psychiatric term for concern for animals over humans?

Some people get far more upset over the harm or death of an animal than for a human.
They have great anxiety if an animal is mistreated or hurt, way out of proportion to how they react to humans.
I have a friend who will not go to the movies with me if animals are on screen. She would not want to see an animal suffer even in fiction. She just goes to pieces. So I went to see Life of Pi without her even though the animals were CG.
Another friend would not read the book Sea Biscuit because the horse dies. He dies of old age!
Another cried for days when a dog died but shed no tears for her grandmother. And would like to see people who mistreat an animal given the death penalty, on the spot!
So I love animals myself and wonder if this is just a matter of degree of concern or as it seems to me, a real disorder. These people seem to have little empathy for humans and an extreme amount for non humans.
Is there a psychiatric term for this?


No, PETAism is the disorder of valuing hot naked women over animals or people.

It happens because people run into other people whose only intention is to use abuse and lose. That doesn’t happen with animals. Animals are never malicious. And while humans have the ability to defend themselves in the modern world, animals do not.

How is that a disorder? :dubious: In my world hot naked women are desired, coveted and fought over. YMMV :cool:

Oh, and hot naked woman are people too; not just sex objects to be desired, coveted or fought over like some people would led you to believe. :smiley:

If there were, would the fact that they have a term for it make you think that they understand it better than if they don’t have a term for it? :dubious:
Calling a set of symptoms a syndrome ≠ understanding what causes them

Dunno; but the preference for the welfare of fellow humans over fellow animals is merely gross self-serving sentimentality.

I can speak to this a little bit. When my father died I felt pretty distant from the whole thing. I live in WI and he lived in MD. I saw him maybe every other year and we talked on the phone maybe 2 or 3 times a month. Obviously I was devastated but because of circumstances it was easy for me to keep some distance from his death. I entered a kind of sporadic grieving process that lasted for about 18 months but I only cried once. I felt sad and bleak a lot but was only driven to tears on one occasion.

When my 16 year old dog died I cried a ton. Not because I loved my dog more than my father but because the absence of my dog was inescapable. He was my little buddy from my twenties well into middle age, he greeted me at the door every day and he was totally dependent on me. There was a tangible change in my day to day life that kept all those feeling a little more immediate. For me that constant feeling of absence led to the frequent tears.

I felt really guilty about this until I was able to figure out what was going on. I’d never judge someone to harshly for how they react to a loss. It hits everyone differently.

You’ve never lived with a cat, have you? :slight_smile:

Well, we have no idea what Grandma was like. Was she the muffin-baking kind, or did she swear a lot and spend all her time at the casino?

I have seen hundreds of people who are far more worthless on every scale than a lot of the critters that have journeyed with me.

Best not to get in an ‘only one can be saved’ scenario with me as the saver dude if you have failed my personal good person scale previously.

I know of no scientific name for it but in many cases I call it ''enlightened."

^Enlightened. I like that.

I can’t watch I Am Legend anymore because of the dog dying. Does that make me horrible? I have no problem watching Breaking Bad though…

Something about the innocence of the dog, and the loyalty/friendship, and the fact that he had to die at his master’s hands.

I don’t think that it is horrible, just odd and not normal. With some folks it is extreme and can interfere with daily life. Animals can be wonderful in our lives. They should be treated with kindness. But so should humans. So many people seem to have little compassion for our fellow man.

I lost a dog when I was in my twenties and was caught completey off guard as to how hard it hit me and how long it persisted. I felt like I lost a child. I have no idea how we create bonds like that but I know it happens.

Hot naked women ARE people.

I’ll concede that there are some of these, but it seems to me that this is mostly an accusation hurled at people who support animal rights or animal welfare.

Everybody has different tastes in entertainment. This doesn’t mean the people are more concerned about animals than people and it doesn’t mean they’re mentally ill.

Except when Saul was describing how Old Yeller’s owner sent him on a trip to Belize, right?

The relationship between dogs and humans closely parallels the relationship between children and their parents (0.438 Mbyte .pdf).

Have you ever lost a child?

I don’t like dogs, but I believe my relationship with my cats is similar to that of the average, non-insane dog owner. I’ve had three cats die on me since 2000, and the grief I felt for all three, put together, is not one-tenth of that I felt for my son.

I agree, I think people are tapping into the same emotion as for children. Innocent, need to be protected, outrage over misuse, abuse, neglect, overwhelming sorrow for death – it’s the nearly the same thing. We don’t have nearly the number of kids running around as we used to, so there is a lot of transference to animals.

Another contributing factor I’ve noticed is that many more people do not have any experience with animals out of the context of a personal pet. They have no experience of wild animals, or hunting, no experience of raising livestock, and they often don’t even know anybody who does. So, the sense of what animals are for has changed as well.

I’ve watched this sea change happen over decades. When I was growing up, it would have been an unusual adult who had a deep emotional connection to animals – pets were mainly for children. I always was passionately attached to my pets – but I was also an isolated and lonely child who rarely had friends who lived near enough to see every day. I didn’t know anyone else who had that kind of connection to animals. But now it is a commonplace thing.