The Guardian

We treat our pets as people. Is it because it’s getting harder to have faith in humans? | Arwa Mahdawi

From Ikea cat beds to puppucinos, pets are taking over the world. We think we own them, but in reality it’s the other way round
John Lund / Getty Images

It’s time to topple the petriarchy. Seriously, the world is going to the dogs … and the cats, gerbils, and potbellied micropigs. While humans like to think of ourselves as the strongest, smartest species, it’s increasingly clear that many of us are simply slaves to our animals’ instincts. We may think we own our pets, but really, it’s the other way round. Pets are taking over the world.

The latest evidence of this can be found at Ikea. The called Lurvig, which means “hairy” in Swedish. I admit, when I first heard the news, I was lurvig it. In fact, I rushed to Ikea dot com eager to buy a midcentury modern Sofket or comfy Bedek for my own Dogke, a small, congenitally scruffy rescue called Rascal. Reader, I was sorely disappointed. Actually, I wasn’t disappointed, I was angry. The feline-normative bias of the furniture was infuriating. While the Ikea cat-alogue included sleek, sophisticated items such as a “cat house on legs”, the uninspired canine collection was clearly designed for basic bitches. It’s as if the designers decided that while felines are fancy, dogs are undiscerning creatures who don’t give a damn about interior decor. Anyway, not only did my outrage at Ikea’s puppy prejudice prevent me from spending even more of my disposable income on my dog than usual, it momentarily distracted me from my main argument here. Which is that our obsession with our furry friends is getting out of hand. We are spending record amounts of money on our pets. Global sales of pet products and services; a 4.7% increase over 2015, which is a growth rate that surpasses that of many consumer packaged-goods industries.

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