Petco, Animals, and the Humans Who Control Everything Essay

Petco, Animals, and the Humans Who Control Everything Essay

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The other day I was sitting with a friend of mine in a class, all of a sudden she turns to me saying, "You got to see this." Expecting to be handed a phone to read some text or watch a video to my surprise she hands me a copy of National Geographic turned to an article about the domestication of foxes. "Borrow it from me, I know you're into animal stuff, you got to read it." Only my friends would do this, but this article is a really great starting point to discussing pets. I think it is important to explain how I happened upon the article, because I doubt I would have gotten passed an article about wild foxes, or wild animals for that matter. The fact that they were able to breed foxes specifically to be pets for humans was the reason of interest, as her later comment that, "I totally want one, they are so adorable" shows . Pets are our strongest connection to the natural world; they are the part of nature we interact with on a day-to-day basis. Pet stores, like Petco which I visited, do a lot to mediate and influence manner in which relationships between people and their pets' form. Pets have a distinct role in people's lives as children, best friends, and members of the family which not only impact how the pet is treat it also impacts how other animals are seen and ranked in their importance towards humans.
At Petco one of the first things I came across was the Dog Bar, a table set up very similar to children's candy stores where one is changed by the pound for the candy put into the bag, but these weren't candy these were dog treats. The set up of the Dog Bar shows the store's desire for the pet to be seen as a child, which is a concept that has existed in American thought since the early 19th century. The Dog Bar is a tab...

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...t of the family. While the pets have gained better treatment and consumer power, through their owners, this concept has left many animals that are used to make consumer products. These animals are removed from humans so bonds are not formed with them, leaving them open for overuse and exploitation. Ideas like these are spread through the consumer market in places like Petco, where the entire business is reliant on people continuing to feel their animals are part of the family which means the pet needs certain items. If that idea didn't exist I don't think there would be need for a Petco or other big box pet stores, because there wouldn't be the social construct of the pet family member to drive the business. The basis of all of this is that people make pets, without the ideas behind pets would pets exist in the modern for and have the consequences to other animals?

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