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  • Jesus Arambula

Pet Owners Are Selfish?

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For centuries, humanity has consistently reproduced like we were always made to from the beginning of humanity. We breed and raise kids, not for ourselves, but to keep humanity growing so that we can pass on our DNA and human traits to future generations. However, as time went by, people were now more inclined to owning pets and putting children and parenthood off to the side later in their lives. There are many reasons why people choose to postpone raising children, but it’s all the same from the Pope’s point of view…

Several days ago, Pope Francis commented regarding people who choose pets over children, calling them selfish. This, in turn, got the media’s attention as his tone was taken somewhat toxic and aggressive towards those who chose pets over children. “Today… we see a form of selfishness,” stated Pope Francis to the general audience at the Vatican. “We see that many people do not want to have a child. Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This makes people laugh but it is a reality.” The Pope continued by saying that choosing pets over children was a form of “denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.” Pope Francis also mentioned that “civilization grows old without humanity because we lose the richness of fatherhood and motherhood, and it is the country that suffers,” which is the consequence of not raising children, he believes.

Pope Francis also acknowledges that many people who wish to be parents cannot do so due to biological reasons and that adoption was always an option. Pope Francis urged people who do not have children to “not be afraid” and that raising children “is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child.”

On social media, “cat ladies” and couples with what they call “fur babies” are usually made fun of on various platforms. “Cat ladies” are known for being lonely and unloved. At the same time, the couples with “fur babies,” while being more acceptable, might consider them as self-centered narcissists who believe children are an inconvenience. According to the US Census Bureau, married couples with babies have fallen from 40% in 1970 to 20% in 2012. However, 70% of households include a pet.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, birth rates have fallen even more. Italy’s birth rate declines by 22%, Spain by 20%, and France by 13%. Although, now all couples opt-out of raising children due to diseases. Many don’t want children because of financial concerns. Others believe that having children would prevent them from doing things that they want to do, like taking vacations or doing other hobbies. In 2014, Francisc told Il Messaggero newspaper that choosing pets over children was “another phenomenon of cultural degradation,” and raising a child isn’t as easy as having a relationship with a pet.

But what do you think? How inconvenient is a child to someone’s life? What motivates people to choose pets over children? And even after the declining birth rate, why is our world population steadily increasing as years go by?


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