Okay folks, this is based purely on anecdotal evidence, but many of my Gen Jones friends are among the most devoted animal lovers I know.
They care deeply for the critters they bring into their homes, they understand their quirky personalities, they play with them and feed them well, and they will dig into their pockets when a trip to the doctor is needed.
These animals become part of the fabric of individual lives and families. They are much more than “substitutes” for kids or spouses/partners or friends; they have a standing (and eating and sleeping) of their own.
It’s mostly a dog or cat thing, though other four-legged beings, plus birds and fish, are a big part of the picture too.
Some may think these devotions are over the top, but I see them as healthy — unless, maybe, you’re living with 40 cats in a studio apartment. Otherwise, animals bring joy and comfort to our lives and allow us to return the favor. Their presence helps us to live in the moment, no easy task given the pace and challenges of modern life.