White people and their “human” pets

Home Forums Race/Ethnicity White people and their “human” pets

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  • #2229

    Carole-T
    Participant

    Why do white people allow their animals to live like human beings in their homes? I’ve noticed from homes of whites that I have visited that they allow the dogs, cats, etc. to climb on the kitchen counters, sleep in their beds, lick their faces after the dogs have licked filthy things, and the list goes on. I am not trying to be disrespectful, I’m just curious. Also, why do white people eat out in restaurants so much? Do they ever make home-cooked meals?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Carole-T, Gender : F, City : Atlanta, State : GA Country : United States, 
    #39455

    Jacqueline-C21024
    Participant

    I can’t speak for other white people, but this white girl thinks it’s disgusting to let a dog lick your face. I have a dog. He stays in the back yard, and when I am done playing with him or walking him, I wash my hands and usually change my clothes. When he was a puppy, he lived in the house, but was never allowed on the bed or couch. I’m really uncomfortable in people’s houses where the dogs are everywhere. I always feel smelly when I leave. As for cats, they are a lot cleaner than dogs, and I allow mine to sleep on the bed or the couch, but would never let him climb on the kitchen counters. As for why white people eat in restaurants a lot, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a matter of priorities; they don’t make time to cook at home. Personally, we eat at home all the time. I prefer to cook for my family and friends than to go to a restaurant.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jacqueline-C21024, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 26, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Engineer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #14636

    Nancy20248
    Participant

    A relationship between a person and his or her pet is very special and almost human. I think climbing on the kitchen sinks and licking faces is gross, too, but I love my cat like a friend, so I do let her sleep in my bed and stay inside all the time (mainly for protection against other animals and bad weather). In fact, I think it’s cruel to adopt a pet and keep it outside. Animals need love and attention, but limits are necessary for hygienic reasons.

    On the other matter, I eat out at restaurants often because I don’t like cooking for myself. I think it’s worth spending a little extra for the convenience, and it usually tastes better than my concoctions. It may be one of the signs of the breakdown of the American family, however.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Nancy20248, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 30, City : Atlanta, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : professional, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #44068

    Lisa
    Member

    Some pet owners are fastidiously clean. Some have homes that reek of animal odor (and yes, I’m not too comfortable in these homes, either.) My pets have always lived somewhere in the middle. My home is hygienic. The reason animals live, to some degree, like family members is that they are just that. A dog or cat stays in the family for five to 20 years. They love unconditionally. There are a lot of human relationships that are more ephemeral. And technically speaking, dogs and cats are cleaner in many respects than humans.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lisa, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 24, City : los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #28454

    Orleanas19982
    Participant

    I really don’t hink that this is a white or other issue,but more like a person’s view of the role of their pets. I’m Black and have a cat, but we allow him to live like a baby with us. He does whatever he please and has free reign of every place in the house. He’s treated like a child more than a pet and I find nothing wrong with that. We’ve not got as far as buying him clothes and the like, but I don’t mind spitting out the big bucks for his care. And what’s wrong with having him climb onto the counters?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Orleanas19982, Gender : F, City : Boston, State : MA Country : United States, Occupation : Sudent, 
    #41050

    Melissa
    Member

    I’ve seen what you’re talking about before, and I agree that letting your pets live like humans is nasty. I knew a woman who would let her dogs lick the plates after supper…ick. But about white people eating out in restaurants.. I always thought it was a southern thing to have home-cooked meals, and I’m surprised that from here (Montgomery, AL) to Atlanta, the culture is that different. We NEVER ate out in restaurants when I was little, it was always going over to grandma’s for dinner or whatever, and to this day my mother cooks dinner every night. I guess the people you’re seeing either a) don’t know good food, or b) have more money than sense. 🙂

    User Detail :  

    Name : Melissa, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 21, City : Montgomery, State : AL Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47664

    Anonymous
    Member

    I’ve noticed this too. But much, much, more on television commercials, sit coms and movies rather than in real life. This is not to say whites don’t ever do this in real life, just that, in my experience, it is illustrated much more in the above mediums.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Anonymous, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Age : 42, City : Louisville, State : KY Country : United States, 
    #44852

    John
    Member

    I love my dog and enjoy her affectionate kisses. I do not think she is any dirtier than most humans, except when it rains and her paws get muddy. But the more important question is why you think ‘pet love’ is a white trait. In my neighborhood, which is predominantly white but quite diverse, I have black, Hispanic and Asian neighbors that dote on their pets too. What these people do have in common, however, is that they are all middle class to slightly upper middle class. Carol, you don’t tell us your background or the income level you grew up in. I suspect that the reason you find people bonding to pets so foreign may have more to do with income level. Poorer people cannot afford to have pets or if they do, cannot afford to view them as members of the family. When one gets too emotionally attached, one feels obligated towards them. I spent thousands of dollars on my dog recently in vet bills. It is the first time I have owned one as an adult and I am beginning to think that it really does require a high income to treat them well.

