The Changing Social Meanings of Pets and Their Alternative Futures

by Yaling Chou


The reason pets have become so popular lies in their functionality as objects of entertainment and companions. In addition, with the constant development of both capitalism and various technologies, pets have reached the point of becoming accessories to humans. Indeed, humans and pets, respectively, live in an upper and lower class relationship. People have come to see pets as belongings and seize control of their lives. Since pets are a part of humans’ lives, the aim of this article is to explore and uncover the social meaning(s) of pets in human society and, hopefully, provide alternative futures of pets to pets/animals, non-pet owners, and decision makers. As for the methodology, I have utilized Dr. Inayatullah’s Casual Layered Analysis (CLA) and scenarios with double variable incasting. This has resulted in four possible pet futures: Win-win, Gaia, Identity loss, and Transformer. Within each scenario, readers can observe different levels of facts and understanding.

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