I have written this article as an exploration of the idea that people could choose to have a dog rather than have children. It seems almost certain that unless we solve the looming human overpopulation crisis the future of people born at the present time will be very grim. There are too many humans for the planet to support. We could limit ourselves voluntarily now or let the people alive in the near future suffer the decline of the human race which seems inevitable. The question is not “if” but “when” will the shit hit the fan? The dystopian future is just around the corner. Maybe you should rush out , buy extra dried beans and learn how to make a hobo stove.
I have never wanted children and have always continued to be very happy with my decision especially when spending time with friends who did have children. About 4 years ago I got a dog and I have undergone a lot of the emotional bonding processes that I assume happens when people have children. I have a gooey emotional “aaaaah” reflex when watching my dog run around, I fantasize about attacking anyone who would dare to hurt my dog. I imagine that my dog is the best and most attractive dog in the world. These must be the instinctual feelings and responses that are designed to make humans look after a child. This has led me to believe that for some people a dog could act as a child substitute. If enough people chose child substitutes it may alleviate the overpopulation crisis. With the advent of AI we could also develop robotic Tamagotchi like creatures similar to K9 on Doctor Who which would satisfy the need to have children in a much more ecological and convenient way. In the 80’s there was an expression “fuck dancing, let’s fuck” Nowadays it could be “fuck children, let’s get a dog”.
The following is a comparison of the realities of having a dog and having a child. I am sure that the text below will be offensive to some people but it is just reality in the way that I see it. I respect the right of people to have children and I believe that if it very unlikely that the human race is a viable concern at the present population level even if we do all get dogs it is already too late.
Cost: Although most dogs do not live to be 18 years old to make a comparison we will make calculations based on 18 years. Many years ago most children would get a job and start paying for themselves at 18 but in many countries children will continue to be a drain on resources until they leave home and get married which could be up to 30 years old or even never.
Cost of getting a dog to 18 years.
$1000 first year $700 afterwards
So $1000 + $11900 = $12 900.
Cost of getting a child to 18 years.
Calculating the cost of bringing up a child is incredibly complicated. I just went to 5 or 6 big websites and made an average of their figures.
Child – $300,000
Having a dog is much cheaper than having a child. If you get a dog rather than having a child you could spend a lot of money on yourself, buy a bigger house, get a better car etc.
Dog: If you get a new puppy it will have been brought up by the mother dog for the first weeks of its life. After a very brief period it will be house trained and as long as you allow it to go out at certain times of the day it is unlikely that the dog will shit or piss inside your house.
Child: A child has effectively have no control over its bladder or bowel movements. According to some websites I looked at the average time until a baby is potty trained is between 2 and 3 years, some say it is even more. Nowadays most people use disposable nappys/diapers which is incredibly un-ecological not the mention the extremely unpleasant smell and experience of changing a baby. The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before being potty-trained, 95 percent of these diaper end up in landfills.
Obtaining a dog or a child in the first place.
Dog: You don’t have to spend any money on buying a dog if you don’t want to, just go to the local dog pound and there will be lots of dogs for you to choose from. If you do want an exclusive designer pedigree dog to impress your friends with it could be very expensive but a cheaper pedigree like a labradoodle should not be much more than $250
Child: Maybe the child could win on this one because the easiest way to conceive is to have sex which for most people is an enjoyable activity. However 15 minutes of pleasure is followed by weeks of morning sickness and 9 months of pregnancy which by all accounts is not a walk in the park. If you are lucky childbirth will be no longer than several hours of agony and only mild disfigurement of the genitalia.
Dog: It is unlikely that anyone would choose to have a dog that has a health problem. However at some point a dog may develop an illness which means that it is not fun to have anymore, or the dog is suffering. In this case it is a fairly simple process to have the dog painlessly dispatched by a vet with the minimum of fuss. No depressing suffering, costly medical procedures and heartache.
Child: Having a child has an element of risk. If you are unlucky a child could turn out to have a physical or mental illness. Many people when faced with this reality behave exceptionally well. The nurturing bond is so strong that many parents will put their entire life on hold to look after an ill child. This can be very heroic, nevertheless nobody would choose to have a defective child and there is no easy solution. Euthanasia is illegal and there is no easy way out except to grin and bear it.
Long Term Benefits
Dog: Dogs don’t live that long and most dogs after 10 years old will be getting senile. A dog will not look after you in your old age when you yourself have become senile and unable to look after yourself.
Child: If they are lucky people with children will be looked after by their offspring in their old age. Those of us who chose dogs will take a trip to the bottom of the garden to visit Fido’s grave but have nobody to cut the lawn on the way back. Maybe this IS an advantage of having kids.
Dog: If you are a lazy person the fact that a dog has to be taken out for a walk at least twice a day may seem a disadvantage however for most people the obligation to take the dog for a walk will result in regular exercise which will result in weight control, lower cholesterol, better heart health etc.
Child: The negative effects of childbirth are too numerous to mention here but they are significant. Other problems with having children are sleepless nights, constant worry, increased stress, depression, domestic isolation, relationship breakdown etc.
This article is not finished, there are several more comparisons to be made.
This post is also available in: Italian