Individuals who have an affinity for animals are upset by a mother of three children who contends that referring to dogs as “fur babies” is disrespectful to mothers.
As per the Cambridge Dictionary, “fur babies” refers to a beloved pet that receives affection and care as if it were a baby. Pet owners use this term affectionately to include their pets as family members.
The woman, who recognizes the possibility of seeming “self-righteous” as a parent, failed to consider that “fur babies” is an established English term. Consequently, her critical remarks about pet owners triggered a wave of reactions from the online community.
Diverging opinions are emerging between individuals who regard their dogs as children and those who see them as simple animals. Roughly 76% of people who own cats and 85% of those who own dogs consider their pets as family members, as reported by Forbes. Moreover, American expenditure on pets rose from $123.6 billion in 2021 to $136.8 billion in 2022.
In a separate survey involving 2,000 cat and dog owners, 81% of participants mentioned that they treat their pets on par with humans, and 71% frequently prioritize their pets’ needs over their own, as per a second study.
In a survey commissioned by Chewy, it was found that 47% of participants call their pets “babies,” while 31% identify themselves as the “parent” of their furry companion. Elizabeth Broadbent views this as disrespectful to mothers.
During the summer of 2022, Broadbent wrote an article for an online publication, advising pet owners against using the term “fur babies” to describe their animals.
With a trio of kids and a pair of dogs, the mother asserts that “children and dogs are not equivalent.”
“…However, we never referred to those cherished canines as ‘furkids’ or ‘furbabies’. Because, as far as I’m aware, dogs aren’t human.” She adds, “Your pup isn’t your offspring, so refrain from claiming so. With three children of my own, I’m certain of this: kids and dogs aren’t identical.”
The Facebook post sparked anger among online users, who condemned her invasive remarks.
“Seems like she’s got plenty of free time… I’m pretty sure we all know the distinctions. I have 2 kids and adore my fur baby,” one person writes, and another comments, “She’s definitely correct, they aren’t identical, that’s why dogs are furbabies, children are skinpuppies, and kids are baby goats.”
Another individual adds, “Beloved dogs are akin to fur-covered babies, displaying remarkable loyalty when treated with affection… this woman seems uninformed in making such a discouraging plea to others… after all, we live in a free world.”
Broadbent proceeds to describe her efforts in childproofing her home, which involved eliminating “risks of strangulation,” securing “cleaning substances,” and installing “safety locks on all cabinets.”
In preparation for the puppy, she mentioned, “you eliminated anything that can be chewed, removed toxic plants, and supplied suitable chew toys.”
However, as noted by The American Kennel Club, she overlooked some essential aspects of pet-proofing, such as:
*Get rid of or conceal all items that can be chewed on (cables, plants, food, medicines)
*Keep cleaning products in a secure location
*Use childproof latches to secure cabinets
*Raise blinds to prevent the risk of strangulation
Broadbent does, however, concur that “having a pet is a significant responsibility that should be embraced solely by individuals who are genuinely dedicated to caring for an animal throughout its entire lifespan.”
Implying that “you can pretty much neglect your dog,” she goes on to say, “You’re committed to your dog… well, except you’re not, because you can leave. Before my husband and I had children, we used to travel frequently – we’d leave our dogs at the pet spa, pay extra for playtime, and take flights without feeling guilty.”
Broadbent belongs to the group of 60% of individuals who don’t consider their dogs when making travel plans.
Additionally, slightly over half (62%) expressed a desire to bring their pets along when traveling, whether “constantly” or “most of the time,” even though only 40% of respondents mentioned that their pets influence their travel arrangements.
“Our pets have become our entire universe, so it’s natural to witness them securing a well-deserved significant role within our homes,” states Dr. Katy Nelson, Chief Veterinarian at Chewy. “This aligns with the broader pattern of ‘pet prioritization,’ which involves prioritizing our pets’ requirements over our own while making significant life choices or organizing our social events and everyday actions.”
Internet users who align with the “fur baby” perspective are displeased with Broadbent’s viewpoints.
A user comments, “I have two daughters and a furry companion. My daughters refer to the furry companion as their little brother, and my husband and I consider him our son. He recognizes each of us by name. When my husband instructs him to go to ‘Mommy,’ he’s right at my feet instantly. Some individuals can’t grasp that these ‘fur babies’ are integral to our family.”
The post proceeds, “These animals are cherished, reciprocating fierce and unconditional love. I personally feel pity for those who haven’t encountered a dog’s unconditional affection. Perhaps then, they’d comprehend the concept of ‘fur babies’.”
Someone else comments, “She’s entirely correct, they aren’t equivalent. Generally, animals are more well-mannered and pleasant to be around compared to some children nowadays.”
Only a small number of the more than 16,000 comments endorse Broadbent’s perspective.
“I concur with her… they are pets… creatures… not beloved offspring,” states an individual in a comment that sparked numerous responses.
Another person responds, “Why can’t they all be cherished? I treat my furry companion just as I would want to be treated. I show my son that same affection and consideration. I have an ample amount of love to share!”
Another individual remarks, “I completely share your viewpoint! My furry companions are better behaved than certain ‘precious’ children too!!”
A devoted lover of fur babies expresses, “My dogs, cats, and whatever other creatures I consider part of my family can be my ‘babies,’ whether they have fur, feathers, skin, or scales. Each one of them holds a unique spot in my heart and life, deserving the loving label I’ve chosen for them. So, don’t upset me with your narrow-mindedness, and return to your secluded space.”
We have a deep affection for animals and find it truly wonderful how diligently individuals care for their quadrupedal offspring! Animals are incredibly endearing, vulnerable creatures that rely on their human caregivers for heaps of unwavering affection.
Feel free to spread this story and let’s hear others’ thoughts on this mother’s stance regarding fur babies!