A Person Or Your Pet: Which Would You Save? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

A Person Or Your Pet: Which Would You Save?

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I have to say, I really wasn't surprised when I read the results of the survey I'm about to tell you about. Still, when the evidence is staring right at you in black and white, there's something a little unsettling about it. Ok, so here's the scenario. A bus is speeding toward a dog and a human. You have the opportunity to save one of them but not both. Which one do you save?

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the respondents to the George Regents University study wanted to know "what kind of human and what kind of dog?" When the human being in this scenario is a sister or brother, grandparent or close friend, without exception, everyone would rather save the person than a strange dog. However, if the pooch is your pet versus a distant cousin or a total stranger, saving the dog became much more of a priority.

When given the choice of saving Fido or a foreign tourist, a whopping 40 percent of those surveyed overall chose to save their pet! What's more, 46 percent of women chose Fido over the foreigner. No question about it, Americans love their pets. No surprise when you consider that there are about 218 million pets in this country, not counting millions of fish. According to the American Pet Products Association, we will spend almost $56 billion on our beloved pets this year. Nearly a quarter of that will be spent in veterinary expenses alone. The recession hit just about every segment of American life but the pet care industry escaped relatively unscathed. Consider this: statistics show pet food costs the average American household every year more than bread, candy, cereal or even chicken!

I don't think people's response to the "which would you rather save" question reflects a disturbing disregard for human life as much as it illustrates how much we value the joy, happiness, health benefits and unconditional love we get from our non human companions. That's very nice, even commendable. But not very comforting if you're the stranger in need of rescue from that speeding bus.

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