This blog is about the human-animal bond and I sometimes slide into humor or reporting on the pet industry, because it's all good. Everything related to pets and animals the world over is, in my <brazen> opinion, relevant to the human animal bond. All we do and all we are is inclusive of the presence of animals, particularly pets, in our lives.
A week or so ago a report came into my inbox stating, "New Study: Pet Industry is Economic Powerhouse".
This, to my thinking, is not news. Who doesn't/didn't know this? Raise your hand. I won't call on you.
There you have it. No hands went up.
The report came from the Pet Industry Advisory Council. Effectively, this is what it declared:
The pet industry generated more than $221 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact, according to a new study conducted by George Mason University and released today at the Pet Industry Leadership Conference in Laguna Beach, California. The economic analysis also showed the pet industry supported over 1.3 million U.S. jobs in 2015 that paid more than $60 billion in salaries, wages and benefits.
I'm sharing it here because it plays into the need for better recognition of all we do for the economy, we pet parents. Our love for our pets, our bond with our pets, inspires us to spend the money, to search for employment that brings us in close contact with other pets (and animals we might not be around a whole lot, thinking of reptiles and birds; so many of us keep to the traditional dog or cat in our homes). In fact, the report goes on to say,
According to this report, consumers spend over $77 billion on their pets annually. Pet food and veterinary services are the two leading sources of spending within the industry. Other sectors considered in the study include manufacturing of pet supplies and toys, pet pharmaceuticals, grooming, boarding and other services, wholesale and retail trade involving pet products, and the emerging pet health insurance industry.
Perhaps the most important sentence in the entire report is this:
The study will help to inform legislators, regulators, and consumers about the role the pet industry plays in state and local economies, as well as at the national level.
In my opinion, THIS (above) is what we need. We need legislator, regulators, and consumers to learn, educate themselves and others, and recognize the role our industry plays in the world. Not just in their backyard, so to speak. But, in the entire world.
Animals are thinking beings, just as we are. Perhaps they don't rise to our intelligence, or perhaps they do and we have not yet recognized it (elephants/dolphins?), or perhaps they seem disinterested in the kinds of 'things' people are interested in - such as technology, fancy, clean homes, things like that - but I say, in the end, they do think. They do learn. And I believe they do share 'stories' with each other. They communicate in ways we are only now exploring and beginning to understand.
Oh, when my girl, Emily, looks up at me with those big brown eyes, she is clearly trying to communicate. She uses her expressions and her touch to communicate with Molly, our kitty, no doubt, and I know she gets frustrated (as do I) when I cannot understand her message, though she desperately tries to convey it through her body language and her gaze.
Pet Parenting is on the Rise. Because we love our pets so dearly. Responsible Pet Ownership is on the rise because many families want to create that bond, with pets and children.
The article cited here also states this awesome news:
The study is the second conducted by Dr. Clower and the Center for Regional Analysis showing benefits derived from the pet industry. In late 2015, Dr. Clower found that the pet industry saves $11.7 billion in healthcare costs as a result of pet ownership.
This is the now and the future and we pet parents need to get behind it, 100%. Who's with me?