Recession Makes Americans Kill Pets, Quit Having Kids

  our flourishing economy

Or just drop 'em off to be gassed.Not that you’d notice from the 40 million unemployed “workers” in this country, or the way all the houses in your neighborhood are being abandoned by night, or the miles of empty strip malls on the edge of every doomed American town, but experts in New York and Washington (the only two thriving cities in America, hah!) now say we may be “returning” to the Great Recession because the “recovery” has stalled. Oh noes. We have another theory that’s not very controversial, when you consider the almost daily “downgrades” of previously reported economic figures from the past several quarters: We never got out of recession, and we never will. Also, record numbers of cute puppies are being euthanized at American animal shelters!

As more people lose their jobs and homes, pets are being abandoned in record numbers, leaving local shelters overflowing with animals as adoption lags.

That’s the cheery opening to another grim “families are taking their beloved pets to be executed” story, this from the once-wealthy resort town of Palm Springs, California. What next, dropping babies off to be “put to sleep” because mommy doesn’t have a job and daddy hasn’t been heard from for a long, long time?

Almost! In the meantime, Americans have simply stopped having babies. While idiot white trash like Bristol Palin may continue to poop out unwanted children, most poor Americans (and by that we mean, “most Americans”) have figured out that Jeebus turned off the Penney’s card and Paychex Advance storefronts are less welcoming when you have no paychex. The U.S. birthrate has suddenly and violently collapsed:

The U.S. birth rate has dropped for the second year in a row, and experts think the wrenching recession led many people to put off having children. The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century.

Births fell 2.7% last year even as the population grew, numbers released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics show.

Granted, at least some Americans are still managing to find each others’ diseased genitalia under those flaps of fat and get busy makin’ babies, because the 2009 U.S. birthrate was 13.5 per 1,000 people. But that’s down from 14.3 in 2007, before the economic collapse became inescapable.(European countries such as France and Germany and the UK are seeing birth rate increases.)

Along with the 14% of mortgage holders currently in default or foreclosure and the latest collapse of both new and existing home sales and the continued decline in consumer spending and the total crackdown on any kind of small-business or consumer credit, you may be forgiven for completely forgetting about the Robust Recovery that our nation supposedly enjoyed earlier this year.

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

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95 comments

  1. Mr Blifil

    No no no Americans, you are supposed to put off having pets and abandon/kill/eat the widdle babies…once again u r doin it rong.

  2. JMP

    On the bright side, the condom industry must be seeing increasing profits; that’s how we’ll end the recession.

  3. Ducksworthy

    This might be a good time to start talking about who put up the road blocks that stalled the recover after giving all the money to AIG and Wall Street and who only then freaking out about how much money was wasted.

  4. Doglessliberal

    What a waste to take them to shelters. If you are unemployed and making a can of Hobo Beans last a week for a family, that family pet is a lot of good protein. Extras can go to school lunch programs.

  5. Serolf Divad

    Soon we’ll have to start importing negro Mexicans to replentish our dwindling supply of lilly white Aryan Hitler youth! Oh, the horror!

  6. V572625694

    Only a tax cut can save us now.

    [re=647277]JMP[/re]: Or else everyone’s just to depressed to have sex after reading Ken’s apocalypse-of-the-day post.

  7. Cape Clod

    You mean that not even the anchor and terror babies aren’t making a dent in the birth rate?

  8. actor212

    That 14% birthrate is STILL higher than the birthrate of Messicans crawlings across our borders for to have the anchor babies.

  9. freakishlystrong

    That birthrate number is due to all the terror babies being horked out by the browns.

  10. Extemporanus

    Ken, this post could really use that soul-destroying Sarah McLachlan song that plays during those heart wrenching — interminably long — “Animal Auschwitz” ads that always seem to pop-up right when I’m about to eat dinner.

    If you’re trying to depress us all to death, ya gotta go all in.

