Only humans keep pets in their homes, perhaps because it’s expensive to care for a loved one. The question arises: What drives us to acquire pets?
Do animals have pets?
When you see four chimpanzees captivating a small doe, you may at first feel that these monkeys want to have that animal as a pet.
Instead, the monkeys savagely expelled the animal and rolled it here and there, ending badly.
This chimpanzee behavior was too violent for the animal, ultimately leading to its destruction. The monkeys continued to play for another 30 minutes after their death.
However, this is a special case; a small antelope is not a “pet” in the conventional sense. In addition, the animals do not have pets. You won’t see a chimpanzee having a picnic like humans do, or an elephant raising a pet turtle.
Thus, it seems that an animal is considered a member of the family only for humans. The question here is why does it happen?
How Petting Animals started in history?
For starters, it’s unclear what time period humans typically acquire pets. We know that our ancestors, perhaps thousands of years ago, had some wolves nearby.
They may have captured these wolves, which are young, then tamed them and found them to be useful for hunting.
Over time, these wolves became a tame companion, moving further down the path of evolution and mutating into dogs. According to a study published in May, this may have happened 27,000 years ago.
From that moment on, the relationship between humans and dogs was inseparable, and the acquisition of a pet became an aspect shared by many cultures.
This may seem strange, given that it is physically expensive. Pets need food, medical care, and a place to live.
Pros and cons of having a pet
Although such animals provide the care of companions and companions, their care and care takes a long time, and this care relationship often goes in one direction (not counting some exceptions such as guard dogs that in turn benefit their owners). .
After so many years, some of your children can take care of you. Taking care of those around us is now logical according to the theory of evolution. These people share our genes, so ensuring their survival helps these genes survive.
But the same is not true for the family pet, be it a dog, a cat or a rat. You can’t expect your pet to give you something tangible in exchange for taking care of it.
However, millions of people still own these animals and consider them an integral part of the family.
There are many explanations for this. For decades, there has been a perception that pets have health benefits for those who own them, such as improving the mental health of these people and possibly making them live longer.
But the available evidence is contradictory. Although some studies have shown that pets have a positive effect on some aspects of human health, other studies, more recent in time, have also revealed adverse results.
Research, for example, has shown that people who have pets are more likely to have mental health problems and higher levels of depression than those who don’t.
Other studies have shown that the degree of happiness enjoyed by pet owners is no greater than that of those who do not keep such organisms close to them.
John Bradshaw, a researcher at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences in Britain, said popular media still immortalizes the purported health benefits of keeping pets, although these “benefits” have turned out to be generally incorrect in recent years. .
“People don’t live longer if they have a pet,” says Bradshaw. “The argument that this is related to adaptation theory is no longer valid.”
But the question of sharing life with a pet may have been useful in the past. According to Bradshaw, this has shown that the girls do well in caring for helpless mammals, an indication of their potential as mothers in the future.
This also confirmed a tendency to embrace and promote compassionate and compassionate behavior.
Other theories have suggested that the acquisition of a pet, such as a dog, may be a “real indicator” of one’s wealth. From this perspective, this shows that pet owners have enough additional resources to bear the financial burdens of this, as well as to support themselves.
“There are many historical and cultural factors that relate to how we choose to express our desire to care for animals,” says Bradshaw. “But it’s basically a human instinct, which is usually a real indicator of how well they can care.”
Impacts of Cultural Factors on Companion Animals
In addition, cultural factors always play a role in this regard. Not all societies kept pets in the way we have.
An analysis of many cultures, conducted in 60 countries, showed that citizens of 52 of these countries own dogs. But in 22 of these countries, these dogs are not considered companions to their owners or pets.
In some cultures where pets are common, they are treated harshly, as anthropologist Jard Diamond observed in a New Guinea tribe.
For a tribe like the Kembo in Kenya, dogs are kept and bred only for guard and protection.
The language of this tribe originally does not have the word “pet”. Dog owners are not petting or including them, nor are they allowing them into their homes at all.
According to Harold Herzog, a researcher at the University of Western California in the United States, these differences show that the issue of acquiring a pet is totally related to culture.
Addressing the audience at the Psychological Society’s annual conference in New York, Herzog said we’re buying pets because others do, as it’s a “social infection.”
“We have these general tendencies to be attracted to things that are animated; we have a tendency to see puppies and kittens as cute and magical beings. But a very nice puppy in the United States can be a meal in South Korea,” says Ha. Is he here then? “.
Herzog concludes that pet acquisition results from learning and adopting social cues from others. In other words, this is a cultural concept or trend that is constantly reinforced by its own popularity.
For example, English Bulldogs are experiencing a boom in popularity at a time when purebred non-hybrid dogs no longer enjoy the preference they once did.
There is also an increase in the number of people looking to rescue dogs living in shelters through acquisition. According to Herzog, such trends and conflicts are similar to those that can be seen in the world of fashion.
It seems clear that it is difficult to determine precisely why we humans should have pets, since it can be a combination of several factors.
But in any case, this will not reduce the friendliness and charm of that puppy or this cat.