Above: PFW Lifestyle Award Winner 2010
So when someone asked me about Pet Fashion Week, I realized that I dismissed it again this year.
Probably because I don’t particularly care for it.
Then I saw the headline, Pet Fashion Weak and thought perhaps I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
The headline made me laugh but also made me want to ask, Do you find pet fashion dignified or disgusting ?
I first mentioned Pet Fashion Week here on the blog in 2007 but the problem was that by 2008, Pet Fashion Week still wasn’t a week but only a couple of days and there were a lot of other things about it that disturbed me beyond the misleading moniker.
Perhaps I am not a pet fashonista partially because I’ve lived most of my life in animal friendly uniforms.
You know, the safari garb or jeans type of gal who wears sensible shoes and shirts that make it easier to wash away dirt, drool and other substances that come along with living and working with critters.
I started my career with things that could kill you with the swipe of a paw or the flick of a trunk–so that upbringing has kept me aware of just who and what animals are and those relationships are dependent on a solid, sensible view–otherwise you might end up maimed or dead.
But my theory behind the trend of pet fashions?
We’ve lost our minds.
Seriously, we just get further and further away from appreciating animals for who and what they are.
We seek to connect but do a terrible job of it and then subject them to all kinds of odd things.
Even pet behavior problems are on the rise.
Problems I used to only see in my more affluent client cases are today common within the general population as well.
It seems that people have ideas about who and what animals are but seem to miss the very essence of their beings.
Now I’ve been in the pet industry a while and have seen a lot of changes.
I’ve seen the specialty products increase, matching human and pet wear fashion set emerge, and then the rise of higher end pet fashions.
Now some pets enjoy being fussed over and dolled up but many do not.
What disturbs me is that many pets are being treated more like toys and accessories instead of living creatures from a fascinating array of animal cultures.
These pet lifestyle industry trends were discussed at length in One Nation Under Dog.
What rang true was that the theory that the author posed, “In an atomized era, the growing amount of time and money we collectively spend on pets is an indication of how much we thirst for community, leaning on animals for support once provided by other humans. And the specifics of how we treat those pets no longer just reflect what we think is appropriate for animals. From the popularity of pet antidepressants to the rise of pet-custody divorce settlements, the way people interact with their pets says a great deal about two-legged society.”
So basically, it isn’t about them–its about us.
Wow, what a surprise.
But I still have the same question, is Pet Fashion Week dignified or disgusting? Let me know how you feel in the comments.