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The animal cafe obession continues, and reveals a generation on the edge

By Mike Pollitt
25 February 2013, 14:37

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Time Out’s blog is a good place to keep up with what trendy people think are the major issues of the day. As of last night its “most popular posts” sidebar looked like this:

As you can see, the most popular post is about a dog cafe. The second most popular post is about a cat cafe.

Who can explain this remarkable state of affairs?

I’ve posted before about what the overwhelming popularity of the cat cafe says about the generation which adores it.

(for those too lazy to click through: it’s about internet, also about everyone having to rent. I also wrote that “there will never be a dog cafe”, a prediction that took fully one month to be disproved).

The sausage dog cafe’s popularity obviously shares some of these causes.

But taken all together, considered from afar, the animal cafe movement is probably best explained as a demented collective scream from a generation in desperate need of pet therapy.

This generation, like all others, craves cuddles. It craves intimacy. It craves fur.

But financial pressures, social norms, and the practicalities of urban life make it hard to fulfill these simple desires.

Hence the animal cafes – or as I am increasingly thinking of them, pet brothels.

Like human brothels, they may be popular. They may even be necessary. But don’t kid yourself that these will be places of joy. More tragic places it would be difficult to design.

Mike Pollitt
Mike Pollitt is the editor of The Metropolis.

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