  11. Oldskool

    On top of dead puppies we’ll have to listen to (R)s trash talking in Nov. We always euthanasize the wrong animals.

  12. Poisoned Rationality

    [re=647300]Extemporanus[/re]: No shit. That’s probably the only commercial currently in rotation that is 100% guaranteed to make me change the channel. Makes me wanna go kick a dog.

  13. JMP

    [re=647276]Mr Blifil[/re]: [re=647292]actor212[/re]: I’d say that someone should pull a Jonathan Swift with Mexican and Muslim babies, but considering the support for Arizona I’m afraid that the majority of Americans would think that eating them would be a good idea.

    And then Charles Krauthammer would say this means that anyone opposed to eating brown babies was a smug, arrogant race-baiting liberal elitist.

  14. harry palmer

    [re=647297]Ducksworthy[/re]: Actually I thought it was an excellent point (except you might have said “freaked” or “started freaking”).

    The low birthrate is because nobody wants to be saddled with kids and miss the End Times party/ fuckfest.

  15. AuntieStupefaction

    Wait a minute, people are not having babies because they realize they can’t afford them? This is fantastic news!

  16. Ducksworthy

    [re=647321]harry palmer[/re]: Yes “started freaking” about all the money they had wasted under der chimpenfuhrer. Now the masses are being led to believe that the solution is to bring back to gopers to finish off the economy so the end times can begin. Fortunately Canada is not that far away and I’m pretty sure I could arrange to become a political refugee under the new regime.

  17. Rachel Ray Jihad

    This is why in the last 6 months I’ve adopted 4 dogs on top of the 2 I already had – all of my dogs are rescues out of California, and all of the are Chihuahua mixes. I flew down to get 2 of them and then met a transporter in Vancouver, WA, to pick up the other two. Excessive? Probably. But I can afford it.

    Thanks a lot, America, for not spaying and neutering, and continuing to breed dogs when there are too many as it is, also.

  18. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    American Christians are trying to starve us atheist liberals by not producing babies, our staple food item. Clever!

  19. S.Luggo

    Things will only get bad when people start dropping of their pet albino python (plus an accompanyiing oldster) at the nursing home. Two birds, one stone.

  20. President Beeblebrox

    I knew in the first sentence that this was written by Ken “Ken Layne” Layne. Not since Doktor Hunter S. Thompson has someone had his finger pressed so firmly on the pulse of all that is to fear and loathe in our nation. And now, I shall go hiss at my local Taco Bell through my meth-rotted teeth.

  21. Monsieur Grumpe

    I am angry and sad. Some people would make very good cat food and for the first time in their miserable life they could be called useful.

  22. V572625694

    [re=647331]Rachel Ray Jihad[/re]: That’s admirable.

    Were you as happy as I was to see that bull jump up into the bleachers?

  23. BlueStateLiberal

    I’m really really sad about pets who don’t deserve this shit, but am really really glad that there will be fewer Americans. Hopefully we’ll all die out like the dinosaurs–still screaming and yelling about mosques in our death throes of course.

  24. Extemporanus

    [re=647325]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: [re=647316]Poisoned Rationality[/re]: If that commercial about abused animals didn’t inspire people to abuse animals, then that commercial about abused animals wouldn’t exist.

    In other words: Poisoned Rationality and that dog are the John Conner and Kyle Reese of pet abuse paradoxes, and Sarah McLaclan is the Terminator.

    And that is funny.

    [re=647342]SayItWithWookies[/re]: You haven’t really missed anything.

  25. geminisunmars

    [re=647339]V572625694[/re]: I admit cheering that bull. I know I’m a hypocrite: I eat meat. But I hate people who make sport of torturing animals. Guess my frontal lobes don’t have enough holes.

  26. ArugulaTeleprompterz

    [re=647331]Rachel Ray Jihad[/re]: A co-worker just got a pure breed lab puppy. Another co-worker asked her to go with him down to the shelter and handpick the dog that would be euthanized because of her decision. Guilt is good!

