The attention pet owners pay to their pets embodies love and caring. It does not necessarily
differ in any way from the attachment and empathy we show to each other as humans. Lack of
a shared language or having a different appearance, different habits or interests do not matter
in a relationship between the owner and his/her pet. What is more relevant is being together,
communicating and building a mutually affectionate relationship, even though this is not always
easy to verify, considering the variety of pets. Caring and nursing is part of the relationship, and
is usually seen as the owner taking care of the pet. At its best this materializes as mutual
consolation and companionship, as sharing things and a connection between two living beings.
Humans’ love of their pets manifests itself as comprehension of otherness, or at least an
attempt to comprehend. It is acceptance that builds upon recognition and respect of the value
of another living creature. Be it simple or complicated, it is recognition of the value of life,
regardless of its form.
That’s all well and good, but are our thoughts concentrating too much upon our familiar pets?
Do pets become a means to enable oblivion, behind which the fate of billions of abused animals
disappears? Do pets create a pleasant illusion, with which we prop up and avoid facing
ourselves, our own lives and the world of extreme suffering, oppression and violence, which we
as a species create for numerous animal species?
The memorial of the unknown farm animal is located in the Jyväskylä small pets’ cemetery, at
Ronsuntaipaleentie 248, Jyväskylä, Finland. The actual coordinates for the art work are
World Animal Week is celebrated from 4 th to 10 th October 2019.