Internet trend: Treating animals like people

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Internet trend: Treating animals like people

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:11 pm

CarrieVS wrote:Image

I'm not trying to attack your image but I must say I find this trend of people on the Internet personifying their pets a little creepy. Internet, your dog is not your son. You are not the mommy of your cat. Your cat and dog are certainly not brothers.

Note from Kate: This started as a response to a post in another topic and was split off into its own thread. The original post that sparked this discussion can be found here.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby ghijkmnop » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:29 pm

It ain't just the internet. I want to smash my TV every time a pet food commecial refers to owners as "pet parents."
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby A Warrior Bunny » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:43 pm

Tesseracts wrote:I'm not trying to attack your image but I must say I find this trend of people on the Internet personifying their pets a little creepy. Internet, your dog is not your son. You are not the mommy of your cat. Your cat and dog are certainly not brothers.

ghijkmnop wrote:It ain't just the internet. I want to smash my TV every time a pet food commecial refers to owners as "pet parents."


I only find it skeevy if said owner seems to legitimately act as if the pet is a person. Otherwise it's just a minor touch of over-attachment and/or affection, or maybe just doing it for Internet points (as with the pet-shaming trend).
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:58 am

I've had my cat since she was a kitten, and I mothered her a lot. I'm fairly sure she sees me as her mother, and I feel something akin to maternal feelings towards her. That's not anthopomorphising her. I don't refer to her as having human traits or interpret her behaviour as if she was a human doing the same thing.

That dog in that picture won't understand that the cat is a different species. Pets are part of the family, surely? Cats and dogs, certainly, form attachments and bonds with the family groups they live in, whether that's a group of blood relatives, unrelated animals, or other species. They don't have the capacity to understand the difference between them and their other-species family, or between a blood sibling and an unrelated animal they were raised with. I don't see why it's so outrageous to refer to them as relatives. I don't have a problem with anyone not seeing themselves as their pet's mother or father, but I do kind of have a problem with people having a problem with other people doing it, unless they're being weird about it or insisting you play along.

It can't be a problem just that a pet and owner are not biological relatives, unless you'll say an adopted human child shouldn't call his or her adoptive parents Mum and Dad. I'm not saying that's precisely the same thing, but I hear people saying 'I didn't give birth to my dog' when they complain about others calling pets their babies, and that's a strange argument if you actually stop and think about it.

I have considerable distaste for people who actually treat their animals like human children, but the relationship a cat has with human owners or guardians (I honestly think it's inaccurate to say I own my cat. She's an outdoor cat and as such is a free agent who chooses to stay with us), who raised it from a kitten, is nearer to what it would have with its mother than anything else.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby Tesseracts » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:28 am

Well, I think it's normal to feel a parental bond with pets, and that is also how cats and dogs view their relationship with their owners. I refer to my dog as both "puppy" and "baby," when she is neither of those things. I don't post stuff on the internet referring to her as my daughter or insisting she is the sister of my human sister. That's where I draw the line.

I believe you're taking my post more seriously than I intended. I just wanted to talk about something I find silly, because to me, criticizing Internet trends is entertaining even if it's something I don't care much about. It doesn't impact my life in any significant way if people actually believe cats and dogs are incapable of recognizing their own species. So people who find this cute and endearing can go ahead and keep posting this stuff.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:15 pm

You said you find me creepy. If you had in fact said it was silly, that's fair enough and I wouldn't mind, but whatever you say now, that's not what you said in the post I was responding to: you said it was creepy. I don't feel like it's unreasonable to be offended at being described as creepy.

To avoid confusion, I'm not taking this personally because it was said in response to my post, but because I am one of those people who calls her cat her baby.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby Tesseracts » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:55 pm

I didn't say you're creepy. I said the trend is creepy, referring to the image. If you made this image, or others like it, it makes sense to think I'm calling you creepy. It wouldn't make sense for me to think you're creepy for referring to a pet by the word baby especially because I admitted to the same thing.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:57 pm

Well I've said it to and in front of people, on the internet and elsewhere plenty of times. I didn't make that image or a similar one but I do the thing you said is creepy.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby Marcuse » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:05 pm

I think there's a difference here. I've met and seen people literally refer to animals as children. I've even heard them say they're better than children because they never ever grow out of that dependent stage where they have that base need for the owner. The implication is that they get off in some way on that being needed, which manifests itself in being likened to children or people.

I think the creepy thing is being satisfied by the dependence. It's kind of odd to see, because it's saying it's revelling in having control over something's life. By contrast what you're describing is a bond with an animal you care about, you don't enjoy it because she's dependent on you, you love her because you've been with her a long time and consider her part of your family.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby Tesseracts » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:51 pm

I agree with Marcuse. There's the creepy level and the non-creepy level, which he articulated better than I did. Every time I see one of these Internet images where there's a dog with a sign saying "mommy is mad at me!!!!!!" Or whatever, it brings negative associations in my mind. If I see someone affectionately refer to a pet as a baby IRL it doesn't inspire the same creepy feeling.

About the dependence thing, I have heard many mothers say you have to enjoy children when they're young because after that they aren't yours any more. This seems like bad priorities.

Here are things offensive and animal related.
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image.jpg (48.87 KiB) Viewed 1697 times

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image.jpg (36.82 KiB) Viewed 1697 times
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:23 pm

I understand that bit. The problem is this bit:
Tesseracts wrote:Your dog is not your son. You are not the mommy of your cat. Your cat and dog are certainly not brothers.

If you didn't mean that, then take it back. Don't try and pretend you didn't say that at all.
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby FieldMarshalFry » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:35 pm

on the subject of pets... pack mentality may make the dog see a cat it has grown up with as a sibling, much like in the case of my last dog, when we got our new cat, Jasper, who looks a lot like the one in the picture that started the fuss, she took to grooming him and cuddling up to him IN THE SAME BASKET as if he was a smaller dog after we introduced them (didn't want a big doberman squashing a little kitten after all) and with our current dog, well, she does see him like a brother, and the cat sees her as an irritant or something to keep rival cats out the garden "oh you're twice my size eh? well I have a dog", though fuck the people who mother their pets, just makes them impossible to control and a danger since boundaries have not been established
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Re: things that should not be funny, but are (WILL OFFEND!)

Postby LaChaise » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:17 pm

*sees people getting offended*
*looks at thread title*

Welp, at least you fulfilled the thread's goal.

Image

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Image

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Re: Internet trend: Treating animals like people

Postby Kate » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Alright, so this was split off of the original post because things were getting off-topic. I think what Tess is trying to say is that those images always make her think of the kind of people who literally treat their pets like...their children. Perhaps that's unfair, and the people making those images are more like you than they are like the people who dress their cats up and put them in cradles and put them on vegan diets and tell everyone that cats are better than people and their cats are better than your children, but I don't think she's trying to pretend she didn't call that creepy. I think she is trying to express that when she said that, she wasn't talking about the more typical pet loving behavior. I understand why you feel insulted, but I don't think it was intended as an insult directed at you or even about people who do the things that you do.

Though, honestly, yeah I totally refer to Isis and Athena as sisters when talking to them or to other pet "parents." By that I mean other pet owners who tend to do that. It's always with a touch of a joke in there, for me. Athena starts meowing when Andy's car rolls up the driveway, and I say, "Oh look, your Daddy's home." It's a bit silly, but I present the following chart to you:

Image

It's science!
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Re: Internet trend: Treating animals like people

Postby Australia » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:09 pm

Image
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