Do you own a pet? Did you ever have one? If not, do you love animals?
Do you know that Human beings are called Social Apes? The primary difference between a human being and an animal is that humans have a better sense of right and wrong; they can speak their heart out. Have you ever experienced that feeling of love and bonding with an animal? It might either be with your pet or wild animals. When we talk about pets, people generally restrict themselves to dogs and cats, which is not true. People also tend to keep rabbits, birds, horses, turtles, fishes, etc. as pets.
In the past, animals were domesticated for specific use like dogs for tracking and house safety, and cats for killing rats. However, today, owning a pet is primarily because of bonding, as pets are considered a part of the family. Majority of the pet owners would agree that their pets sleep in their room or their bed as well, in a few cases, at night; they celebrate their pet’s birthdays, or they grief their demise as it leaves an emptiness in their life and completes their pet’s last rites just like that of humans.
Compassion for animals is closely associated with the goodness of one’s character. Also, one may confidently advocate that the one who is cruel and harsh to animals cannot be a good man. Developing connect and empathy with animals is a vital part of our social development as well. One of the findings in some research is that people with pets survive longer than people with human social support alone. When we play with a pet, Oxytocin, a love hormone, is released in our body and has multifold benefits. Our interactions with animals can impact physical and emotional health, and the following are the benefits mentioned below-
- It reduces stress.
- It diminishes your aggression and increases generosity.
- It improves mental health by reducing loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
- It increases your trust, bonding, and attachment and overall socializing skills.
- It Relaxes our autonomic system, which includes blood pressure, cortisol, and epinephrine levels.
- It minimizes the possibility of cardiovascular diseases and increases longevity by lowering our BP and cholesterol.
- It promotes empathy and compassion in people.
However, owning a pet makes you their master but does not give you a right to abuse them. When you love animals and are kind to them, they repay that love exponentially. However, each of them has a different way of expressing it. They tend to express their affection commonly by licking, cuddling, tail-wagging, jumping in the air, offering their paws to shake hands, leaning against, and following their master.
Do you know why some people love animals so much?
Have you ever wondered why sometimes we love our pets more than our relatives or next-door neighbors? Does this astonish you that how two completely different species can make each other so happy? It is because people disappoint and betray, but the animals will never do. A few reasons are as below-
- Animals are a great companion. Dogs are often known as the best friend of a man. There is nothing comparable to the joy of coming home to see a companion who eagerly waits for you.
- Pets love you unconditionally and without any expectations. They do not care if you are skinny or obese, rich or poor, black or white. All they demand is your presence, your love, your voice & touch, and nothing else.
- Pets are loyal to you. In a world where humans can’t trust each other, you can blindly trust your pet as they cannot talk behind your back and never betray you.
- Animals are the most supportive audience without any argument. You can always talk to them, confide in your darkest secrets with them. They are there all the time when you need them, and they ask no questions and pass no criticisms.
- Pets bring you contentment. No matter how tiring or unpleasant a day you had, they will always be there to welcome you and make you feel pampered and relaxed.
- Animals are divine mirrors, and the more you love them, they will reflect the same. They do not understand evil or jealousy. They also do not judge you, unlike humans.
- Animals share emotions. They can laugh when you laugh, cry when you cry, and feel distressed when their master is sad.
- Animals also help lonely people to discover a sense of meaning or purpose in their lives by filling a void.
- Even when you do not treat your pets well, they still come to you and teach you forgiveness, love, empathy towards them, and other humans as they are increasingly becoming desensitized towards others.
- Pets bring you closer to Mother Earth and let you stay connected to your roots. When we watch wild animals in their territory, it reminds us to be humble about our strength and dominance.
As they say, ‘A part of our soul remains unawakened until we have loved an animal.’ So, having a pet can be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding experience. It comes with great responsibility and is a privilege too. It will take nothing away from you to be kind to an animal. Instead, it will give you all their love and affection. Loving animals will make you rich beyond measure, despite the few possessions or little money you have. However, if you do not have an animal as a pet, you can show your love by feeding the hungry stray animals or helping the injured or sick animals by contacting animal welfare agencies to provide them shelter and treatment.
To conclude, I believe compassion for animals will make more room for compassion among people, weaving more empathy, and fill us with respect, dignity, and love for others. Make sure the next time when you look into an animal’s eyes, you do not see an animal. You should see a living being, a friend, a soul, and a companion.