Recently, I read an article that left me feeling enraged, sad, and confused. And surprisingly, this article was not about Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. No. This article was about how being a pet parent shouldn’t actually be considered “parenting.” The article, which you may have read, was titled Pets Are Not Children, So Stop Calling Them That, and published on The Cut. As a proud dog mom, here’s why I strongly disagree.
1. Those eyes tho.
Okay. First of all, I have no idea how anyone who has looked into the wholesome eyes of a loyal canine, and cared for them in every way possible until their dying day, can dismiss that beautiful bond as anything less than parenting.
2. We do know there’s a difference between dogs and people.
It’s not as if pet moms and dads actually think their dogs are human children. We are not helping our dogs with math homework every night. We aren’t saving money for our dogs to attend college. And we aren’t worried about how difficult it’ll be to teach them how to drive a car – although, admittedly that would be awesome, if it were possible.
3. We may not give birth to them, but that doesn’t disqualify us as moms.
If I’m not my dog’s mom simply because I didn’t carry him in my belly for nine months, then what about all of the devoted and loving mothers who have adopted their children. Also, what about dads?
4. Here’s what the word “parent” actually means.
When I Googled the definition of “parent” I found several meanings, and this was one of them: “to be or act as the parent of.” So this is not an exclusive term to humans who raise humans. And it’s also not exclusive to people who give birth to humans.
5. Here’s what pet parents actually do for their pets.
The article stated, “When people call themselves pet ‘parents,’ they’re not just being playful. They sincerely believe that what they’re doing is parenthood.” Which, like, yeah we do!