¿Hijos o mascotas?

171
A la par de la desigualdad social crecen los privilegios de las mascotas, hay una degradación del ser humano como nunca antes había habido.

Ricardo Arenales

En una familia, elegir entre tener hijos o mascotas, es una cuestión que se discute con alguna fuerza en los hogares modernos. Hace pocas semanas este semanario publicó una nota relativa al pensamiento de los denominados millennials. Pues bien. Con posterioridad a esa publicación, un diario de circulación nacional en Colombia aseguraba que los millennials prefieren tener una mascota y no tener hijos.

La cuestión de las mascotas no se puede despachar fácilmente con un elogio o una descalificación, y hoy merece una mirada más detenida, filosófica si se quiere. Las condiciones de existencia de las mascotas en los países ricos -y en los no tanto-, se han humanizado hasta el punto de que parecen hijos de los dueños. El analista español Francisco Umpiérrez Sánchez anota al respecto que a pesar de que las mascotas lleguen a vivir en pequeños palacios construidos para sus viviendas, su esencia y su ser seguirán siendo animales.

En tanto que las condiciones de existencia de los pobres en el mundo se han deshumanizado hasta extremos que parten el corazón de cualquier observador. Y a pesar de esas condiciones de existencia, en extremo denigrantes, el ser y la esencia de esas personas sigue siendo humana. En los últimos meses la prensa local abunda en historias de vida de los habitantes de la zona del Bronx en Bogotá, muchos de ellos profesionales, que fueron rescatados de la droga. Uno de ellos, un popular cantante de música moderna, muestra un conmovedor ejemplo de superación.

Concepto marxista

Umpiérrez denomina a este tratamiento hacia las mascotas como alienación ontológica, es decir, aquellas en que las condiciones de existencia del animal superan las condiciones de existencia humana.

El diccionario filosófico denomina alienación como el proceso mediante el cual un individuo se convierte en alguien ajeno a sí mismo, que se extraña, que ha perdido el control sobre sí. Carlos Marx, en su monumental obra El Capital, asegura que “el comportamiento alienado se produce porque el interés social no está presente de forma fundamental y decisiva en la conciencia de los ciudadanos. Y debemos revelarnos contra ese estado de cosas”.

En esta perspectiva, los dueños hacen de la mascota un miembro más de la familia. Hace un par de décadas, las mascotas, especialmente los perros, vivían en los espacios urbanos. Los perros vivían fuera de las casas, en las azoteas, o en cambuches construidos en la parte trasera de la vivienda. Esto cambió en forma radical. Hoy viven dentro de la casa, con los privilegios de un miembro de la familia. Antes comían las sobras de alimentos. Hoy consumen provisiones especializadas, de marca. Inclusive hay clínicas generales, odontológicas y hasta terapias contra el estrés de las mascotas.

Brutal contraste

Entre tanto, como dijo la semana pasada el presidente de Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, ante las Naciones Unidas, vivimos en un mundo en el que el 0.7 por ciento más rico de la población puede apropiarse del 46 por ciento de toda la riqueza, mientras que el 70 por ciento más pobre solo puede acceder al 2.7 por ciento de la misma. Un mundo en el que 3.460 millones de seres sobreviven a la pobreza, 758 millones son analfabetas y 844 millones carecen de servicios básicos de agua potable.

Entre tanto, en los países ricos, al presupuesto que los dueños de mascotas dedican a la vivienda y alimentación del animal, que en algunos casos supera con creces las condiciones de un negro pobre de un barrio de Harlem, hay que sumar el tiempo que el propietario dedica a pasearlos, a llevarlos al veterinario, a cortarles el pelo, todo esto como una nueva forma de inversión social en el mundo de las mascotas.

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