  27. Monsieur Grumpe

    What REALLY pisses me off is that my 16 year old cat kidney’s are starting to shut down and I would do just about anything to have more time with her and these assholes are tossing their pets away like an Egg McMuffin wrapper. Fuckemall with a splintered baseball bat.

  28. ArugulaTeleprompterz

    [re=647355]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: I’m with you. People think pets are disposable. Would anyone drop their kid off at a shelter. “Just can’t afford the little fucker anymore. He’s cute though, and house-broken. Someone’ll give ‘im a good home. Else he’ll get to meet Jeebus, hallelujah.” A splintered baseball bat is too good for these callous mouth breathers.

  29. S.Luggo

    [re=647333]S.Luggo[/re]: Or they could abandon both snake (I like to call him “Mitch”) and grandpa in the swamp as is oft done with zeal in the great state of South Carolina. Trouble with that is that some olds actually know how swim.

  30. JMP

    [re=647353]geminisunmars[/re]: There’s a big difference between killing animals for food, clothing, medical testing, or other necessities, and killing for entertainment. Besides just seeming fairly sick, and borderline sociopathic, it also makes me feel wary about a person; if they find killing an animal to be fun, then I wonder what they might enjoy doing to their fellow humans.

    If I find someone enjoys dog- or cockfighting, or hunting just for sport, I try and stay the hell away from them.

  31. V572625694

    [re=647353]geminisunmars[/re]: [re=647351]harry palmer[/re]: There’s a huge difference between eating animals for food and torturing them to death for entertainment.

    Sorry, can’t think of any funnies to accompany that statement.

  32. Mr Blifil

    [re=647359]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: Soon we’ll be where the French are with our aged, which is take off for vacation and leave ‘em home with the A/C off. All that’s left to do is hope for a hot, hot summer.

  33. Lascauxcaveman

    As a married guy, I just assumed the drop in birth rate was due to so many marrieds having reached that 5-year mark in their marriage where sex is mostly something you see on the teevee.

  34. Mr Blifil

    [re=647368]V572625694[/re]: You’ll be whistling a different tune once that Animal Torture Channel becomes part of the basic package.

  35. JMP

    [re=647374]Mr Blifil[/re]: We could try to find useful ways to deal with our olds. For example, think of how they could help things at NASA; getting people to Mars would be a lot easier if we don’t have to worry about bringing them back.


  36. Post author
    Ken Layne

    [re=647331]Rachel Ray Jihad[/re]: You are a hero to the animals. My mutt is also a rescue, and I had another one (dumped on the highway running between semi-trucks, and with a bloody hole in its ) we kept for nearly a year before finding a family who actually wanted a large breed weird dog.

  37. Ducksworthy

    You expect compassion from people who live in Palm Springs? For animals? Although I do seem to recall that Leona Helmsley left her billions to her poodle. At least that kept the “little people” from getting their hands on it.

  38. SayItWithWookies

    [re=647368]V572625694[/re]: There’s a huge difference between eating animals for food and torturing them to death for entertainment.

    The cows, pigs and chickens will be thrilled to hear that.

  39. DC Hates Me

    [re=647359]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re], [re=647355]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: In several places I’ve lived, I’ve noticed that the pet “shelter” was located near the garbage dump/landfill. Or they are located near the industrial area of town where no one notices the death chimneys.

  40. Extemporanus

    [re=647367]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: There very well may not have been any, but I tried.

    For my failure, you may now euthanize me and condemn my three orphaned rescue cats (and wife) to a life spent acting in Sarah McLachlan snuff pr0n if you so desire.

    [re=647394]Ken Layne[/re]: My wife and I volunteer at the SPCA twice a month. I try to stick to the feline side of the compound because I find spending time with the rescued dogs — many in various states of disrepair — to be more gut wrenching than the four different long stints I spent camping out at various hospice facilities waiting for parental figures to die.

