That crazy cat lady - this phrase is no longer just used for the archetypal spinster with multiple cats. A lot of millennials are opting out of parenthood, and instead trying to focus their love and nurturing towards animals. What has caused this change?
One of the many reasons could be that millennials want to focus on their careers first. Cats and dogs, even though they take up a lot of your time and responsibility, can at least take care of themselves. Especially in a multi-pet household, you don’t have to worry too much about your pets, as they entertain themselves.
“Women are getting out of the pressure of being coerced into motherhood when they aren't ready or they don't want to. Having a pet does take similar effort and love as having a child. It comes down to choices and some women are happy making it for themselves.”
We spoke to a few young millennials, who have made the decision to love animals, rather than take the responsibility of having kids.
Raeesa Bukhary, a 23-year-old based in Hyderabad who has had cats all her life, made some valid points, “When I tell people I don't want to have children, I'm always told that at some point in my life I will feel differently, that I'm only 23 and one day I'll feel empty and incomplete without a child. It's disturbing to think that for so many people, a child is simply filling a gap in their lives.” She says that she is not ready to dedicate her life to a child, “Personally, I don't think I am cut out for a responsibility as big as that. I have a lot of love to give, and a lot of nurturing to provide, and I have found that what I have to offer is more than enough for the pets I have had.”
We also spoke with Reshma Upadhyay, a 26-year old based in Pune, who has a dog and two cats, and she said that pets are just easier to take care of, “Becoming a parent doesn’t mean that we should lose our freedom completely. Having a pet is much lesser stress and definitely cheaper!”
Millennials feel that taking responsibility for a child is too much. There are a lot of sacrifices involved when one has a child, and those are not the same sacrifices that one has to make with a pet. Reshma also says, “When I go on a holiday, I have someone to take care of my pets. I trust them to keep my pets happy and fed.”
However, it all comes down to choice. Many millennials are choosing to be pet parents, some are choosing to not have kids at all and many want kids and pets both. Ram Sharan, a resident of Bangalore, who aspires to adopt a dog soon, puts it quite simply, “Women are getting out of the pressure of being coerced into motherhood when they aren't ready or they don't want to. Having a pet does take similar effort and love as having a child. It comes down to choices and some women are happy making it for themselves.”
Pic credits: Dissolve
Also read: 5 Health Benefits Of Having A Pet