Pope Francis received quite a backlash from netizens after suggesting that people who opt to have pets over children are selfish. The head of the Catholic church spoke about parenthood over a general audience in the Vatican last Wednesday. He went on to say that not having kids “is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.” Those statements simply didn’t sit right with many. If you’re someone who has chosen to live your life caring for your pets instead of having children, the Internet is here to tell you that that’s okay. Here are 8 reasons why it’s not selfish to be a full-fledged pet parent for the rest of your life.
Not everyone has the privilege or capacity to have children
Parenthood is not for everyone
Parenthood. Is. Hard. It’s more than just having a “mini-me” and all the cute stuff you see on Instagram. It requires a lot of sacrifice and responsibility — guarding a life entrusted to you. Admitting that you can’t handle that kind of responsibility is the opposite of selfishness. It means you’ve thought about the circumstances before plopping a kid into the world and simply hoping things work out for the best. You know what’s actually selfish? To have kids and then neglect them while they grow up.
Pets are family too
You’ve got other responsibilities to take care of
You’ve got a limited financial capacity
Everyone has a different goal in life
Some even get pets for parenting practice
Have you seen the state the world is in?
All this is to say that the lack of desire to have kids is not criminal. Pope Francis might have had good intentions, but people should never be shamed for making a decision that they probably thought long and hard about. In the end, it’s every person’s choice whether they choose to raise their own kid or adopt a stray doggo and treat it as their family. The definition of “family” and a “happy life” varies from person to person just like how for other couples it might mean four kids running around the house. We should respect everyone’s decision. To end, let’s revisit the immortal words of the great prophet Bobbie Salazar from Four Sisters and a Wedding: “Don’t make comments about my personal life because I don’t make comments about yours.”
What do you think of Pope Francis and his statement? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.