When we moved from Los Angeles to Oregon, we were challenged to understand the attitude that many people around here have about animals. After a time we began to understand that it goes back to farming. Farmers often view animals like cats and dogs more as farming implements or cattle, rather than beloved pets. Like everything on a farm, they have a function. One person we knew, a sheep farmer, raised Border Collies. In fact he has breed and trained some of the finest dogs in the country. And his dogs were incredible to watch while working the sheep. A strange series of whistles and Scottish yelps from the master told the dogs exactly what to do. And what fun to visit the farm - puppies, puppies, puppies!!! That is, fun until I realized he was killing 80% cute little puppies by thumping them on the head. :surprised You don't want to raise defective stock. As for cats, they are often treated as vermin. Other people seem to hate animals for no reason. Others are simply indifferent On the flip side of indifference and hate, we have people like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTTwcCVajAc I have long suspected that love, hate, or indifference towards animals is more function of exposure - something that is learned - than an implicit characteristic; nurture, not nature. As a friend who had cows once told me, "Never let your kids name a cow. If you do, they will never eat it!" In the same fashion, my personal opinion is that the more time one spends with animals in a relaxed [not farm] setting, the more attached one tends to become. While there is certainly a fair amount of personification in play as we imagine them to be like us, I think we also begin to see how much we have in common. Many times I have heard comments like, "it is amazing how much my little fluffy can act like a person". No doubt, to many people their pets are like their children. And for years I too was amazed by things our animals did. But after a time I began to realize that we may be viewing this the wrong way. In fact we are animals. That we have common traits with other animals isn't amazing at all. It isn't that Fluffy can act like a person, it is that we aren't as far removed from Fluffy and her kind as we like to think. We are like them. So is this connection that some people have with animals innate in all humans, is it learned, or is it a random roll the genetic dice. And do we form this connection through some renegade paternal instict and see animals as personified pseudo-children, or do we connect with them because we are beasts like them and can relate to their world more than we like to admit?