Many people grew up in
a type of emotional deficit. This deficit means that
children are kept unsure about being unconditionally
accepted by their parents or caregivers. This unconditional
acceptance they do get from their dependent and faithful pets.
There are good reasons
to decide to get a pet, for instance when animals need
shelter. But people looking for emotional compensation
from animals for what they can't find in other people
would be well advised not to get a pet. For animals
this need for attachment is a lot less desirable. In
the animal world there exists some loyalty between the
animals themselves, but these are dependency relationships
between adult animals and their young. This may seem
like a shortcoming of animals in their capacity for
love, but in fact it is a good thing. Dependency between
adult animals would mean a lack of freedom. And exactly this freedom is a characteristic
of free nature. True love for animals is best shown
by letting them be free.
The odd man out in our relationship
toward animals is the fisherman. With angling,
a fish is tempted to take the bait. It's
a form of hunting that has many parallels
to pleasure hunting and hunting for a partner.
And the fish? The fish (if it survives) swims away wounded, to chance becoming another fisherman's victim.
We should try to realize
this more. Do animals really need the situations
in which we place them? That they are locked
up as pets until we give them attention
or ask them to give us attention?
If we are to stop abusing our world we need to let go of our attachments. This does not, as people often suppose, mean detachment, which implies complacency and not caring, and for some, going without material well-being and comforts. It is, quite simply, non-attachment.
The fisherman is another one of those people who has not freed himself from the wish for confirmation. He angles for compliments. Had he been given enough love and attention as a child, he would feel no need to experience time and again if the fishes would bite. Not for nothing is fishing an activity mainly carried out by mischievous children and boring old men. Which is precisely the category that doesn't score well with women. However, mothers play a dual role in this. They hate being used by men and they hate that men fish. But still they would rather see their men spending their time on the waterfront and directing their energies towards fishes than towards chasing women.
It's all about power and the ego. Society builds our ego and wants to make us believe that this ego is real and powerful, but we doubt and search for confirmation. Others, including animals, supply this confirmation, because they want to string us along and want us to believe we are really successful, that we have a position of power in society and towards the wife at home.
But we are not sure, we want self-assurance and that's why many people are trying to find this in the battle with defenseless (small) animals.