Pet spending has almost tripled in America, just in 20 years’ time. Dogs have always been ahead in that respect, having a pet population share of @ 70%. The pandemic brought it to a whole other level.
It went over a hundred billion just last year. Over half of households have at least one. Since starting to take these statistics, pet dogs levels remained at around the same level. Enter 1998. Since then, the pet population has increased faster than the human one.
One can draw the association between it & the popular resurgence of the internet right about that same time. Educated guesses chalk it up to lower birth rates coupled with an increased level of divorce. Our natural human proclivity of seeking community would then transfer to a pet.
There’s also the argument for popular multimedia outlets to present animals with human characteristics, then pushing for popularizing those. Then slowly but surely, getting people to have them be thought of as worthy of affective human love.
Social strata don’t seem to explain it since a similar pet explosion is seen across income levels. So, the most plausible explanation that still stands is web-related. Email started to make it easier to communicate faster & more efficiently.
Shelters started to capitalize on these potential connections. Increase cyber-connectivity also made it easier to dehumanize people’s experiences with each other. Pets then became the go-to in order for the ensuing void to be filled in terms of giving social affection to a living, tangible something.
Before we became more dependent on technology, there was more community engagement & civic participation. Now we’re more likely to be by ourselves. The lonelier we are, the more likely people distrust each other.
& that is just the beginning of it; join us next time to keep tackling this ongoing social issue ultimately affecting all of us..