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Pets: Treating ourselves like we treat them

What would happen if we treated ourselves the way we treated our pets?

This line of questioning can create a LARGE spectrum of answers and opinions.

On one end, we have pet parents who feed their pets homemade food, organic, natural, or other high-end foods, while the person still eats processed, unhealthy foods. That pet parent will spend fortunes on veterinary care and check-ups for the fur-baby, foregoing an annual check up for themselves. These pet parents love without hesitation and give more than they can, in many ways.

At the other end of the spectrum, some pet owners chain their pets outside, in the rain, cold, and heat. Sometimes they remember to feed their dog. Sometimes they remember to give him fresh water. Sometimes they don’t.

Throughout history and still today, there have been those who regard animals as sub-creatures and those that elevate them, even to the point of worship, as did the Egyptians.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi, who said, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

Buddhist will be familiar with this verse from Dhammapada 129, “All living things fear being beaten with clubs. All living things fear being put to death. Putting oneself in the place of the other, Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.”

One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, an advocate for equality and change, said, “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

Our world-views, moral beliefs, and religious beliefs shape how we view others and ourselves. 

Where do you fall on the spectrum? I recommend taking Lincoln’s advice – taking a holistic approach to animal care and yourself.

Make sure you are caring for your animals as you care for yourself. Ask yourself these questions.

Do you care for your pets more than you care for yourself?

Do you care for them less than you care for yourself?

How do your worldviews shape how you care for your animals?

If you cared for yourself as you care for your animals, would you be healthier? Happier?

Would you be miserable? Would you fall somewhere in-between?

Analyzing yourself, your personal relationships, your world view, can help you treat yourself better, and treat your pets better.