I’ve often heard people say things like “If a person gets killed in a movie it doesn’t bother me; but if a dog dies I go to pieces.” On television, you can easily see dozens of humans being killed in an hour between movies and war documentaries. But animal deaths seem to be censored or regarded as somehow more tragic. For example, the series “Swamp People” always cuts the camera away at the last minute before the alligator hunter dispatches his game. Invasive and pest species seem to be rarely culled, both in the media and real life. I’ve seen wild hogs trapped in efforts to prevent erosion and crop damage and be relocated to another part of the state instead of just being shot. It’s even odder to see people calling animal control to deal with poisonous snakes, skunks, possums, and the like.
Then there are those who seem to regard pets as a form of surrogate children. Don’t get me wrong; I like my dog, but I don’t bring him to restaurants, carry him around 24/7, and take him to other people’s houses like a child. Many a time, I’ve had to clean the carpet because a house guest brought Fido over without any kind of warning. However, the owners seem to think of such behavior as absolutely normal.
What gives? It’s a far departure from the sort of attitude I saw on display while living in a rural area.