“The Emperor Augustus once caught sight of some wealthy foreigners in Rome, who were carrying about young monkeys and puppies in their arms and caressing them with a great show of affection. We are told that he then asked whether the women in those countries did not bear children, thus rebuking in truly Imperial fashion those who squander upon animals that capacity for love and affection which in the natural order of things should be reserved for our fellow men.”
— Plutarch, from the Parallel Lives – Pericles
And now for my rant…
This is precisely what I think whenever I’m out and about and have to put up with someone’s infernal, yapping dog at a restaurant; or when I see photos of pets dressed up in the most ridiculous—not to say expensive-looking—costumes; or when I read about luxury pet spas complete with designer bedding and gourmet chefs. Amtrak can’t seem to run a railroad properly, what with abysmal on-time records and fatal train crashes, but they sure were happy to announce their new program allowing passengers to bring their pets along—wonderful for people like me with dog allergies.
Now, pets are perfectly fine. As those of you who’ve been reading me well know, I’m a cat person and had two cats: Victoria for 15 years and Max for 19 years. I have no pets at the moment for a variety of reasons, and sometimes I miss having them around.
But remember: they’re pets and just animals. Shouldn’t we be spending our real love, devotion and treasure upon our fellow men?