Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Pet Nation: The Inside Story of How Companion Animals Are Transforming Our Homes, Culture, and Economy Paperback – September 21, 2021
Enhance your purchase
In the last 20 years pets have gone from the backyard to sleeping on our beds, then showing up in every corner of America. Pet Nation tells the story of this seismic shift and the economic, media, legal, political, and social dramas springing from this cultural transformation.
Since 1998 the pet population in the U.S. has almost doubled -- about two-thirds of the country now owns a pet. No longer left to wander the neighborhood, dogs and cats eat special food, get individualized medical attention, and even fly in the cabin. As founder of the Animal Policy Group, Mark Cushing provides an inside look at the rise of Pet Nation, tracking the myriad ways pets are acquired (a "Canine Freedom Train" runs south to north), reporting on pet rights legislation (and the unseen problems that come with elevating their status), pet healthcare (revealing the truth and myths about large scale breeders), and discovering that despite what many organizations would have us believe, there is a shortage of dogs.
Insightful, surprising, and full of great stories, Pet Nation opens our eyes to the big changes happening in front of us right now. It shows us not only what our love of animals says about pets, it shows us what it says about ourselves.
Frequently bought together
From the Publisher
90% of pet owners received important benefits from their companion animals during the quarantine.
70% of pet owners stayed more active, or engaged in exercise, because of their pets in 2020.
50% of new pet owners strengthened their sense of purpose from time spent with pets during the pandemic.
“Pet Nation shows us a country transformed by the love of dogs and cats—and, in one case, a crab-eating raccoon. Written with a storyteller’s exuberance and a researcher’s care, Mark Cushing takes a deep dive into the loving and complex relationship between animals and their humans. Urgent, generous, and wise.” —Jennifer Finney Boylan, bestselling author of Good Boy and She’s Not There
“If you want to understand how America turned upside-down for pets, and have a great read doing it, then this is the book for you. Mark’s style is always entertaining and informative, and the twists and turns of how this cultural transformation unfolded will keep you going to the last page.” —Dr. Marty Becker, New York Times bestselling author and “America’s Veterinarian”
“Four paws up for Pet Nation! Mark traces how pets went from the backyard to the bedroom and, in the process, taps into the power of the human-animal bond to bring people closer together in a world that seems resolved to drive folks apart.” —Dr. Robin R. Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane
“Mark Cushing brilliantly captures the history of our complex relationship with companion animals and forecasts a future in which pets play an increasingly important role in society, healthcare, our legal system, and the economy. This book will validate pet lovers, challenge critics, and warm the hearts of everyone who reads it.” —Ernie Ward, award-winning veterinarian, author, entrepreneur, and cofounder of Wild Earth pet foods
“Meticulously researched and filled with fascinating esoterica (“Forty percent of TV commercials feature dogs. . . .”), Cushing makes the case that technology and pet culture grew up together in a symbiotic relationship that continues today. Whether you find dog brewpubs and cat cafes affirming or appalling, Pet Nation gives you a smart and unique glimpse into a cultural phenomenon that shows no signs of stopping.” —Steve King, CEO of American Pet Products Association
“If Freakonomics met James Herriot in a twenty-first-century coffee shop, this is the book they would write! It’s engaging, informative, interesting, and should be required reading for anyone who loves animals.” —Dani McVety, DVM, founder and CEO of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice
About the Author
- Publisher : Avery (September 21, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593420640
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593420645
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.51 x 0.86 x 8.23 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #451,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For a period of time, I lived on a farm that had horses, hunting dogs, and cats that kept the house mouse-free. I’ve seen other working animals: guide dogs, sled dogs, dogs herding sheep, dogs sniffing for contraband at airports, and police dogs in action. That is the proper function of an animal in human-animal relationship.
I confess that I have an animus against pet ownership. I rarely blame the animal but have a problem with the owner.
As a pre-teen, I had to walk 14 blocks to school. I was bit three times by dogs. I later lived in an apartment where no pets were allowed. A tenant secretly kept a huge non-venomous snake. It escaped and bit a girl in the forearm, crushing bones and nerves. She had her right arm amputated above the elbow because infection set in. No civil action was possible because the tenant was impecunious and judgment-proof.
While the author extols the benefits of pet ownership, he does not describe is audacity of pet owners who take no responsibility for their pet’s behavior and take the position that “rules and norms don’t apply to my Fluffy”.
This is exemplified by Amy Cooper’s behavior in Central Park where she had her dog off-leash in an area where that is not permitted, and she phoned the police about the threatening man who pointed this fact out to her. Initially, Amy had many sympathizers.
I wonder if the author had life made miserable for him by living next to a dog that will bark at any moving object. We have walking paths where we walk or jog, but this is not peaceful activity. At roughly every 10th backyard which we pass, a dog or dogs throw themselves against a fence, barking all the while to announce their territory.
Our city has extensive areas designated as off leash dog parks. Where do the Amy Coopers take their dogs? To the area designated “no dogs past this point”, a park intended for humans to picnic or play touch football or ultimate frisbee. Here you can get chased by dogs, have your crotch sniffed, your leg humped, or to be exposed to threatening behavior. Even a dog trying to show affection towards a child will unintentionally scratch the kid and knock the child over backwards.
We have an animal hospital located on a busy street. It has plenty of parking behind. But if Fluffy needs medical attention, the owner will park in the front, blocking one of two lanes and causing an obstruction that will bottleneck traffic for miles.
Then there is dog and cat excrement. Behind our garage is a piece of city property that is my responsibility to maintain. This was the favored location for dog owners to have their dogs relieve themselves without cleaning up. It only stopped when I put up a camera and posted a sign announcing its installation. Dogs and cats also leave their droppings in school sandboxes and beach volleyball courts.
If a pet goes missing, weatherproof signs with impossible to remove adhesive will be posted illegally on light standards and community postboxes. There they remain till city workers remove them, months after the pet was found or permanently lost.
The author describes the shortage of dogs, including at animal shelters, and suggests a role for breeders. There is a huge demand for dogs with huge heads (bulldogs, French bulldogs) that require Cesarean birth because their heads are too large for the birth canal.
The author takes issue with the Pope commenting on the preference shown to pets over people. The West has a dwindling birthrate but an exploding pet ownership rate. Couples and women post photos of their “fur babies” on social media. Perhaps the billions spent on pets and the projected need for pet care services could be allocated towards the alleviation of poverty, homelessness, or medical cures.
The Pope’s concern of elevating animals over humans is best illustrated by Lady Gaga’s reaction to the dognapping case where the dogwalker, Ryan Fischer, was shot in the chest and was in critical care. Rather than posting a reward for the identification and conviction of the criminals, Lady Gaga offered them a ransom of $500,000 for the dogs, “no questions asked”.
By D. McL on September 14, 2020