    User Detail :  

    Name : John, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 44, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : systems analyst, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #30198

    Shadow
    Participant

    I have two doting humans who let me climb into anything I want. When it’s cold out, one of my humans lets me sleep in her arms. They do this because I am very clean, because they own a good vacuum cleaner and because they love me very much. I don’t know if only white people do this, but my humans have a Latin-American friend who thinks Americans are unusually attached to their pets. He thinks it’s because Americans spend too much time alone and are unconnected to family members and their communities. But I don’t mind. Director’s Note: We’ve reached a new benchmark with our first non-human respondent.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Shadow, Gender : F, Race : Grey Furry Feline-American, Age : 12, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, 
    #46989

    Crystal
    Member

    Culturally, white people from WASP and Scandinavian backgrounds are taught to be emotionally reserved. Often it’s easier to express affection to pets than to other people. However, I have known people who aren’t white to spoil their pets, so I think it’s also a function of individual preference. By the way, I have several cats, and I do consider them my children. They have cleaner, nicer habits than some of my ex-boyfriends!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Crystal, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Pagan, Age : 30's, City : Oakland, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Office Manager, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #14002

    Andy
    Member

    I’m a white guy and live alone with my cat. In the past, I’ve owned many dogs and cats. Yeah, my cat can do pretty much whatever he wants (though I don’t let him get on the counter). My cat sleeps in my bed, and I do allow him to lick me if he chooses to. Cats are clean animals. They keep themselves clean and are not likely to bring germs to the bed. As for dogs, yes, they are a bit more dirty and nasty, but I’ve allowed certain dogs to sleep in my bed because the relationships I’ve had with them were almost human. I guess my best answer to your question about why many white people allow pets to do whatever they want is that they are nice to have around and are seen as family members.

    As for the restaurant thing, most white people I know who are single eat out a lot because it’s a drag to cook for one person. Invariably, as a single guy, when I cook for myself, I make far too much of it. And it’s not that much fun to make a wonderful meal if you can’t share it with someone. I think most white couples without kids also eat out a lot for the same reasons – plus the convenience factor of eating out. I’ve found, though, that white people with kids start eating at home a lot more often. I think part of it is to lower the cost, and another part of it is that they just don’t want to have to deal with screaming kids in a public place.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Andy, Gender : M, City : Indianapolis, State : IN Country : United States, 
    #35723

    Alan-R
    Participant

    I’m a white guy who wouldn’t have a dog or cat in my bed or on my counter to save it’s life. They’re animals, not human. I don’t dislike pets. In fact, I breed snakes and raise mice to feed them. They’re kept in the garage in cages. I wash my hands after every encounter with my pets or anyone else’s.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Alan-R, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 54, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #40974

    Laurene-Lugo
    Participant

    I am a 49-year-old European American woman. I lived in Mexican villages for two years as a young adult, and so understand your curiosity. When I was a child, I had no younger siblings and had a dog that I probably loved every bit as much as a little brother. Since living in Mexico and having five kids, I treat animals more like animals. I believe ‘mainstream culture’ tends to confuse animals with people because we project our affections onto them. I still love animals, but recognize they are animals and not people.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Laurene-Lugo, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 49, City : San Juan Capistrano, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47186

    People’s treatment of their pets is based, in my opinion, not on race but rather on how they were raised, and how pets, if any, were treated when they were a child. Growing up, we always had pets, cats mostly, and they were my babies. They slept in my bed, I played nursemaid and mid-wife (yes, mid-wife) and even gave mouth-to-mouth to one of my cats while suffering congenital heart failure (the vet said I saved his life). Conversely, a co-worker of mine (also Black) is totally baffled at the very idea of pets much less considering them family or even grieving when they die… he was raised differently. Personally I think that children that are denied pets are deprived of something wonderful. I think that with further investigation you’ll probaly find equal numbers of Blacks and Whites on both sides of this fence.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Katherine D., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 24, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Soon to be student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #30395

    I didn’t realize it had anything to do with colour. My wife, for example, would let our cats go anywhere they wanted, while I prefer that they stay on the floor. We both welcome the occasional lick and don’t kick them off the bed unless they are being annoying. I think that if you are a pet ‘lover’, you are probably guilty of some of these behaviors regardless of the colour of your skin. There is really no reason to have an animal around if you dont’t like them. Maybe there is. I see some pets kept purely for prestige. Other people, it seems, need something to kick around once in a while. As for eating out so often, would you prepare food on a counter that the cat was sleeping on? Just kidding, it’s probably got to do with wealth and lifestyle more than race or colour. White people in North America enjoy higher incomes and better job opportunities than the rest. Given the above, it makes sense to me that there would be more two income families and they would spend their extra money on things like ballet and piano lessons, little league baseball etc. All things that require additional time. With such a busy lifestyle, there will be more situations where there is no time to cook or one just doesn’t feel like cooking.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jeff Charette, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 52, City : Sudbury, State : NA Country : Canada, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
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