The U.S. is probably the only country in the world to be home to millions of pet animals. Americans keep all kinds of animals as pets with dogs and cats topping the list. Similar to expenses involved in raising a child, Americans spend billions of dollars for their pets. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal spent an astonishing $30.4 billion on pets in 2014. In addition to food and other items, Americans also spent another $28.0 billion on veterinary care in 2011. 56% of U.S. households own a pet.
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Source: Americans Show Their Pets Love to the Tune of $30.4 Billion, The Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2015
In some ways, high pet ownership in the U.S. can seem strange since more than 50% of households earn less than $50,000 per year. However other factors such as the need for companionship, unconditional love, etc. override financial concerns leading to pet ownership. A quick Google search on this topic brought up the question “Why are Americans so obsessed with pets?” by a foreigner in Quora. Here is a comment made by an anonymous user:
Christ, excuse all of the jack-offs in here…..if it hasn’t been made by the comments posted so far here: Ego. Americans love their ego, especially folks on the East Coast. “I’m so great, our pets are so great, my place is the best, my people are the best, because we’re the best and the toughest”…Jesus. No logic, facts or scientific merit whatsoever. Many people in many countries around the world can afford pets. Do they have a ridiculously heinous pet culture like America does? No. Do they have better educational systems? Of course. American public schools create internet trolls, trailer trash, submissive consumerism, incompetent politicians, an unhealthy obsession with material goods and pets, status symbols, SUV-driving soccer moms, and some of the largest consumer debt in any nation’s history. Not too bright, folks. Not too bright at all. And apparently, despite all of this “buying unconditional love” bull, an estimated 1 in 10 US adults report depression. That’s 3.3 million depressed adults, in this land of plenty. Don’t get me wrong, I love this country and the freedoms we used to have, but we have a strange culture. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it, I don’t know.
“The United States most closely resembles a huge, poorly thought-out, sick…joke.” ~ George Carlin (2005)
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