Pets over People?

A terrier wearing a $5,000 diamond 'coat' sips from a bottle of champagne

Before continuing to read this post, check out this slideshow .  If you’re anywhere near my income bracket, my guess is that your eyes widened slightly, and your jaw dropped a little.  Now, please don’t get me wrong- I love animals.  In fact, my first degree is in animal science.  Gimli, my miniature dachshund, and Robby the Scottie, have amassed their own wardrobe over the years consisting of coats, rain slickers, booties, t-shirts, sweaters,  hats, and bandannas.   The only really necessary items in that collection are maybe one sweater and the raincoat for Gimli, the truly modern metrosexual of dogs, who loves each and every item in his clothing chest.  On the other hand, Robby ducks his head down and puts his tail between his legs when he sees the head-hole of his reindeer sweater or spider Halloween costume approaching his face.  Even Apolla the parrot is getting her own threads as she recently had a feather-plucking episode that left her completely naked.  Before you go thinking I’m totallyout of my mind, being featherless is extremely dangerous for a bird for many reasons, so I swear these are necessary.

The new wrap with attachable cape I ordered my Sun Conure, Apolla (not shown here)

Robby looking sad in his Halloween costume

I would estimate that over the last 10 years of animal ownership, my two dogs and one bird have garnered about $400 in clothing.  $400?!?!  For (some) animals who don’t even like to wear clothing (because they’re animals and not people).  That is outrageous, yet it is nothing compared to the clothing displayed in the slide show referenced earlier.  My $400 dollars alone could buy 8 really nice, warm jackets, 400 pairs of mittens or hats, and 8-10 warm and dry pairs of boots.  Use your imagination to picture how many people could have clothing for the $5000 price tag of the diamond jacket in the photo on above.

Clearly, I have no objection to people wanting to take care of and spoil their pets a little bit.  That is the point of bringing a pet into  your home- to enjoy it and enhance both of your lives.  My point is that everyone, and I am definitely included in this,  should be aware about the possible message we let society give us, and that we then pass along to others.  Until writing this post, I had not realized the insane amount of clothing my animals own.  It’s almost embarrassing to admit that my dog has more coats than most people do, especially in the line of work I am in.

The pet industry in the United States is a $50 billion a year business.  It is actually one of the only sectors of the economy considered to be recession resistant, as it continues to make gains in profit margins even up through 2010.  Check out this article detailing the growth in pet-related trends from 2010, including pet clothing.   Meanwhile, up through 2009, clothing sales declined by 5%.  Draw your own conclusions.

For some people, pets do come before other human beings.  Is that really a  society that we want to live in, or a sentiment that we want to buy into, though?  Remember, we are all only one paycheck away from being in a situation where we may need help from others.  Just something to think about…

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