You’ll find the introduction to this series here.
This post looks at ‘Animals, as Pets’.
Bet this’ll prove a contentious post: people often treat their pets with more love and care than they do their children and siblings. As someone who’s had pets as varied as goldfish, rabbits, and dogs, I’ve some understanding of that bond. For many reasons, I haven’t been a pet owner for decades, but that makes little difference to my stance on the issue.
I bring this subject into this series as it’s growing obvious many pets have excessive carbon footprints. Considering the growing awareness of, and concern about, climate change, anything impacting on the carbon pollution at the root of the coming catastrophe must be an issue for writers of future fiction to at least consider.
We need to look at the topic in the round, as I’ve tried to do with previous subjects in this series. The difficulty with this one is the emotional content, of course. So many pets are viewed as family members. In some cases, they’re sole companions of lonely and vulnerable people and, as such, these domesticated animals provide an essential service.
With the increasing interest in the building climate emergency, will pets become socially less acceptable? Will some states and nations introduce draconian laws concerning their ownership as certain resources become scarcer? Will the more extreme eco-warriors take it upon themselves to form assassination gangs whose aim is the killing of what they’ll see as harmful contributors to the crisis? Will society find ways to prevent the tendency of some pet owners to gather large groups of cats/dogs into their pack? Will ‘exotic’ animals become more common, more ‘acceptable’ as pets? Perhaps some nations will institute large, punitive licence fees to control pet numbers.
There’s a relatively new science of anthrozoology that looks at human-animal relations; will it become a fashionable choice of career for those who follow trends?
As in the previous topics, I leave it to you, as writers with imagination, to do your research and ask the necessary questions, maybe even find some answers. Though answers are not generally considered as much the territory of authors as are questions.