Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reflections on Australians and their pets

Hot on the heels of this story from the Sydney Morning Herald about the opening of a restaurant for pets on Sydney's lower north shore (where else?) comes survey data that shows 80% of pet owners believe that their pet is more affectionate than their partner. Other findings from the survey by the Australian Companion Animal Council, reported in today's Sun-Herald, include the statistic that 70% of those surveyed believe their pet is more dependable than their partner. The story also claimed that pet ownership contributed more than $6 billion to the Australian economy last year, which I guess explains the rise of dog-washing franchises, pet clothing companies and of course, the restaurant on the north shore.

I'm all for pet ownership. We've had cats in the past, we currently have some very low maintenance hermit crabs (by the way, I don't believe they are more affectionate or dependable than my husband) and one day in the future, I think we'll probably go to the pound and find ourselves a dog.

But these survey findings are a bit scary. Do I think pets are affectionate? Of course, if we love them and take care of them. But it sounds from this survey as if people are looking to their pets to meet needs that can really only be met by human relationships, or, better still, by trusting in God.

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