Republicanism should be considered a psychiatric disorder.

Fuck you, G. Shane Morris.

My response to “Having Pets Instead of Kids Should Be Considered a Psychiatric Disorder.”

As a rule, I don’t click on things from The Federalist. Whatever ignorant thing they have to say on any given day is probably going to piss me off, and I don’t want to give them the clicks or ad revenue. But just the title of this article du jour pissed me off too much to ignore: “Having Pets Instead Of Kids Should Be Considered A Psychiatric Disorder.” (PSA: I don’t recommend clicking unless you really like things that don’t make sense or feel like having an aneurism.)

The article is just as stupid as the title suggests. And of course, with an article as terrible as this one, I just had to google the author, one Mr. G. Shane Morris. Despite the fact that the article had absolutely no basis in science, I thought maybe he actually was a psychologist who just felt like writing a cheeky article. (Silly me.)

I introduce you now to G. Shane Morris:

I, for one, am shocked that G. Shane is a nondescript white male with a shit-eating grin.

G. Shane writes for a right-wing Christian organization and got a bachelor’s degree in humanities in 2012. He also “studied” at “Focus on the Family Institute,” which I’m pretty sure exists to teach people about how feminism and teh gays are ruining America.

So clearly this is who we should be turning to for advice on drafting the DSM-VI.

So, setting aside the fact that the person who wrote this article is a jackass who is unqualified to give any sort of medical or scientific opinion, let’s take a look at some of G. Shane’s hot takes:

If you grew up with dogs (as I did), you know that something bizarre and sad often happens when a mother dog loses her puppies. With hormones and maternal instinct coursing through her, she will frequently adopt inanimate objects as “replacement-puppies.”

“Replacement-puppies.” That’s what this entire article is based on. Not humans. Okay…

I’m talking about men and women, especially from the millennial generation, who have chosen to indefinitely postpone having children, yet still feel the unshakeable urge to parent.

Well, I’m glad we’re talking about humans now instead of dogs in the throws of postpartum depression, but someone needs to tell G. Shane that wanting a cat doesn’t mean I have any urge to care for a human being.

I don’t even have a dog because they’re too hard to take care of.

This urge is natural. It’s good. It was placed in us to let us know that our reproductive systems are in prime shape to marry, build a home, and raise children.

Umm, I’ve been babying cats since I was a baby myself. Pretty sure that “urge” had nothing to do with whether my “reproductive system” was “in prime shape to marry.”

Though that is just a really amazing sentence all around. I wonder when my reproductive system will be in prime shape to build a home! Maybe that’s when I’ll go through my woodworking phase.

But for many in my generation who are also approaching 30, children (and the ideal prerequisite for children, marriage), are still out of the question because they’re too expensive, too time-consuming, and might cramp their style.

This guy isn’t the best at writing, so I’m not sure if he’s trying to say that people like me also view marriage as expensive, time-consuming, etc. If so, I’d just like to clarify that it’s not so much that as the fact that I’ve dated a long string of narcissists and sociopaths, most of whom I was lucky to get away from. But since I’m over 30, female, and still unmarried, G. Shane may just consider me a lost cause.

I’m convinced that psychology manuals 200 years from now will identify “replacement-baby syndrome” as a diagnosable epidemic in my generation.

And I’m convinced that you should be neither a psychologist nor a professional writer.

How much embarrassment must it bring those “grandparents” to participate in such a call? How badly must they want real grandchildren, instead of pet-sitting an attention-smothered dog?

Great internalization of the idea that people should do what other people want, without regard to their own happiness.

Many in my generation naively think of their dogs and cats as “practice babies,” hoping to test the waters of parenthood on a child that won’t resent them for a lifetime or wind up in prison should they fail.

This is so ridiculous that it actually made me laugh. I can’t think of a single person who has done something like this — and I know some ridiculous and terrible people.

Never mind that dogs would probably resent being treated like lab rats if they could understand human motives.

*pats G. Shane on the head* There there, good boy.

Certainly, they don’t appreciate being carted off to the animal shelter when their “parents” tire of them. But how many couples misdirect their parental instincts toward a door-shredding, constantly shedding nightmare and then decide they can’t handle kids?

Ummmmmmmmm…are you seriously implying that a couple that is not mature enough to take responsibility for adopting a DOG should be having HUMAN CHILDREN?!?!

Also, this article entirely ignores young couples who want to have children but can’t, either due to biology or other circumstances. So way to go there.

But there’s a more serious and long-lasting consequence of millennials’ choice to substitute babies with animals, even temporarily: They aren’t getting around to actually having babies.

I almost stopped reading at this point, because I am so fucking sick of people acting like it is a moral imperative that all people procreate. It’s not. And frankly, with how much humans pollute and contribute to climate change, I could make an argument that it’s more moral for many people to choose not to have children. And right now, would I want to bring a child into the world who might have memories of that time an orange fascist sexual predator was President? Fuck no.

I basically continued reading from here only so I could know exactly which points to ridicule with this post.

Young Americans are less likely than their parents to own a car or a home…

Due to the skyrocketing costs of education and a slowing economy.

…and half as likely to be married as Americans were 50 years ago.

Not getting married super young and feeling stuck in miserable marriages is a good thing, bro.

The economy of scale, thrifty shopping, buying things used, and having a spouse willing to stay home and care for the kids drastically cuts childrearing costs.

