Last Meow Essay

Homyra Purmul
Mr. Anderson
Expo 11
18 Sep. 2011

                                                    The Last Meow
In Burkhard Bilger’s article, “The Last Meow”, Bilger argues how much Americans spend a year on their pets. Every year that amount rises. Bilger believes our love and spending on animals has gotten out of control. Americans spend nearly three times as much as the federal government spends on welfare grants. I definitely agree with Bilger on this argument.
“Americans now spend $19 billion a year on veterinary care for their pets, up from $11 billion just seven years ago.” We all know most pet owners love and care about their pets, but sometimes they can get out of control with spending money on their precious little fur balls. I think that money could go to better use. For example, you could give that money to charity, homeless people, or even help stray dogs.
“Poodles get root canals, cats undergo chemotherapy, rabbits are treated with radiation, and prairie dogs get oxygen therapy in extensive-care units.” Seriously? I would never go that far for a pet. I think some Americans that actually go through that are out of their minds. I understand that Americans love and care about their pets more than ever and are willing to do anything to have them stay alive, but I wouldn’t go that far. If it was a matter of life or death then I would just let mother nature take its course. How about we save that money for ourselves just incase we get sick and need medical treatment?
When we own a pet, we have to be prepared financially for them. We need to pay for food, toys, bed/pillow, and medical treatment. If Americans don’t have that kind of money then I don’t think they should own a pet in the first place.
Bilger states in his argument, “We can take our dogs for a day care or psychotherapy and buy them $200 cashmere sweaters and leopard-skin beds.” I think as pet owners, we go too far for our pets and spend huge amounts of money on them. In my opinion,...

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last 1. What are the author’s major claims?
Bilger claims that Americans’ love for their pets is out of control because they
spend forty-seven billion dollars on them.
2. Which claim is the strongest? h e weakest? Has he left anything out?
His claim is that Americans are spending too much on pets. His evidence is
how much is spent for veterinary care and the additional amount spent on pet
food and other supplies. He then lists some of the luxuries people buy for their
pets. His strongest claim is that Americans are paying nearly three times as
much for their pets as the federal government pays for welfare. He leaves out
the arguments about what pets contribute to their owners’ life.
3. How credible is the author on this topic?
Bilger seems credible since he has statistics to back up his claim, including the
fact that the amount spent on veterinary care has almost doubled in just seven
4. How does the argument aff ect you emotionally?
My emotions are pulled in two directions. I had a cat who died recently, and
I have a dog, so I’m guilty of spending a fair amount on veterinary care. On
the other hand, I had my cat put to sleep when he developed kidney failure,
and I don’t buy luxuries for my dog (except the occasional dog treat).
5. Has the author tried to manipulate your emotions? How?
Bilger is trying to manipulate my emotions by emphasizing how excessive
the money that people spend on pets is. For example, it is easy to agree that
cashmere sweaters are excessive. He doesn’t talk about all the people who buy
regular pet food and don’t pay for root canals and chemotherapy for their pets

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