I was listening to Steve Harvey Morning Show on radio this morning (12/12/14), and a guest said he’s been married for about 8 years, has three kids, and a dog. Then he jokingly said he loved his dog more than two of his children.
I thought that was funny! I reflected back to my teenage years in Nigeria, and remember that one of my uncles had two German shepherds he took very good care of, and won’t spare any cost whatsoever when it came to his dogs. My cousins and I would joke then that he seemed to love the dogs more than he loved human beings. The dogs were fed with the kind of food most average families in Nigeria couldn’t afford. The dogs had access to the best vet clinic in town, and also had professional dog trainers coming to train them from time to time.
Yes, the dogs were living large. They were celebrity dogs when compared to other others in Nigeria. In fact, the dogs had a deep freezer dedicated only to their food which was always freshly cooked, with lots of fish and meat. They were indeed spoiled dogs!
But I have since been ruminating over the thought that, “Is it possible to love a pet more than one loves one’s own kids or other human beings? I live in the United States, so I’m quite aware that some regard their pets as their kids. I wonder though whom they will choose, if they were faced with a difficult decision, say either to save the life of their beloved pet (kid) or that of an unknown human being.
I’ll be straight up with you, for me, I can’t possibly love any animal (no matter how beautiful that animal is) more than I’ll love any human being because I believe human beings−no matter their nationality and race−are more valuable than other created beings.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pets; growing up, I had a dog, a parrot, and even a monkey but it’s just that I love people more than I’ll ever love any pet.
The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
I believe in the sacredness of humanity because we are made in the imago Dei−image of God. Every one of us is treasure in the sight of God. Although I must admit, it doesn’t seem like that sometimes, especially when one considers the existential struggles billions of people in our world were/are constantly dealing with.
Yet, all of us: poor, rich, black, white, colored, tall, short, fat, thin, smart, dull, foolish, wise, producers, consumers, takers, givers, cheaters, loyalists, ugly, beautiful, invalid, able-bodied, etc., are very dear, and we need to start treating one another as prized.
It’s a good thing to love ones pets but love your neighbors even more
– Bayo Anifowoshe