    Humans are at least somewhat able to comprehend what the hell’s going on, and to ruminate on why life’s treating them so shitty — dogs just wanna play [Spike! Huh? Huh? Wanna play?!], dammit, and it absolutely wrecks me knowing that many of them whom I know by name never will again.

  41. GOPCrusher

    Somebody should inform the Duggars of this, since they still don’t understand that a uterus is not a clown car and now even the children are starting to breed.

  42. steverino247

    [re=647289]SayItWithWookies[/re]: But you have to admit that his shooting himself was consistent with his policy of killing off the local Semites, given what we now know regarding his gene pool. Too bad he didn’t off himself first, though.

  43. ArugulaTeleprompterz

    [re=647415]Extemporanus[/re]: I admire you for having the intestinal fortitude to be able to volunteer at a shelter. I am overwhelmed by a Plath-like depression just driving past one. I already have 3 huge dogs, a cat, and two fish, all rescued from various states of abandon. I’m one psychotic afternoon from ending up on “Animal Hoarders.” On the plus side I really enjoy crafting elaborate revenge fantasies about the previous owners of all my pets…

  44. Extemporanus

    [re=647415]Extemporanus[/re]: Great. I just re-read that, and it kinda sounded like I think the cats at the SPCA can go fuck themselves*. This is not the case! I love many types of cats, and especially mine.

    It’s just that dogs are larger and more prone to making prolonged, heart-piercing eye contact. Plus, they’re always super excited to come when you call them, even if they know you don’t even have a treat in your hand.

    How can ya be mean to something as guileless as that?

    *(It’s the goddamn babies that can fuck themselves…)

  45. JMP

    [re=647404]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Probably, yes. Put it this way: would you rather be killed by a guillotine, relatively quick and painless, or in a Roman colosseum, to be slowly either hacked to death by a gladiator or mauled by a lion?

  46. RoscoePColtraine

    [re=647415]Extemporanus[/re]:

    S’ok man. I cry a lot. I’m….. sensitive doncha know.

    Last year I took in a stray little puppy girl, (or “bitch,” if you will,) who wandered the neighborhood, homeless, for over a month. It took three weeks for her to trust me enough to come near me – even with food. A year later, she is rehabilitated and adjusted to life with daily kibble, lots of tummy rubbing, and seemingly inexhaustible supply of expensive shoes, eyeglasses and TV remotes with which to exercise the jaw muscles.

    ::sniff::

  47. LakeLucilleLoon

    We have 4 dogs and 6 cats and many of our friends are prolific breeders that continue to have tons of children. They are kind enough to donate their placentas to feed our animal population. Dogs and cats love afterbirth, whether their own on human; they just don’t care…..

  48. V572625694

    [re=647404]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Not trying to claim the moral high ground on this issue, which is only available to vegetarians. Just saying there are degrees of difference. In other words, what I find acceptable is morally correct. Or that my hypocrisy is not as odious as a bullfight patron’s. Hairsplitting, it must be admitted.

    [re=647383]Mr Blifil[/re]: All bullfights and rodeos, with occasional visits to puppy-mill pet shops. Bring it on!

  49. geminisunmars

    [re=647429]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Man, you are all a bunch of bleeding-heart libruls, aren’t ya? Well, pass me the tissue box. Meanwhile . . . back at the blenn geck restore honorarium, can’t we just youthaneyes these folks out of our misery???

  50. FMA

    [re=647424]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: I’m already there. While everybody’s patting people on the backs for being nice to critters…We have two greyhounds (rescue dogs and the smartest dogs in the entire world), one mixed terrier with anger management issues (a rescue), five cats (all rescue, one of them from a litter my wife liberated from an old man who was planning to put them in his freezer to euthanize them), some huge-ass African turtle (rescue) and, at one time, three iguanas (all rescue).
    My house will never, ever again smell normal.

