Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Trading in kids for canines

Zachary Phillips

I’ve always disliked babies.

They whine too much. They poop too much. They eat things they aren’t supposed to.

Don’t even try carrying an intelligent conversation with them.

Although my anti-baby stance has always raised a stink amongst friends, it appears that America’s young women are starting to agree with me.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ report from the last decade shows substantial birth-rate drops for women 15-29 years old since 2008.

It would appear that America’s young women are choosing to settle down and start a family later in life, if at all.

So, what fills this baby-shaped void? Puppies, of course.

The American Humane Society’s data from the same decade shows a rise in the ownership of small dogs.

It’s official then; dogs are replacing babies.

Although I’m not a huge fan of small dogs either, I can’t help but feel excited over this new trend challenging the notion that starting a family is the sole path to fulfillment.

Having a baby is life-changing and a lifelong commitment.

Personal goals and ambitions have to be set aside for the sake of the family, and parents’ lives suddenly refocus around fulfilling their child’s dreams, rather than their own.

Although there is nothing inherently wrong with settling down to start a family, it often feels like having children is idolized.

This appears to be especially true for women, who are often told that motherhood is the highest form of fulfillment.

Subsequently, women who say that they never plan on having kids are stared at as if they have two heads.

No more, I say.

People like myself and the two-headed women of this country shouldn’t feel ashamed of our indifference towards settling down.

Choosing a canine over a kid is the logical choice for we who value independence and personal goals over societal norms and responsibilities.

A dog’s biggest dream is a rib eye steak for dinner and a patch of grass to pee on, so the burden of responsibility is noticeably lighter.

Of course, they still have their disadvantages. They still whine, poop and eat too much.

And they’re only slightly better than babies at carrying a conversation.

Nevertheless, when it comes to raising a cuddly companion that loves unconditionally, I’d take a dog over a baby any day.

And when that gets boring and I crave the cold indifference of a teenager, I’ll just get a cat.

Zachary Phillips can be reached at
[email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.

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