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Are Young Americans Replacing Kids With Cats and Dogs? Number of Pets Booming As Birth Rate Crashes

Are Young Americans Replacing Kids With Cats and Dogs? Number of Pets Booming As Birth Rate Crashes

Planet of the dogs, with humans as their slaves?

That might be going a bit too far, but there appears to be an ongoing trend of people treating their pet dogs and cats as if they were children.

Eric Metaxas of Breakpoint recently focused on this so-called "replacement baby" phenomenon that's taking today's society by storm.

He says "culture has gone to the dogs" as shown by the way people now talk about their pets in social media.

He cites a series of new commercials from the wireless company, Sprint. One of the ads features Instagram star Topher Brophy, who, Metaxas notices, looks like Warner Sallman's painting of Jesus.

The ad shows Brophy having an odd relationship with his pooch.

When the cameraman asks, "Who's that?" referring to the dog with him, Brophy replies, "He's my son," adding that he and his dog, Rosenberg, get easily confused "because there's a resemblance."

Metaxas also cites viral social media posts such as the Dog Mom Rap and the booming $11bn pet care industry that pushes out such items as pooch strollers and canine costumes.

"Americans—particularly young Americans—seem doggedly determined to turn their pets into progeny," Metaxas writes.

Shane Morris, another BreakPoint writer, writes in The Federalist that this "replacement baby" phenomenon has become a kind of "society-wide delusion of misdirected instincts."

He points out two glaring facts: the unprecedented low birth rates in today's millennial generation and the incredible boom in the number of pets.

"To put it simply, children are in the doghouse and young Americans are replacing them with animals," Metaxas says.

He recalls a statement made by the late evangelical leader Chuck Colson who noted in 2008 that blurring the distinction between humans and animals is more than ridiculous.

Metaxas says although humans have been uniquely called by God to steward the natural world and show kindness to all of God's creatures, it's different matter altogether if people replace families with their pets.

Pets are great, he says. "But in the midst of a culture actively turning them into little people, we've got to remind ourselves that the image of God has two legs, not four."

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