In this ludicrous op-ed from Julie Bindel writing in The Guardian, a clear, unmistakable, and shameless parallel is drawn between the “rights” of pet owners, and parents of human children. The semantic goal for Bindel in this piece? That pet owners should be allowed to to get paid time off from work to take care of their animals. Bindel states that it’s only fair since humans are afforded the same rights for their children.
The stereotype of Brits as a nation of pet-obsessives has been given a fresh boost by a survey showing that increasing numbers of firms are giving staff paid time off work to care for their animals. According to the insurer Petplan, almost one in 20 new pet owners in the UK have been offered time off to look after for a sick or newly homed animal. Some companies allow employees to take a few hours off to settle in a new pet, while a tiny minority offer as much as several weeks.
This seems only fair to me. As a pet lover with three rescue animals of my own, I know how much time can go towards taking care of them. My dog Maisie, well known to Guardian readers, came to us all the way from Ireland, where she had been badly abused and neglected. The physical and emotional damage Maisie had suffered in those few short months before we took her in meant several trips to the vet as well as, at least for the first few weeks, a rota to ensure she was not left alone.
I assume that whatever farcical animal-worshiping foolishness takes place in England can also be found in the United States. Of course. First World problems are tiresome and predictable across the pond.
Bindel continues making her “case” and holds nothing back in asserting the confluence of humans having children and humans choosing to raise animals.
It is my choice to have pets, as it is for parents to have children. After decades of feminist campaigning, many women in paid employment are entitled to decent maternity leave and other benefits. Pet-ernity or paw-ternity leave is not something that the majority of pet owners expect to be entitled to, according to research published last year by the animal welfare charity Blue Cross. A survey of 2,000 pet owners found that more than four in 10 have “pulled a sickie” from work because of their pet.
Nearly half were forced to take time off after the death of a pet because they were too heartbroken to face work, and although 65% of owners had taken time off work to attend a vet appointment, one-quarter of those polled could not face admitting the real reason for their absence to their boss.
This not-so-vague slip-slide descent of modern society toward a fixation, a substitution of that which ennobles animal life with the same respect and value as human, spotlights our dire lack of fitness to continue as a civilization worthy of survival.
Besides, people have “informally” handled minor life problems in the past by simply playing hooky from work. Simple as that. No reason to make a big deal or codify their actions in personnel perks offered by companies. This goes back to to what I wrote the other day. We are living in an era when all special interest groups, even some as mundane as pet-owners, seek to elevate that which has happened quietly for ages, into a movement of conscious, formalized policy. Because everyone needs their own fetish validated nowadays.