The modern American family is no longer only comprised of parents, grandparents, cousins and siblings, but pets. In fact, nearly three-quarters of all families have pets and spend money on Buster and Tigger as if they were actual children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American household spent $503 in 2011 on pets—which is more than it spent on alcohol or men and boy’s apparel.
This revelation comes as no surprise to those of us who currently own or grew up with pets. Pets don’t judge. Pets are dependable. Pets think we’re gods. And at a time when much of the public is struggling with an anemic economy or the more traditional vagaries of life, it’s nice to have a living entity in your home that sees you as the center of a benevolent universe. It’s a form of respect and love we can’t get from other people.
Americans spent an average of $183 on pet food and $143 on veterinary care, which means that even during a recession human beings were more inclined to make personal sacrifices than take away amenities for their pets. Watch the video below from the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes and you’ll understand why.