Some people may read this and go, well, why is this even a post, as it is just about people spoiling their pets, and loving them. But there is a question whether making your pets wear clothes is restricting of their freedoms and movements, and there has been a number of reports which state that clothing your pets is in some ways cruel – because animals are not really meant to wear clothes. Though, this is just my own rambling and has nothing to do with the article, so, I will stop right here.
Anyways, according to The Economist, Japan is a country which pampers its pets like no other nation. In Tokyo it is common to see little pet dogs and cats sporting the most trendy fashionable jeans, t-shirts etc, being pushed around in a pram or stroller. Ahhh, there is the link to what I said at the start about pet clothing…. don’t you think it is restricting for a dog or cat to be wearing jeans? Ill just leave that there. In Japan, you can even buy a pet earthquake kit, take your pet anti ageing services like acupuncture and pet funeral services. Yups, it is definitely a pets world there in Japan.
Here is more about the Japan pet industry (via The Economist):
The pet industry really took off in the 2000s; since 2003 there have been more pets than humans under 15 in Japan. The absolute number of pets is now falling, but the industry is still growing healthily. Yano Research Institute, in Tokyo, reckons annual sales are around ¥1.5trn ($1.3.bn). More speculatively, Kasuhiro Miyamoto of Kansai University estimates that the cat craze alone contributes ¥2.3trn to the economy, if one includes such things as tourism to Japan’s dozen-odd “cat islands”. Felines last year overtook dogs as the pet of choice.
Masahiro Yamada, a sociologist, puts the popularity of pets down to changes in the Japanese family. People have fewer relatives or don’t get the affection they crave from them. “People have a need,” he says. Some dead doggies are even given a place in the butsudan, the Buddhist shrine that families keep at home to pay respects to deceased relatives.
Animal activists are pushing for more protection for pets. In the 17th century under one animal-loving shogun, it is said that a samurai who slew a dog was ordered to commit seppuku, ritual suicide by disembowelment. Standards have slipped. Although Japanese are keen to share Instagram images of handbag-sized pedigree pooches, few adopt abandoned pets. As a result, thousands of strays are gassed to death every year.
This article is an interesting read if you get the chance, though I do question whether over pampering your pet restricts and hinders the pet of its natural instincts?
Images via The Economist
To read the original article, please click on: Japan pampers its pets like nowhere else