How do pets fill voids for humans? Try getting a human being to pay attention, reply to an email or a message. While conversation and cursive are a lost art, simply getting a human beings attention is a struggle. In short unless they need your assistance, service or product humans are non responsive. Pets fill that vacuum by being present and uncomplicated.
Which is the reason they took center stage from during Pandemic 2020. Humans are a hideously complicated social species (you wouldn’t know as we interact) but your primitive mind needs co operation. It kept us alive in the jungle and surprisingly we crave more of it in our urban jungle. Your comfort zone craves acceptance. You may outwardly deny your need for acceptance, while you inwardly crave it. Human beings have to be one of the most confused species on the planet. We comically claim absolute domination of a planet – who easily tosses us aside like a leafy in a cyclone.
How Pets fill voids for humans – Physical and Emotional
For as long as human memory and archeological evidences prove dogs (not all animals we now consider pets) have been our constant companions. From cave drawings or carvings on ancient monuments across the globe, canines as well as felines are a constant. How dogs fill voids for humans has three aspects physical, emotional and survival. Physical, the presence of a dog in a room changes its dynamics. This is true of a room full of people or if you are alone. For strangers who meet for the first time, pets are an ice breaker when they are a source of common interest.
The lighter side of pet care and life with pets involves and is not limited to pets doubling up as blankets, pillows, hiking buddies. Cats and dogs a living breathing vacuum cleaners.
Pets fill voids of loneliness, connection and acceptance. Screen time means less connection, we’re more connected than we’ve ever been as a species and it is tearing us father apart than any time in history. Cyber connections mean less in person connections. We may be online continually, but remain in isolation. We see each other online, with no eye contact. Pets are all these missing parts of an integral human experience. We’ve heaped on them the burden of friend and care giver and they have admirably risen to the occasion.
Covid Variants and the Voids in our lives
Covid and it’s myriad variants are “the new normal”. Just when we seemed to stabilise, variants have once again sent the world scrambling for shelter. We may debate the reasons from anti vaccination campaigns or blame “first world countries” of vaccine hoarding. Or maybe it’s because for the past two decades educational systems have pandered more than prepared students for life. The result is we find our world dealing with a virus which for now is winning the battle.
Lock down life sent humans across the globe of all ages, shapes and sizes to shelters and foster centers. We need companionship and animals are the most reliable ones. No fear of rejection or abandonment. They’re the perfect lock down buddy, even if they have an opinion they cannot vocalise it. If you know animals and learn body language (which helps for humans too) you’ll read them, otherwise you have a fluffy silent companion.
How Pets teach us Empathy
Empathy in any and all communication matters. Surrounded by selfishness it’s easy to loose or feel your empathic responses wane. A selfish individual changes the behaviour of people they live and work with – only to normalise their narcissistic actions and create a cold reality privately but a warm family facade publicly. Instead of teaching our youth to ‘toughen up’ and tragically repeat a cycle of violence which brings us to the chaotic reality the world finds itself in, leave the education of empathy to animals.
We’re a world full of humans so damaged they cannot recognise a loving empathic interaction when they experience one. Place a pet in each home and watch the world turn to empathy and evolve.