Pets Vs. Children

“In very practical ways, pets are easier to love and more suitable to transient lives than are children. They travel far easier, are not required by the state to make up for lost months of school; they can be given away if no longer wanted or if no longer keeping with particular lifestyle; they can be euthanized id they fall ill; and they are highly social, seeking one another out in cities and rural areas across the world, helping owners to become grounded and socialized in any one place.” (Nast 900)

When I read the text above it really made me think of all the people I know who chose to have pets over children. I now comprehend why, I feel that this subject is becoming more and more relevant as time passes because children are much more expensive and attention-needy individuals. It’s become a lifestyle to choose not to have kids and although there are varying degrees of pros and cons, this new phenomenon is quite interesting. While writing this I decided to ask my friends why they chose to have pets over children and their answers closely resembled what Nast discusses. It seems that to them, the benefits lay in freedom and the ability to do as you please. They did not want to be tied down because they travel quite often and felt that a pet would fill an empty spot without emptying both their wallet and freedom. I believe Nast does a great job in representing the alternate lifestyle, making pets seem like the better option. Of course, like I mentioned prior there are pros and cons to take into consideration, and one of the things my friends did mention was that pets are amazing but they do not replace a child that is born of you. Now that they are older and cannot have kids anymore, they reflect back on their choice and are contempt with their decision, stating  “pets are loyal and remain with you until the end, kids grow up and spread their wings.”

Going back to the quote, I felt as if though Nast made a very compelling case to look at animals almost as malleable creatures. You can do as you wish with them with no one to respond to, unlike children. It seems as if though the benefits of having a pet compared to a child are greater because of their versatility and the things you can do with them compared to a child. Tying this back to the piece as a whole and part of what my friends said. Pets have become a new market, they are now seen as family and with that comes many other implications. The one that Nast focuses on is capitalism. Like my friends said, children are expensive and they require so much more. Nast makes the claim that the pet business is quickly becoming mainstream and with it comes a whole new market, however, children are still more expensive. I feel that capitalism ties into this all because it is really expensive to rear a child in today’s day and age while it isn’t for a pet. When you think about it, some pros outweigh the cons and you may chose a pet instead of a child.


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