It is ridiculous that
pets get more clothes,
shoes, custom houses,
day care and jewelry
than most children in
The expense has to
be weighed against
feeding a family,
helping other people—money that can
be spent more wisely.
Kerstin M. Hanson
Imagine how many
uncared for animals
could get the basics
if the excess money
spent on fancy
things went to them instead.
WE PUSH THEM in strollers, take them to luxurious spas and adorn them in the
latest fashions. We’re emotional about them—awkwardly so, sometimes (just ask
Ellen DeGeneres). We spend lavishly on them: This year an estimated $40.8 billion
will be spent on pets, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Asso-
ciation—more than Americans spent last year on airfare ($35.6 billion) and nearly
as much as we spent on nursery, elementary and secondary schools ($46.4 billion).
Critics say things have gotten out of hand. Years ago pets lived more natural lives.
They ran loose, hunted, procreated and rarely answered to human names. Now they
don’t get enough exercise, and they can’t explore, much less procreate. They’re basi-
cally being loved to death.
Others say that pampering our pets has often helped animals and humans to live
longer and healthier lives. The bond we share with our pets enriches our lives, physi-
cal health and emotional well-being. While we are taking care of our pets, our pets
are taking care of us. What do you think?
Miami Shores, FL
That’s OK as long as
you feed them correctly, exercise and
socialize them. Just
like your children,
pamper, but don’t spoil.
I like the best of
things, so my pet
should have the
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David R. Stewart
Rapid City, SD
Most pets really
become like family
members and need
lots of love and care.