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宠物和你,谁才是主子?

頔Cindy

頔Cindy

2019-09-03 16:44:00 阅读3815 有趣1

Pets have gained the upper paw over their so-called owners

宠物比它们所谓的主人的地位更高


There is a range of theories about how Homo sapiens came to rule the planet. Opposable thumbs, cranial size, altruism and cooking all played a part, but central to the naked ape’s success was its ability to dominate other species. 

对于智人是如何统治地球的有着一系列的理论。对生拇指、颅骨大小、利他主义和烹饪技能都起到了一定的作用,但人类之所以能够成功地统治地球,最重要的一点是拥有支配其他物种的能力。


Bovids, equids and, in particular, canids, were put to work by H. sapiens; felids always took a slightly different view of the matter, but were indulged for their rodent-catching talents.

牛、马、尤其是狗都是由智人一手创造的;虽然人们对猫的看法略有不同,但正是因为其捕鼠能力,人们才对它情有独钟的。


As humanity has got richer, animals’ roles have changed. People need their services less than before. Fewer wolves and bandits meant less demand for dogs for protection; the internal-combustion engine made horses redundant; modern sanitation kept rats in check and made cats less useful. 

随着人们的生活变得越来越富足,动物的角色也有所变化。人们不再像从前那样看重他们的能力了。狼和盗贼数量的减少意味着人们不再需要看家护院的狗;内燃机的发明使得马显得有些多余;现代卫生设施使得老鼠得到了有效的控制,人们不再需要捕鼠的猫了。


No longer necessities, domestic animals became luxuries. Pet-keeping seems to kick in en masse when household incomes rise above roughly $5,000. It is booming.

家畜从必需品变成了奢侈品。当家庭收入超过5000美元时,人们常常会饲养宠物。宠物业正在蓬勃发展。


The trend is not a new one. Archaeologists have found 10,000-year-old graves in which dogs and people are buried together. Some cultures—such as in Scandinavia, where canines have long been both working dogs and companions—have kept pets for millennia. 

养宠物并不是现在才流行开来的。考古学家在有着1万年历史的坟墓里发现狗和人是葬在一起的。有些地方的文化几千年以来就崇尚饲养宠物,例如在斯堪的纳维亚半岛,长期以来,为人类工作的狗同样也是人们的伙伴。


But these days the pet-keeping urge has spread even to parts of the world which have no tradition of snuggling up on a comfy chair with a furry creature.

但如今,养宠物的潮流之风已经刮向了那些没有这一传统的地方,这些地方的人们也开始和毛茸茸的宠物依偎在舒服的椅子上了。


In parts of Asia where people used to regard the best place for man’s best friend as not the sofa but the stewing-pot, along with some onions and a pinch of seasoning, and where cats were made into tonics, norms are changing fast. The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has a rescue dog, and the mayor of Seoul has promised to shut down dog butchers. 

亚洲的一些地区,人们过去认为,这些人类最好的朋友最应该去的地方不是沙发,而是炖锅里,最好再加上几片洋葱和一撮调料,猫咪就这样被做成了滋补品,如今情况正在发生变化。韩国总统文在寅饲养了一只搜救犬,首尔市长承诺关闭全市的狗肉屠宰铺。


China, where dogs were once rounded up and slaughtered on the ground that keeping pets was bourgeois, has gone mad for cutesy breeds like Pomeranians, whose wolfish ancestors would have swallowed them whole for elevenses. Traditionalists attending the annual dog-meat festival in Guangxi now find themselves under attack by packs of snarling animal-lovers.

在中国,人们曾对狗进行围捕和屠宰,理由是养宠物是资产阶级的行为;如今,中国对博美等可爱的品种已几近疯狂,它们的狼祖先会把它们当作下午茶而整只吞下。参加广西狗肉节的传统主义者突然发现自己受到了一群愤怒的动物爱好者的攻击。


The pet business is growing even faster than pet numbers, because people are spending more and more money on them. No longer are they food-waste-recyclers, fed with the scraps that fall from their masters’ tables. 

宠物行业的发展速度甚至比宠物数量的增长还快,因为人们在宠物身上花的钱越来越多了。它们不再是食物垃圾的清理者,不再吃主人桌上掉下来的残羹冷炙了。


Pet-food shelves groan with delicacies crafted to satisfy a range of appetites, including ice cream for dogs and foods for pets that are old, diabetic or suffer from sensitive digestion; a number of internet services offer bespoke food, tailored to the pet’s individual tastes.

宠物食品货架上摆满了精心制作的美味佳肴,以满足宠物的各种口味,包括为宠物狗准备的冰淇淋,以及为年老、患有糖尿病或消化不良的宠物准备的食物;许多网店甚至提供定制食物,以满足宠物的个人口味。


In the business this is called “pet humanisation”—the tendency of pet owners to treat their pets as part of the family. This is evident in the names given to dogs, which have evolved from Fido, Rex and Spot to—in America—Bella, Lucy and Max. 

这在商业领域被称为“宠物人类化”,即宠物的主人更倾向于将宠物视为家庭的一份子。从给狗起的名字就能看出这一点,在美国,宠物名从以前的 Fido、 Rex 和 Spot 到现在的 Bella、Lucy 和 Max。


It is evident in the growing market for pet clothing, pet grooming and pet hotels. It is evident in the demand for breeds such as the French bulldog, which, tellingly, looks a bit like a human baby.

同样,从不断增长的宠物服装、宠物美容和宠物酒店市场也不难发现端倪。对法国斗牛犬等品种的需求也是显而易见的,很明显,法国斗牛犬看上去有点像人类的婴儿。


People still assume that pets must be working for humanity in some way, perhaps making people healthier or less anxious. But the evidence for that is weak. Rather, new research suggests that canines have evolved those irresistible “puppy-dog eyes” precisely to manipulate human emotions. It has worked. 

人们仍然认为宠物一定在以某种方式为人类服务,也许能让人们更健康或者让人们减少焦虑。但在这方面并没有充分的证据。新的研究反而表明,狗狗已经进化出了让人难以抗拒的“可怜巴巴地眼神”,从而控制着人类的情感。它确实奏效了。


The species that once enslaved others now toils to pay for the care of its pets, which lounge on the sofa waiting to be taken to the grooming salon. Sentimental Americans often refer to themselves not as cat-owners but as the cat’s “mommy” or “daddy”. 

曾经奴役着其他动物的人类如今陷入了花钱养宠物的圈套,这些宠物懒洋洋地躺在沙发上,等着主人带它去做美容沙龙。多愁善感的美国人常常把自己称为猫咪的“妈妈”或“爸爸”,而非它的主人。


South Koreans go one further, describing themselves as cat “butlers”, pandering to every feline whim. Watch a hapless dog-walker trailing “his” hound, plastic bag in hand to pick up its mess, and you have to wonder: who’s in charge now?

韩国人则更厉害了,他们把自己称为猫咪的“管家”,满足猫咪的每一次奇想。当你看到一个倒霉蛋拖着“他的”狗,手里拿着塑料袋、捡着狗屎,你一定在想:现在谁才是主子?


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