Pets vs. Houseplants
Not surprising that "houseplants" fail to inspire a sudden surge in interest, but they have been quietly existing in the background of our consciousness, much as they exist in the periphery of our homes.
The concept of "pets," however, has boomed since the early 1800's. I would guess the unprecedented economic growth spurred by the Industrial Revolution made the keeping of domesticated animals for pleasure a growing phenomenon. Whereas the average family struggled to keep food on the table for most of human history, modern life produces entire grocery store aisles devoted to pet food.
Along with "pets" capturing our imagination for the past 200 years, the United States euthanizes some 3-4 million animals abandoned to shelters or culled by animal control - an unfortunate byproduct of our collective love of dogs, cats, birds, and gila monsters.
Posted by drcharles at 30.12.10