Why Do Some People Like Animals And Others Don’t?

Keeping animals enriches us, nourishes us and improves our health. However, not everyone feels the same bond with animals. Why is it like that?
Why do some people like animals and others don't?

The love for animals has increased recently. Not only are people more aware that animals are living and sentient beings, but also that they deserve respect and are entitled to a dignified life. In addition, more and more people are connecting with animals. In fact, they often become members of the family. However, not all people like animals.

Indeed, some people do not feel any kind of empathy or emotional connection with animals. Some people wouldn’t even consider owning a pet ever. While they would never harm an animal, they just don’t feel that connection that is so rewarding to others. Why is this happening? Let’s find out.

Where does the love for animals come from?

A woman kissing her dog

Characteristics of animals

Throughout history, people have lived with animals and built various relationships with them. From hunting to domesticating, we have lived side by side with animals for a long time. Plus, today we are more likely to empathize with and care about them.

Northeastern University conducted a study that concluded that humans can show more compassion for animals than for their own kind. In this study, they showed 256 participants a (false) news story in which a puppy, dog, human baby or adult had been attacked and beaten.

As for the degree of empathy that the volunteers felt for the victim, the adult human fared worst. In fact, the baby, puppy, and dog (in this order) evoked the most feelings of compassion and sadness. It therefore seems that the perceived vulnerability of animals mobilizes people’s feelings to a great extent. Even higher than for their own kind.

Animals have no human reasoning. Therefore, they do not judge, manipulate or hold a grudge. In fact , they offer their presence, their love and their companionship in a pure and sincere way. In other words, they accept us as we are. That is one of the reasons why so many people love animals.

Character Traits

People who love animals tend to share certain characteristics. They are usually sensitive individuals with a strong sense of solidarity and justice. They are also noble and compassionate.

On the other hand, those who lack empathy for animals and those who go so far as to mistreat them are more likely to experience psychological and emotional disorders. They are often selfish, narcissistic and ruthless people with a greater tendency to violence against other people.

Personal history and background

The way a person is raised greatly influences how they perceive animals. Children who grow up in households where pets are considered important are more likely to appreciate, interact with, and benefit from those interactions as adults.

However, fear or aversion to animals can be acquired by growing up with parents who had this attitude or by experiencing an unpleasant experience with an animal.

A little girl hugging a cat

How does our love for animals affect us?

As the French writer Anatole France said, “Until a person has loved an animal, a part of his soul remains unawakened.”  Indeed, emotional bonds formed with animals are extremely enriching and unlike any other. In addition, those who live with pets get multiple benefits. For example:

  • They become more compassionate and altruistic.
  • Their blood pressure drops and their heart rate becomes more even. This significantly reduces stress.
  • They have a higher level of feelings of well-being and satisfaction. In addition , their mood improves and they experience more positive emotions.

However, sometimes love for animals is not always so positive. In fact, some people with social issues can find in an animal the comfort, acceptance, and companionship that they can’t get from other people. Therefore, they tend to take refuge in animals.

When this love is excessive, it can harm the individual on a personal, work, social or economic level. For example, they can start collecting animals. This can affect their working life and consume their money and time excessively.

In short, keeping animals enriches us and allows us to develop a unique emotional bond that benefits both our physical and mental health. However, if it ever started interfering with our daily routines, we should seek help.

Likewise, people who don’t feel any connection to animals and would rather not share their lives with them can also live perfectly happy lives. Because in the end everyone finds happiness in their own way. 

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