The surrogation of human companionship

Published on February 11, 2022

The state of modern society: Pets are now a quick fix for the lack of a human best friend in your life.

We have become ever more dependant on animals for companionship. A concept that used to only be reserved for human connections- Relationships with friends and family. Yet the modern world is challenging the ideals of what traditionally used to be a very sustainable ecosystem of human connection.

 

Today more and more millennials are earning less than the generations before at the age of 20 and are ending up in more and more debt. They lack the same financial stability someone would have 20 years ago, which causes them to delay major life events. For example, getting married, stating a family, and having the very traditional trajectory of life in the 80s.

Even still the modern generation seems to be adaptive to this change, they are redefining the terms of early adulthood. Changing their priorities to suit self-growth (as that is all they can afford), above growing a family. This creates a culture where people aim to find themselves and to become more introspective. Yet on the flip side this has been argued by the older generations who do value expanding their family to be selfish, self-absorbed, and immature behaviour.

So, what exactly are the consequence of this on our society and how do Pets, even come to play in this?

With more young adults seeking out activities that are meant for solo living, we become more and more isolated from each other. Companionship becomes a rarity, as people are separated from each other. We don’t place the same importance on having people around the home a lot. IN fact, some of them find it annoying to constantly have someone else ‘in their space’. They treat co-habitation as some sort of parasitic invasion.

 

There is also a deeper divide between generations, as those from the past believe that our ways are wrong. They fail to understand the underlying causes that make us puppets to this whole ploy of ‘modern living’. It is a sad joke that they simply do not get, due to the difference in generational ideology. As such, their hatred for the ways we are ‘destroying’ the traditional family unit brews resentment in the modern generation towards them for making the world so capitalistically unliveable.

 

So now, after a sprinkle of isolation and a dash of generational divide, the cherry on top is the commodification of animals. Also known as, Pets.

The market will only supply what is in demand, and companionship is exactly what we need. As such, they market the idea of domesticated furry friends to us as a replacement for the companionship that we are hard-wired to crave. It is a quick fix, to fight the silence in the home without feeling like you must adjust to another human in your space.

Pets are now admired as the things that are always there for us and they will love us unconditionally. They will not fight with us like a partner would, they would not talk aback in defiance like another human and they certainly would not roll their eyes at you. This may seem like a nice idea of having a furry friend always there for your emotional needs. Yet when you look at it form a different lens, what we label as ‘companionship’ between us and the animals is actually co-dependency.

We are holding these animals in captivity, and they depend on us for all of their living processes except for breathing. Sure they give us joy, yet are we glorifying captivity and ignoring the real problem which is our crippling loneliness as a generation?

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Category(s):Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance, Social Isolation, Values Clarification

Written by:

Sherilynn

analysing the human condition through social phenomenon.


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