I’m going to focus on the “having a spouse willing to stay home and care for the kids” section of this, because it does not always cut costs. It can, especially in the early years of a child’s life and if the second spouse was not in a high-earning field. But the spouse who stays home doesn’t just lose those years of income — he/she (she, I’m sure, in G. Shane’s mind) also loses future earning potential. And once kids hit first grade, childcare costs go way down. For couples where both are in a professional field, staying home can be a lot more costly in the end.

Yes, I know there are other reasons people stay home. But G. Shane was talking like staying home necessarily saves money; it doesn’t.

I can tell everything I need to know about a person by whether he “got a dog,” or “adopted a dog.” The pretense that buying luxury items like indoor pets is somehow altruistic or noble will strike future observers as one of the oddest habits of the millennial generation.

If the title of this post hadn’t already told me everything I needed to know about G. Shane, this paragraph would have done the trick.

It’s even becoming common to hear pet owners tell the story of how they “rescued” their dog or cat, as if they snatched it from a burning building at the peril of their own lives.

I love that my friend Luke found my cat Barry as a stray, living at a campsite in the woods. He would have died if someone hadn’t taken him. And even coming into my house as a wild stray, he was the sweetest, gentlest kitten I had ever seen.

Kitten Barry, just wanting more attention
I’ve never met someone who asked shelter workers, “Which dog is scheduled to die first?” and took home whatever mange-riddled chupacabra emerged from the back room.

I have known these people and many people who have literally taken animals in off the street. I’m sorry you don’t know better people.

When you go get a dog, you are doing something you want to do. Portraying it as a sacrificial act of virtue is just indulgent.

Wanting to do something doesn’t mean it isn’t also a virtuous or moral thing to do. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I suspect dogs hate owners who treat them this way.

lol I just can’t with this guy’s random “suspicions.” I suspect my cats are happier in my apartment being spoiled than they would be if they were dead or still strays. And the affection and toys I get them don’t hurt, either.

They want to be your pack-mate — your hunting companion. They want to chase down something in the woods and rip its still-beating heart out, together.

Seems like G. Shane has a darker side to him…

The reason man domesticated such animals in the first place was because of the joy they brought him — not as replacement children, but as animals.

I was a little sad this little history lesson didn’t go into more depth.

On a related note, I highly recommend The Lion in Your Living Room on Netflix.

Millennials desperately need to shake the delusion this pets can stand in or prepare us for babies.

Conservatives desperately need to shake the delusion that everyone needs to act like they do. (And I know a lot more people who irresponsibly became parents than pet owners.)

Not only is it depriving us of the joy of children and misdirecting our parental instincts toward things that were never meant to receive them, it’s depriving many of the true delight of pet ownership.

Right, that whole ripping out the hearts of other animals thing you mentioned up there…

For both humans and animals, these delusions are sad distortions of instinct that leave only barrenness in their wake. But there is one key difference: dogs and cats don’t know any better. We do.

Let me tell you about Jasmine and Alex. My mom brought Jasmine home on my second birthday; she was a really special cat. All she wanted was to be pet and talked to. And she was always mine. She slept with my every night, just as soon as I got my own bed. We even had a signal at bedtime — I would nudge her with my foot when it was time to cuddle.

She died when I was 16 and it broke my heart. In an attempt to distract me so I would stop crying all the time, my parents told me I could get a Maine Coon kitten (we had always thought Jasmine was part Maine Coon). We drove down to central Illinois, and I got Alex.

Alex was very different from Jasmine. She was a fraidy cat and very skittish. She had to live in my bedroom for the first few weeks we had her, because she was so afraid of our other cats. But she and I just clicked right away. One of the things I loved about Alex was that she hated everyone but me. But she loved me SO much.

My mom took care of Alex while I was in college, because I lived in dorms and couldn’t have her. I was so excited to get an apartment when I graduated, so I could have her with me. I had been dating a guy who I really liked for a couple of months, and he made a comment one day that he was allergic to cats and didn’t know if he’d be able to stay overnight if I got Alex. I replied, “Oh, I’m sorry you won’t be able to sleep over.”

Alex was perfect. She was my best friend. When I moved to France in 2009, I knew she would have to come with me. Then back to Chicago for law school. Then out here to West Virginia.

Alex died of cancer on December 22, 2015. I took her to a specialist, but in the end the cancer was just too aggressive. When it was her time, we said goodbye. I still miss her every day, but I wouldn’t give up a second of the time we had together.

Me and Alex in France

So, G. Shane, fuck you. Pets are family. I’m sorry if you’ve never had that type of bond with a pet, but it is a very special feeling.

Right now, I have 3 cats: Buster, Barry, and Hamilton. I’m wondering what you think I should do with them G. Shane, since clearly I must get rid of them so that I will want to have children.

Hamilton, Barry, Buster

Barry and Hamilton are also in love, another thing I’m sure you don’t approve of. GAY CATS, OH THE HUMANITY!

While googling my new buddy, I discovered G. Shane’s twitter account. Check out these gems:

Wow. I’m not surprised this bro is transphobic, but holy shit at how stupid this tweet is. The ignorance is astounding.

I do now!

Thank god I have G. Shane to tell me what to do with my hair, in addition to my vagina and uterus! 👍🏻

Abortion access is important. I gave my mom a membership to EMILY’s List for Mother’s Day.

Thanks for the advice, brah.

Yup, he definitely thinks that straight, white Christian men are discriminated against in the U.S. 😐

And finally, the tweet that explains his entire reason for writing this ridiculous post: