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Children VS Pets

My 'aunt's friend had a kitten that died the other day. And on Facebook, my (child-less) aunt responded that she was sorry and that it really WAS like losing a child. I was offended. First of all, I've lost pets who died before. I've had one pet MURDERED before. While I still am sad to think about it, I am fine. My DD almost choked on a french fry when she was about 1 and a half and the ambulance was called, ect. Still to this day, I think about what would have happened if she really choked to DEATH - I CRY. Just thinking about the possibility. It's NOT the same. People don't mourn their pets the rest of their lives. People don't stay in bed for weeks, years and have to start taking medication if their pets die. It's NOT the same. I'm tired of hearing that losing a pet is like losing a child.
Has anyone else ever heard that and how does it make you feel?


Asked by Anonymous at 2:54 AM on Jun. 23, 2009 in Pets

This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • How can you expect someone that has no child to understand what it would be like to lose a child? This is something that comes with motherhood, and your aunt can have no knowledge of what that means. It is not because of lack of feeling that she made the comment, she is simply trying to convey to people around her the tragedy of her loss. Your aunt has no child and can only liken her experience to the loss of a child, because she can logically know how much of a tragedy that would be for someone. While she cannot in the slightest way empathize with your situation as a mother, you cannot empathize with her since she is motherless. In essence, who really should be offended? You, because your aunt has not been fortunate enough to be a mother and therefore can not understand it? Or her, for not having the empathy of her family members in what is a very difficult time for her?

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:02 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • For some people there pets are there children and they treat them like children. I'm not one to mourn the loss of a pet that long, but for some that all they have.

    Answer by vgiron at 2:59 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • If you don't have a child you don't know. I wouldn't waste the emotional energy on being offended.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:01 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • OP here - 2-1CaWife. You know, I really never thought about it that way. Like, she just doesn't know because she doesn't have children. I understand that and it's a good point.
    However, I have been child-less before and I still wouldn't have ever said losing a pet was like losing a child. I've heard it before though from many people. I just don't agree and I also think it's an insensitive thing to say - you don't know who you're around and if you're around someone who has lost a child before and you say something like that, they may freak out.
    and when I say 'you', I don't mean anybody in particular. I mean 'you' as in... everybody.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:12 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • No I completely understand, and in all honesty agree. It can be construed as "insensitive" on your aunt's part especially since she doesn't know who is around. The only point that I was making was that most of the time, these individuals cannot even fathom that they are being insensitive, because they simple cannot understand what it is to be a parent. The whole idea of the loss of a child is completely lost on them because they don't even understand the concept of the bond of a parent and child, so how can they understand what it is to experience that loss. Inadvertently it is just ignorance on the part of the individual.
    As someone who is an avid animal lover and activist, I still have never made the correlation. I did work at a clinic for years and have been present for more euthanasias than I care to talk about. It is heart-wrenching and on more than one occasion it was a childless individual that had an animal for 15+

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:25 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • years. The emotional investment of these individuals is immense. They didn't have the child to poor all of their affection and love into, and instead these animals were showered upon like children. Conversations were had, secrets were told, the saddest moments and happiest were shared. They poor a life time of experience into an animal and love it more dearly than anything in their life. These animals serve as a bond for individuals that have no social skills or perhaps cannot have children. They are their families, their everything. Just like we put all of our emotions and love into our children, these people place that same devotion into their animals. It can only be expected that when they pass all of that love and devotion goes with him. How can you not feel a sense of tragedy for that individual? Not because they loved an animal and not a child, but because of all of that life, love, and affection was put into something.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:30 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • (OP Here) I understand what you're saying, 2-1CayWife. I never thought about it that way before so thanks for that. :-D I guess that's what I get for judging (my aunt) so harshly without even thinking about it. I like it when other people can show me another side to a situation so thank you.

    Just wanted to add - I am in NO way saying that losing a pet isn't awful and sad. I've lost pets and when my DD's get a little older, I want to get them a pet. I can't imagine how they will react to the passing of a pet. I just wanted to add that - I know it's not easy losing anything that a person loves. I just don't think it's the same at all as losing a child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:30 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • Their loss is what is tragic. Not that it was for an animal, just that they experience loss. I feel the same deep sympathy for any individual who has lost something or someone they loved. Regardless of the nature of the relationship to that creature or person. Yes it is offensive, and yes it bothers even me, but I just consider myself lucky that I have had the opportunity to know what a mother's love is for a child. So many people do not have that, and if they take comfort in a beloved pet in place of the child that they cannot have, then I am fine with that.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:34 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • Oh I know, I didn't in anyway think you didn't understand the loss. We all love animals, I guess some just more . . . or much more in some cases, lol.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:36 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • Sorry OP, I kinda ran with it, lol. I do have to admit something . . . A few month ago my DH's ex girlfriend from high-school sent him a comment on myspace. She said, "Guess what? DH and finally had our baby too! Her name is Sophia."

    Sophia is . . . her chihuahua.

    Luckily, my husband somehow had the foresight to the inevitability of my rage, called her and said, " I think that it is pretty shitty that you would compare your dog to my daughter."

    So long story short. I should have been writing this post a couple of weeks ago, lol. So I do get it.


    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 3:47 AM on Jun. 23, 2009