Blog: Pets are People Too

Burt Ross

I suffer from several bad habits, not the least of which is a compulsion to read anything scribbled on a t-shirt. On one occasion, I even asked a person to walk slower so I could make out what was printed on his shirt. He told me to mind my own business.

Not long ago, I was traveling on Hawaiian Airlines to, of all places, Hawaii, when I noticed a young maiden with a shirt that proclaimed, “Pets are People Too.” Hm. That got me to thinking.

If pets are people, then is the corollary true, i.e. are people also pets? Then my mind really let loose. I understand that your dog Fido might seem like a person to you, but are all pets people, and if so, does that mean that my goldfish Goldie was a person when it died and was unceremoniously flushed down the toilet by my brother Phil?

That very same brother now owns a chicken named Attila the Hen. Attila cackles and lays eggs, but otherwise does not seem remotely like any human I ever met, and I have met some fowl people.

How about animals in general? Are they people also, or are only animals in captivity people? For instance, is the scorpion that had the audacity to sting me in my very own home a person, or is the coyote that insists on defecating on my lawn also a person? 

I am utterly exhausted just contemplating the deep philosophical thoughts generated by this simple message decorating an otherwise unassuming t-shirt. I have learned my lesson. From now on, I will completely ignore whatever message a t-shirt conveys, or at least I will try.