December 21, 2014

GOING TO THE DOGS:

Japan's pet owners shower furry ones with holiday gifts, cakes and even vacations (Anna Fifield December 20, 2014, Washington Post)

Forget the kids. What are you doing for your dog this Christmas? How are you going to celebrate with your cat?

That's the question on the minds of many here in Japan, where, as in the United States, the number of pets far outstrips the number of children. And a candy cane-striped chew toy just isn't going to cut it. [...]

Such measures may sound over-the-top, but for many in Japan, pets are replacing children.

More Japanese are choosing to marry later or not at all. A Health Ministry report released this year showed that the number of weddings last year was the lowest since the end of World War II.

That's contributed to a fertility rate that is now about 1.4 -- well below the 2.07 needed to sustain Japan's population. If things continue this way, the population will plummet by almost a third by 2060.

That means that four-legged furries are increasingly the "offspring" of choice. There are 16 million people younger than 15 living in Japan but more than 20 million cats and dogs, according to the most recent figures from the Japan Pet Food Association.

Posted by at December 21, 2014 8:48 AM
  

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