  51. SayItWithWookies

    [re=647428]JMP[/re]: I think you made my point better than I did.

    [re=647433]V572625694[/re]: Also.

  52. actor212

    [re=647320]JMP[/re]: Well, in fairness, Messican babies taste best with Southwest chipotle sauce and a fine Southwest ranch dressing.

  53. Gorillionaire

    [re=647331]Rachel Ray Jihad[/re]: All of the kids I have ever had have been furry four legged strays. Right now three of them are cats and one of them is a female pit bullish mutt. Having stray critters around changed me from a self obsessed rock band dumbass to a married guy who volunteers at the animal shelter.
    If I could get the Supreme Court to elect me, I would repeal every single tax credit for children and put birth control tablets in the national water supply, and to get the antidote you would have to keep a stray dog happy and healthy for fifteen years minimum.

  54. Rotundo

    Yes the birthrate is dropping, but it’s the people bright enough and who have access to enough money for healthcare and birth control. The poor and more significantly, the idiots, are still breeding a new dumber and poorer generation as fast as they can. Welcome to Idiocracy.

  55. the problem child

    You Wonketteers are a bunch of softies! (I knew it about Johnny Zhivago, but not the rest of you.) Now I can confess to my rescue/ feral cat habit without fear. Scritches all around.

  56. Extemporanus

    [re=647331]Rachel Ray Jihad[/re]: [re=647424]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: [re=647429]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: [re=647442]FMA[/re]: [re=647488]Gorillionaire[/re]: [re=647702]the problem child[/re]:

    Unlike all y’all, I ain’t no Mo’ Tess to furry urchins by any stretch — I can’t count the number of times some forlorn, four-legged little tableau of abandoned sadness has rendered me utterly incapable of sticking around the shelter one second longer.

    It is heartening to know that San Francisco happens to be blessed with a big, beautiful, well-funded, four-star hotel-like SPCA: no cages; good-sized, sun-lit “condos” with big windows, toys, and bedding hand-decorated by adoring little rugrats; near-constant attention and affection; litter-mates kept together; older animals given star billing; etc.

    What’s really a donkey punch to the ol’ soul is the animal control facility across the street. The saints (aka “lesbians”) over there do the best that they can with what little they’ve got — and try to upgrade as many critters as possible to a better room at Chez SPCA (where adoption rates are relatively high) — but oh man

    We rescued one of our cats from animal control when he was just a couple months old, and not much bigger than my dick; he’s now a creaky, cranky, 20+-pound total fucking asshole with a Tony Soprano complex and a fondness for pizza crust, cocktails, and shitting on the floor, and yet I don’t begrudge his needy, annoying, obsessively lovey, mama’s boy demeanor one bit.

    (Okay, maybe I do, but still…)

    A few final thoughts:

    Kudos to my fellow thread-jacking, blubbering, weak-kneed Wonketteers who’ve so selflessly hoisted themselves on their own pet-tards; much like with humans, older black animals are by far the most likely to find themselves assed-out and in need of a helping hand, so try to show a little compassion, why don’t you, and stop being such fucking animal racists; remember to always have your pets spayed or neutered; bestiality is only wrong if you get bitten.

    100 WHORE NEUTICLES FOR ALL MY FRIENDS!

    FOR ALLL MY FRIENNNDS!!

    [re=647355]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Wait…what? You have 16-year-old cat kidneys?!

    Do you ever find yourself struck by an overriding urge to piss in your kid’s sandbox?

  57. Extemporanus

    [re=647707]Extemporanus[/re]: Jesus fucking Christ, that’s embarassingly longer than I thought…

  58. ArchDame

    As a serial-adopter of abandoned pups, just wanted to say YEAH! And, by the way, while Tony La Russa’s appearance at the “Beckoning” is freaking me out as much as the rest of you, being from St. Louis myself, I did want to point out that 1) he and Pujols said they were told it wasn’t going to get political (figure the odds) and if it did, they would leave and 2) http://www.tlr-arf.org/

    He and his wife live on an estate and have like 6 dogs, 4 horses, and lots of other critters – all adopted. Moral: you just never know.

