There has been this kind of formulaic vision of what a life should be for a very long time now. You're born, you grow up, you work, and while you do that you're supposed to find someone to spend your life with.
You and this person are "supposed to" have a family, and then help send them off to repeat this cycle.
The thing is that this cycle seems to have been changed recently. A new study shows that the latest generation is no longer as interested in having children, and the researchers are blaming it on their love of dogs.
The study claims "millennials" are less likely to become parents of "human children" because they are instead focusing on their pets.
Apparently 44% of millienials are unsure if they want to have children, but the rate of pet ownership continues to rise.
71% of men and 62% of women between the ages of 18-34 own a dog, while 48% of men and 35% of women own a cat.
These animals are acting as a substitute for children according to the study, which is suspected to be a side effect of the fact that this generation is half as likely to be married than the generations preceding it.
“Pets are becoming a replacement for children,” said psychology professor Jean Twenge. “They’re less expensive. You can get one even if you’re not ready to live with someone or get married, and they can still provide companionship.”
There also seems to have been a shift in how people think about their pets. According to the study, 59% of those who are part of the "Baby Boomer" generation consider a pet as a good way to begin preparing for a family, while 82% of millennials believe that to be true.
Millenials are also getting their pets younger than Boomers did. The average age for a millenial to get a pet is 21, where boomers waited until 29.
There are always going to be big changes in the way things are done from generation to generation, but it's interesting that the views on pets have changed so drastically in what seems like such a short amount of time.