Why are kids more important than pets?

A lot of people have pets and love them so much. But have you ever had a friend who took it a step further, and acted as if their pet was a child? A caller to The Patrick Madrid Show called to ask about just that.

“My Millennial friends have the ‘fur baby’ mindset. I’m a Millennial too and I’ve got two kiddos and a wonderful husband. And a lot of my friends from high school, they’ve got their fur babies … and using language that you would normally use for human children and they’re using it for their dogs. I was out with a group of them and they wanted me to tell them why I thought that human children were better than their dogs. The difference is so obvious to me but I didn’t do a very good job of articulating it,” said Elizabeth from Phoenix, Arizona.

“Just ask a question. Say, ‘Whose live do you value more: your life or your pet’s life? If there were some type of crisis and you either had to save yourself or your dog, and you die in the process of saving your dog, which one would you do?’ And just wait for an answer. And I think the honest answer from any level-headed human being is going to be: ‘I love my dog, but my life is more valuable than my dog’s life,’” responded Patrick Madrid.

“Or if you want to frame it in a slightly different way, say that if the house was on fire and you had a broken arm and you could only pick up your two-year-old daughter or your two-year-old dog—you couldn’t carry both—which would you pick up and save? Now it’s not that you want harm to come to one or the other, but if you had no choice and it was one or the other, any level-headed, rational adult is going to say, ‘Well, it pains me to even think of it, but I would grab my daughter.’”

It’s not a bad thing to love your pets! “I’m not knocking people who love their pets, I’m not knocking them at all—my wife and I have pets—but they don’t rank anywhere near the importance of our children or grandchildren. They have their proper place in God’s creation but it’s not at the level of human beings. So whereas I’m not knocking people for loving their pets, I will say that kind of exaggerated shtick, that kind of exaggerated affectation of maybe calling themselves mommy and daddy and referring to the dog as if it were a child, that to me strikes me as harmless but juvenile.”

There are several reasons why someone might act as if their cat or dog is equivalent to a baby. “I wonder if it might be in some cases—and I don’t know anybody’s heart—but I wonder if it might be a way to assuage one’s conscience if they’ve decided not to have children … for whatever reason so they realize that they’re missing something and so by fawning over their pets and calling them children … I wonder if they’re trying to assuage that.”

Bottom line: pets are wonderful, but they aren’t kids. “They have their proper place and we love them and we appreciate them and we have to be good stewards, but it is really foolishness—if I can be really blunt—to put them at the same level as human beings, because they’re not.”

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.