Only humans have pets in their homes, perhaps because it is costly to take care of 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 might at first feel that these monkeys want to keep that animal as a pet.
Instead, the monkeys wildly ejected the animal and rolled it here and there, ending badly.
This chimpanzee behavior was too violent for the animal, which ultimately led to its destruction. The monkeys continued to play for another 30 minutes after his death.
However, this is a special case; a small antelope is not a “pet” in the conventional sense. Also, animals do not have pets. You will not see a chimpanzee taking a picnic as humans do, or an elephant raising a pet companion turtle.
Thus, it seems that an animal is considered a member of the family only for humans. The question here is why it happens?
How Petting Animals started in history ?
To start with, it is not clear to what time period humans usually acquire pets. We know that our ancestors, perhaps thousands of years ago, kept some wolves close to them.
They may have captured these wolves, who are young, then domesticated them, and found that they were useful for hunting.
Over time, these wolves became a tame companion, moving on 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 meals, health care and a place to live.
Pros and cons of owning a pet
Although such animals provide for the care of companions and companions, their care and care takes a lot of time, and this relationship of care often goes in one direction (without counting some exceptions such as guard dogs that benefit their owners in turn).
After so many years, some of your children may take care of you. Taking care of those close to us is now logical according to the theory of evolution. These people share our genes, so ensuring their survival helps these genes to survive.
But the same does not apply to the family pet, whether it be a dog, a cat or a rat. You can’t expect your pet to give you something tangible in return for taking care of it.
Yet 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 evidence available is contradictory. While some studies have shown that pets have a positive effect on some aspects of human health, other studies – more recent in time – have revealed adverse results as well.
One research, for example, has shown that people who have pets are more likely to have mental health problems and have higher levels of depression than those without them.
Other studies have shown that the degree of happiness enjoyed by pet owners, is not more than that of those who do not keep such organisms near them.
John Bradshaw, a researcher at the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol in Britain, said that the popular media still immortalize the supposed health benefits of raising 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 linked 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 girls are doing 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 “true indicator” of one’s wealth. From this perspective, this shows that pet owners have sufficient additional resources to bear the financial burdens of this, as well as to sustain themselves.
“There are a lot of historical and cultural factors that relate to how we chose to express our desire to care for animals,” Bradshaw says. “But it’s basically a human instinct, which is usually a true indicator of how well they can care.”
Cultural factor impacts on petting animals
Besides, cultural factors always play a role in this regard. Not all societies had pets in the form that we have.
An analysis of many cultures, conducted in 60 countries, showed that the citizens of 52 of these countries possess dogs. But in 22 of these countries, such dogs are not considered companions of their owners or pets.
In some cultures where pets are common, they are treated harshly, as anthropologist Jard Diamond observed in a tribal in New Guinea.
For a tribe like the Kembo in Kenya, dogs are kept and raised only for guarding and protection.
The language of this tribe does not originally have the word “pet.” The owners of the dogs there are not patting them or including them, nor do they allow them at all to enter their homes.
According to Harold Herzog, a researcher at the University of Western California in the United States, these differences show that the issue of the acquisition of a pet is entirely related to culture.
Addressing the audience for the annual conference of the Society for Psychology in New York, Herzog said that we are buying pets because others do so, since it is a “social infection.”
“We have these general tendencies to be attracted to lively things; 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,” Ha says. Is it here then? “.
Herzog concludes that the acquisition of pets results from learning and adopting social signals from others. In other words, this is a cultural concept or a trend that is constantly being 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 had.
There is also an increase in the number of people seeking to rescue dogs living in shelters through the acquisition. According to Herzog, such tendencies and conflicts are similar to those one can see in the fashion world.
It seems clear that it is difficult to determine precisely why humans should have pets, as it can be a combination of several factors.
But in any case this will not reduce the kindness and charm of that puppy or this cat.