precedence over the humans.

I say this because I recently looked into getting another, less damaged, bird. I thought of adopting one from a rescue, because it’s cheaper and the ‘right’ thing to do. As I looked into the process, I was shocked at its absurd invasiveness. They come out to your home and inspect everything from your non-stick cookware to your attic and crawl space. They quiz you about your entire pet history and ask for references.

(Oh, if there was such vigilance over the people who were bringing HUMANS into this world…)

Then if you ever need to get rid of your pet, no human reason is acceptable to these people. Maybe you get married, have children, or you start traveling all of the time. Somehow your human circumstances change in such a way that can no longer support these animals, but it’s not acceptable to these bird people. No reason is acceptable to be rid of a pet.

You just can’t equate animals with humans.

(Please don’t take this the wrong way. I am not in favor of animal cruelty. I don’t think there should be abuse or mutilation of animals for any reason.)

8 thoughts on “Humans Come First”

  1. These people fall in to the same category as treehuggers. They expect you to give up your life for that of an animal. I think it is because there lives have less meaning than the actual animal. Once again upside down thinking prevails. They are intolerant of anything outside of what they think is acceptable. Instead of seeing someone who is opening there home to try and help a living thing they are there to dictate and orchestrate how your life will go forward since now you are living for the pet and not for yourself. Sad.

  2. You should tell them you’re only interested in getting a bird because you want to release it back into the wild where it really should be in the first place. See how they like that. 🙂

    I am, in fact, an animal person. I had a couple of cats growing up until my mom decided I was allergic (I’m not) and found a new home for my cat. A couple of years ago, I got my first dog, and I’ve become a dog person. For someone who lives alone, getting that kind of acceptance is fantastic. And even though my dog would sooner lick someone to death than attack them, it makes me feel safer to have an 85 pound puppy around. I love my dog, and I go out of my way to take care of him. It really is like having a small child (albeit on that you can leave at home by himself for hours at a time.) And, I suppose, just like taking care of children, the act of taking care of something causes you to love the creature in a way that you just can’t if it’s not yours.

    Regardless of how much of a “dog person” I am, I still hope that I am able to maintain a reasonable perspective on the value of human life vs. the quality of my dog’s.

    On a related note, my heart hurts for people who aren’t pet people. Pets are great. 🙂

  3. First time writer, but I did enjoy your outlook on the pet issue…..yup…pets have come and gone in my life time and I could either take or leave them. At the present time I have a little dog and he is a jewel to have around. I live alone and he has become a real treasure in my life. Do I love him more than the human race….of course not, but he does fill a void of being alone. It becomes difficult for me to take him to a sitter when I do some traveling, but when I return home it is so neat to see his reactions when I go pick him up and how happy he is to see me. Sometimes we humans can learn from animals as to what real love is. They have a natural affection and appreciation for their owners and the kind and gentle care that they receive from them. And you know what, alot of humans don’t have that in the lives thay lead. Also, they don’t talk back and and spend a ton of money.
    The Grape

  4. It’s about time you commented Grape… we all love Rusty a lot more that that other #$%^&… hehehe

    By the comments, I think it’s obvious that I’m missing a big part of the human experience.

  5. The worst thing on the planet is when people get pets that they think of as accessories that are disposable when circumstances change. Honestly. When you love your pet, there it would be like putting your child up for adoption to give it to a shelter cause you are moving or working longer hours or you decided to move to a new apartment that doesn’t allow pets. If you were a true animal lover and deserved a pet you would not pick that apartment complex, not even view ditching the pet as an option,or in extreme circumstances you would try to find a real home for the pet rather than ever take it to a shelter.I can’t stand it when people get pets with no stability or plan of being able to keep the pet for any length of time. I have a friend who got a super active middle to large size dog and kenneled it all day every day in her apartment until it got out and shredded the whole apartment. Literally. Including carpet and wooden doors and furniture. Then she had to get rid of it because it needed a yard and activity. Was this a suprise to anyone? No. There are so many dogs in the shelters. I love dogs sooo much but I am not in a position to own one right now. I am super anti the idea that you might as well get a pet if you want one cause its just an animal, not a human child, so it’s not permanent. If you have an affectionate nature go into it knowing you will become a father of a furry child. It’s inevitable if you are a responsible owner. (Most people I know who don’t love their dogs like a child don’t spend time with them on a daily basis or pay much attention to them or they are farm dogs)

    I can’t testify about birds. I think the devotion and cuddling you get with a dog are like …not even comparable so if I had a bird I might not love it the same although I would be attached. Although I would still get one with the intent to keep it forever and take care of it.

    I might be a little extreme but I owned shelter dogs and I go walk poor shelter dogs now when I have free time. There are WAY too many of them and most probably aren’t ideal personalities for people who want to adopt because they had so little decent human contact when they were with their owners. It makes me ANGRY and sad. And want to take them all home with me.

  6. Here are my thoughts on pets:
    1) Although they should be loved and taken care of, they do not need to be dressed, given birthday parties, or carried around with you everywhere you go.
    2) All puppies should be allowed to run and romp and play outside. It makes me sad to see a puppy in a kennel…even if the owner says the puppy doesn’t mind…because I think they do…they really want to go outside and run in the yard.
    3) I love pets, but I can’t give a dog the attention it needs or desires. That is why I am a cat person. I don’t have to plan my schedule around when she needs to go outside and do her bid-ness. She does what she wants, I do what I want, when I want to pet her she runs away from me, when she wants to be petted, I give her 30 seconds of my time and she’s good.
    4) I also love my precious kitty because I put down food and water for her and when she’s out, she comes and pesters me until I put down more food for her.
    5) Fish are not pets…they are decorations that move.
    The End.

  7. First time writer,

    Honestly its not about putting the animal first but doing what’s right. If you are going to take in an animal, you need to understand the commitment that comes with it. Dogs are 12 to 17 years depending on how early on you get them. I’ll use dogs as an example since I am a huge dog lover. Too many weirdos abuse animals day in and day out, and while you have a sincere heart to give an animal a good home, everyone must be checked out to avoid causing harm to animal. While I agree they can go far its not meant to insult you in any way. For instance a family of 4 decide they want a pet, they get a dog and we will call him BLUE. Blue lives with this family for 7 years and suddenly dad gets a promotion and the family has to move. When they move they will be living in an apartment while they shop for a new home, but the complex they have chosen is not pet friendly so BLUE is taken to the local pound. Why couldn’t the family find a different complex? or pay the pet fee? NO, its much easier to get rid of the dog. People take to the extreme when we (we being pet lovers) say to accomodate your pets and not give up so quickly!.

    just some thoughts…

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