Why do we keep pets? It seems illogical – they make a mess, destroy furniture, and can even be dangerous. But according to scientist John Bradshaw, it’s ingrained in our nature. In fact, he argues that pets might just save the world.
Bradshaw’s theories are backed by solid research. In his previous book, Cat Sense, he debunked myths about cat behavior and suggested ways to improve their lives. Now, in The Animals Among Us, Bradshaw takes a similar approach to pets in general. He questions why we have dogs and cats in our homes and explores the field of anthrozoology, which studies the interactions between animals and humans.
Bradshaw’s engaging writing style makes complex topics accessible. While the book lacks extensive research on pet keeping, it still offers entertaining myth-busting. For example, the idea that people only have pets because they’re lonely is debunked. In fact, larger households are more likely to have pets.
Bradshaw proposes that our love for pets stems from deep-seated characteristics of human nature. We find animals cute, a response developed over millions of years to ensure the care of offspring. Our tendency to anthropomorphize and the pleasure of stroking animals are also factors. Pets in our homes are a legacy of our ancestors’ history.
But the most exciting aspect of Bradshaw’s book is the potential impact of growing up with pets. Research suggests that people who were raised with pets are more likely to be concerned about animal welfare and the environment. Encouraging pet ownership could be the key to fostering a greater sense of responsibility towards the planet.
In a world where the environment needs our attention, The Animals Among Us offers a fresh perspective on why we keep pets and how they might just be the catalyst for change.