Americans are fools for love — puppy love, that is.
"Dogs used to be thought of as guards, then as companions," writes Alexandra Suich for The Economist. "Now they are being treated like children."
We are not just cuddling them but also coddling them accordingly.
In America alone people spend a whopping $44 billion annually on pet food, supplies and toys, and that figure is growing. Last year they shelled out around $400 million for pet Halloween costumes, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2017 they will spend $593 million on Valentine's Day gifts for their animals.
What is a proper Valentine's Day gift for an animal? Dogs cannot eat chocolate, don't know what to do with flowers and look even sillier than I do in lingerie.
Spending this much on animals seems ridiculous, especially when we're strapped. And, though America is the richest country in the world, we are also, famously, broke. Untold numbers of us cannot come up with $1000 for an emergency and have no retirement savings to speak of.
How can we possibly justify spending billions on pets as though they are children?