  59. Weeping Jesus

    Wait, was I supposed to *not* kill my cat?

    Okay, I’ll follow instructions more closely next recession.

  60. transfatz

    “record numbers of cute puppies are being euthanized at American animal shelters”

    On the bright side, Dick Cheney’s puppy salad bill is waaay down.

  61. Enslave the Whales

    [re=647707]Extemporanus[/re]: You are a stronger person than I, if you can work at an animal shelter. I can’t even visit them, as history indicates that when I do so, I just start adopting critters until they tell me I’ve hit my limit.

    This probably overstates the case — I’ve adopted about a dozen shelter critters over time. I really do resist further visits, so now all I get is the occasional colonizing cat.

    I’m currently trying to steer clear of doggies, because I want to do some traveling during the next two or three years, and dogs really don’t like you to be gone a lot. Nevertheless, there is a difference between dogs and cats. I’ve served several 12 and 14 and 18 year old felines, and I’ve loved them all, but there is a lot of truth in the cliche that dogs have senior partners and cats have staff.

  62. Weeping Jesus

    [re=647912]Enslave the Whales[/re]: “I’ve served several 12 and 14 and 18 year old felines, and I’ve loved them all…”

    Please, share your recipes ASAP. I figure my cat is going to spoil if I don’t get it out of the fridge in the next day or so.

  63. smashtheduck

    A week after I closed on my recession house, an adorable Akita started showing up to play with my dog. He seemed friendly enough even though he wouldn’t come near me and bolted when I tried to pet him. The neighbors said he’s been wandering around the neighborhood the last 6 months or so. So a couple weeks ago, during a massive thunderstorm, I looked out to see him sitting on our porch. I let him in cause I’m a lesbian and this is what we do. Our inner dog-whisperer and car-repair skills almost make up for our violent tendencies and bad shoes. He took a few days to let us pet him but he’s discovered the joys of a belly rub and chewed up every moving box in the living room. He had nearly 40 ticks and has lyme disease. I called the Akita rescue ’cause we really can’t afford him. They’re broke and have no room. So he’s staying. We’ll figure it out. My other dog was a stray too. Don’t think I’ll ever get to chose when to get a dog.

  64. randomgerman

    re: “European countries such as France and Germany and the UK are seeing birth rate increases.”

    The low German birth rate has improved slightly in 07 and 08. But that is largely attributed to the 2007 maternal leave law which obviously caused people to delay planned pregnancies to profit from that laws huge benefits. The shortlivedness of that improvement aside some hovering back and forth between 8.1 and 8.2 should not be considered an “increase”. At least not from a 13.5 perspective.

    Any comparison of American and European birthrates in relation to economic prosperity is flawed anyways. The low birthrates in many places in Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria etc.) are all about values not economics.
    It’s about the idea that you have to raise your kids yourself. Otherwise you are a horrible mom. Whether you have to put a career as rocket scientist on hold doesn’t matter. Having your child raised by carefully selected help is considered barely tolerable or just outright unacceptable. Let alone having them raised in some “socialist” instititution (day care), like the French do.
    The obvious practical problems with that attitude have led German conservatives to install said maternity leave law with its huge entitlements. And that’s not helping either.
    Giving away money to actual people: Usually a conservatives last step before admission of failure.

  65. RedNo.4

    [re=647442]FMA[/re]: On the other hand, you have achieved the odor of sanctity. Compassion is fragrant, as you know better than most.

  66. Anonymous

    [re=647359]ArugulaTeleprompterz[/re]: Yes, they do. They are called orphanages or foster homes.

    Lester

  67. Anonymous

    [re=647323]AuntieStupefaction[/re]: More likely their sex diseases or pot bellies have made them sterile.

Comments are closed.