Pets are unnecessary

Dante Frattini

Dante Frattini

In just a few short weeks, some little girl somewhere will inevitably open a curiously-sized box to unveil a cute little puppy topped with a bow.

She will be overjoyed. I will die a little inside. The cycle of pets and misplaced love continues.

It’s not that I am an animal hater, by any means. In fact, in an ultimately fruitless attempt to court the would-be girl of my dreams, I donated $25 to the Humane Society of the United States in her name. That is probably the one nice thing I did for her that I would not wish to take back, since it benefited life forms much more reasonable than her.

I like animals. I am pro-animal rights and I am against cruelty and wearing fur.

I also happen to hate pets. Actually, that might be a little strong; I am not against them so much as I am baffled by them. The longer you sit and think about the notion of pets, the stranger it becomes.

Who was the first person to see an animal, maybe a fox or a wolf, and think that they should make it a pet?

“Hey, you see that fox over there?”

“Yea, what about it?”

“You see how it’s just roaming around free, doing whatever it wants out there in nature, where it belongs?”


“Well I was thinking, how about I capture it. Then imprison it in my house.”

“Why on earth would you want to do that?”

“Well then it could get my clean things dirty, bother my guests, and occasionally do something cute making all the hassles seem worth it!”

Using a fox in that example is no random happening. I am very open about my bitter contempt towards dogs.

This is not in any small part due to the time I was trying to sneak out of a girl’s backyard so as not to be caught by her parents. Walking slowly, I was being especially wary of the hulking monster of a dog that was lurking right in front of me when I was bitten in the back of my calf by the kind of tiny dog that belongs in a hotel heiress’ purse.

They had planned and executed the perfect sneak attack. I guess they were acting on behalf of the girl’s parents.

But it is not only misbehavior and biting that has me turned off on from the idea of pets. Having a pet is like having a child. You are responsible for its entire life, constantly giving and providing for it. Food, toys, vet bills. Pets, like children, are an expensive burden.

Yet, having a pet is also completely different than having a child. The main difference is that you can get stuck with a lousy pet without even getting to have sex. At least when you are burdened by a child it is because you had a minute and a half of bliss nine months ago. And unlike having a child, you don’t get the same feeling of pride watching a cat or a dog grow up. More simply put, you do not love a pet the same as you do a child.

Or at least, you should not.

The manner in which people love their pets is something I will likely never understand. Like the gold standard. No matter how many times I think about it or have it explained to me, my brain just refuses to comprehend why gold is considered valuable and why someone would say they love their chihuahua.

Loving a pet is a pointless endeavor. First off, a pet is undeserving. Short of it being a heroic dog that saved a real loved one’s life, what can a pet do to earn love?

Nothing, according to researcher John Archer. In his 1997 article entitled “Why do people love their pets?” Archer says that the pets actually act as parasites. This is because despite the joy that humans can get out of the relationship, it does not compensate for the resources the pets use. Archer believes the pets exploit the human instinct to care for a young human.

Secondly, no matter what some may think, pets are incapable of loving back.

Andrea Griffey, junior child development major, disagrees.

“They can definitely love back,” she said. “They are so pure and innocent and just love life and love their family.”

I really wish I could allow myself to think like that. I really do. It seems like that would be a nice way to view the world. But I cannot bring myself to do it.

Maybe I am playing Scrooge but I cannot fathom looking at a dog or cat and seeing that much immaculate goodness.

There are already plenty of people out there who will take your love but refuse to give any in return. There is no reason pick up feces with a plastic bag in order to get involved in a lopsided relationship.

I should admit that pets are not completely useless. They do teach kids about death. Which is an important life lesson, though it could probably be taught for much less money.

So there, you caught me. Pets are good for something. They serve the important function of making children cry when they die.

Merry Christmas little girl. Enjoy finding your dog motionless in the middle of the road in three months. That lesson is your real gift.

Dante Frattini can be reached at [email protected]