pet, a conspicuous consumption ?

Brief detour for a section of the French Review of sociology, 1992, Nicolas Herpin and Daniel Verger, ” Are they mad? The passion of the French for pets”

“In large cities, where the frames are focused, the dog is unfit to make the most of the traditional services (hunting, guarding, etc); it is costly in money and time spent to take care of them but also very bulky in private housing, less spacious than in the countryside (Table III). The obligation of the master to come out this animal leads to a second type of traffic congestion, this time collective, public roads and their deterioration. Municipalities incur additional costs to maintain the sidewalks. Private spending, along with those of public services. The dog in the city, as well as the dog urban “vacation” denounced by the rural (Bozon, Chamboredon and Fabiáni, 1981), is a type of possession especially provocative in respect of the entourage, and in particular with respect to those who do not. The visibility of this equipment living and the waste involved in its maintenance are not sufficient-they are not required to make this animal a support particularly adapted to the conspicuous consumption?

The rich are being selective in the choice of their entourage. The animal race is better suited to spread his wealth. As Héran (1988, French Ethnology, ” as well As dogs and cats, structures, and genesis of a cultural conflict “) says rightly : “in The eyes of Veblen, the dog is an extreme illustration of the alchemy social judgment of taste, that door to find beautiful all that is dear”. The difference of the bastards the most often offered, the animals of race are primarily acquired in the trade at relatively high prices

The dog breed attracts the rich but also the intellectuals. The dog of breed the admiration or the envy of the tribe of the dog. These species are therefore considered as the support of conspicuous consumption within a restricted circle. You need to be convinced of the value of dogs for the possession of animals pedigree to become a source of prestige. As was demonstrated by Paul Veyne (1982) about the évergétisme, the waste does not attract the admiration that when it is addressed to believers.

The elegant does that do to the homage of the street; she is careful to wear his “fine jewelry” in the transport. It is the domestic animal that is not really in a position to produce its maximum effect only in chosen locations. From this point of view, the cat race is even better suited to the snobbery of a small group of the dog breed because it is an animal sequestered. The cat race, in fact, is rare; his ownership rate is five times lower than that of purebred dogs (13% for the ailurophiles, compared to 69 % in the dog ). In addition, the siamese, chartreux, and Persian blue is concentrated at the top of the social hierarchy in the richest households in the major cities who traditionally play a leading role in the formation of communal tastes. “

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