Many people grew up in a type of emotional deficit. This deficit means that
children are kept unsure about being unconditionally
accepted by their parents or caregivers. This unconditional
acceptance they do get from their dependent and faithful pets.
Your cat rubs its face against your legs, your dog wags
its tail enthusiastically, and this is seen as a form
of appreciation. They appear to be glad that the master
is home. And they are, because your coming home means
food and attention, two things they can hardly influence
themselves, in which they were made and kept dependent.
Emotionally neglected people are often fixed on these
shows of affection. This fixation is unpleasantly demonstrated
by the reward these pets get for their open attitude
towards people: they are locked inside cages or other
tiny spaces. Just imagine them running away! Inside
this prison the animal is available to its master until
death parts them. In these pathetic wordings lies the
parallel to human relationships. Pet owners are missing
something that they try to regain from their pets.
There are good reasons to decide to get a pet, for instance when animals need
shelter. But people looking for emotional compensation
from animals for what they can't find in other people
would be well advised not to get a pet. For animals
this need for attachment is a lot less desirable. In
the animal world there exists some loyalty between the
animals themselves, but these are dependency relationships
between adult animals and their young. This may seem
like a shortcoming of animals in their capacity for
love, but in fact it is a good thing. Dependency between
adult animals would mean a lack of freedom. And exactly this freedom is a characteristic
of free nature. True love for animals is best shown
by letting them be free.
To which we have to add that by freedom we don't mean
animal liberators setting minks free. Letting animals
be free means that you do not keep them as pets as a substitute for love, or set them free in an unsuitable environment (habitat) when you grow tired of them.
The odd man out in our relationship
toward animals is the fisherman. With angling,
a fish is tempted to take the bait. It's
a form of hunting that has many parallels
to pleasure hunting and hunting for a partner.
With their fishing rod, a type of extended
penis; men wait by the side of the pond
until a fish takes their seductive bait.
The animal is hooked, reeled in, sometimes
admired for a minute and then measured,
shortly thereafter to be released again.
Multiple contacts at the waterfront, you
might say. And afterwards the fishermen
brag to each other about how big it was
and what a struggle it was to reel it in.
And the fish? The fish (if it survives)
swims away wounded, to chance becoming another
We should try to realize
this more. Do animals really need the situations
in which we place them? That they are locked
up as pets until we give them attention
or ask them to give us attention?
It's very unlikely that, given a choice,
animals would have chosen to become our
We as humans would do the animal world a
great service if we would stop consuming
animals as pets, as a form of entertainment,
and through sports.
If we are to stop abusing our world we
need to let go of our attachments. This
does not, as people often suppose, mean
detachment, which implies complacency and
not caring, and for some, going without
material well-being and comforts. It is,
quite simply, non-attachment.
The fisherman is another one
of those people who has not freed himself from the wish
for confirmation. He angles for compliments. Had he been
given enough love and attention as a child, he would feel
no need to experience time and again if the fishes would
bite. Not for nothing is fishing an activity mainly carried
out by mischievous children and boring old men. Which
is precisely the category that doesn't score well with
women. However, mothers play a dual role in this. They
hate being used by men and they hate that men fish. But
still they would rather see their men spending their time
on the waterfront and directing their energies towards
fishes than towards chasing women.
It's all about power and
the ego. Society builds our ego and wants to make us believe
that this ego is real and powerful, but we doubt and
search for confirmation. Others, including animals,
supply this confirmation, because they want to string
us along and want us to believe we are really successful,
that we have a position of power in society and towards
the wife at home.
But we are not sure, we want self-assurance and that's
why many people are trying to find this in the battle
with defenseless (small) animals.