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Aster's avatar

What is causing this weepy, sentimental attitude regarding animals?

Asked by Aster (15835 points ) January 6th, 2013

I never noticed or thought about animals most of my life. Now we’ve had two bichons for six years living inside and for the last few years I’ve teared up and even cried just reading articles on pets. Late last year one of our dogs almost died, my chest ached and now she’s fine but I think the experience has left me even more in love with pets. I’m pathetic. Is it aging in general or has my consciousness been raised? I can’t ask anyone about it because I’ll start crying and look like a fool. I don’t even act like this about my own children. I should be ashamed of that fact. When the ASPCA ads come on tv I have to change the channel or I’ll be a total mess. Some days I’m worse than others.

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13 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Has this behavior corresponded with any hormonal changes?

Aster's avatar

I don’t know. How does one know if one has hormonal changes?

bookish1's avatar

Well, I meant beginning/ending a source of hormones. Might be a part of aging. I know I get extra sensitive and more prone to crying at certain stages of my hormone treatment. But it is pretty interesting that it all is centered around animals for you. ASPCA ads make me cry too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Your question sounds exactly like one of the questions from the prostate cancer support group I belong to. As part of their treatment some unfortunate men are put on HT (hormone therapy). They cry over everything: hungry children, split milk. even the sight of a rusty pail left out in the rain. Usually their testosterone level is very low – near zero. Even as they are sobbing. their head still works on another level. They can recognize they are crying of over something that would not ordinarily bother them but they cannot help it. They turn into basket cases. As he was crying one kidded: “I’m not me. I now enjoy daytime TV – and I can’t pass up a shoe sale.”

Aster's avatar

” even the sight of a rusty pail left out in the rain.” I guess there’s a point when we have to label ourselves as just plain “crazy.” lol JK I’m sure he’s a nice chap.

Shippy's avatar

It could be projection Whereby your own fears, feelings and anxieties are placed on the pets or dogs you come into contact with. I have a friend for example who rescues homeless dogs. She herself was pretty unloved and homeless in a way for a time.

Psychology explanation of the term Projection

Coloma's avatar

Hahaha…..I think animals tug at our heartstrings because they are such pure and innocent beings. I can’t watch extreme sentimental animal stuff myself.
Shit…my daughter had me watch the first episode of the series ” The walking dead “a few days ago. I got all teary eyed when the damn zombies attacked and ate a horse. lol

tinyfaery's avatar

I have been sentimental about animals as long as I can remember. People? Not so much. My horrible childhood might have something to do with it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Aster We all just figure the excessive emotions are hormone induced and cut them some slack – no matter what they say.
He was crying over a rusty bucket left outside. Really. Even though it is ridiculous the feelings and tears were totally real. Hormones are powerful drugs.

bookish1's avatar

@LuckyGuy : Oh, they sure are drugs! Just took my shot of testosterone today and I feel full of energy and capable whereas yesterday I was almost too depressed to work, and now I physically won’t be able to cry for another few days. Weird stuff.

wundayatta's avatar

I think this has a lot to do with predilections that are built into our genes because they confer some kind of survival advantage. I’m not sure why there would be a survival advantage in loving animals, but it might have to do with gaining their cooperation and help in daily tasks. In addition, I’ve read that the affection that animals provide help people live longer. It helps people heal.

So perhaps you are in need of affection and the instinct is kicking in. You feel closer to animals now that you need to.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I think you have a raised consciousness towards the subject and the fact that animals don’t have as many people protecting them as children. Everyone wants to help out children, but animals can’t fight for themselves either, but not as many people care about that, so that could be part of it. Not to mention Sara McLachlan’s music is depressing as hell and while you will hear her on ASPCA commercials her music doesn’t randomly start playing when you look at your own children.

rooeytoo's avatar

I second what the cannibal says. Plus animals are so much more predictable and unwavering with their love and loyalty. Truly humans could learn so much from them.

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