Why Do Humans Care More For Their Pets Than For Other Human Beings?
Recently I heard a friend talk about how she “saved” a stray dog and, while listening, I also wondered why humans spend more on non-essential things for their pets — besides food — than on helping other human beings?
The answer may surprise you, although, deep down, you should know the reason.
They do it because it is an easy way to feel good while living in denial.
It reinforces their belief that they are “good” human beings who care about defenseless and fragile animals.
This is fine, however. There is no major problem with that.
What I find difficult to swallow is their denial of their neighbor, human beings who are trying to stay alive just one more day.
This is a very complex psychological problem. One that you have most likely experienced yourself.
You see, there is no worse enemy than the one inside us.
When caring for an animal, some humans appease their mind from the guilt and shame they unconsciously feel for ignoring their needy human companions. Others, simply change responsibility and blame those same human beings who try to stay alive for their “sad state of affairs” or “incompetence.”
But there is a deeper reason why human beings prefer to take care of an animal rather than a human companion, and it has three ramifications:
1) Fear (i.e. avoid pain) and control.
2) Ignorance (They simply ignore the reality of other human partners).
3) Lack of empathy (that is, they have no compassion).
The fear of the responsibilities involved in caring for a human partner is quite understandable because these responsibilities are very serious and may even have legal consequences.
However, this is not the type of fear that comes to mind when thinking about helping a human partner. This fear has more to do with getting “complicated” without any “reason.” After all, why should I care?
Whereas, if I take care of a pet, I receive immediate gratification without a great commitment or responsibility attached.
Ignorance and lack of empathy go together. There is an old adage that says: “Never attribute to malice what is perfectly explained by ignorance or stupidity.”
It is simply impossible to truly sympathize if one has never experienced a given situation, much less if one has never thought about it.
As human beings, however, we must be at least a little aware of the fact that we only live once and time is relentless.
How can we expect to take good care of our pets when we haven’t even been able to take care of our fellow humans?
The time for reasoning and reflection is far behind. In this age of global “connectivity”, we are much more indifferent than ever.
We must wake up and at least be aware of it.
Well, it is time that we have our priorities very clear and straight!
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
President & Founder
About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant and stocks trader, keynote speaker, published author, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.