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Americans Love Dogs, Are Frightened by Snakes, Underestimate Evil of Cats

• June 25, 2013 • 11:55 AM


The results of a recent survey show that Americans prefer dogs over cats—but they still do not understand the gravity of the feline threat.

Public Policy Polling just released a large survey concerning Americans and their animals. The results, well, they were promising while also maybe not something that bodes well for the future of humanity. Here are some takeaways:

• Six in 10 Americans own a pet.

• One in five say they’d prefer to spend time with their pets rather than other humans, which, if you have ever interacted with other humans and also owned a dog, is a more-than-reasonable outlook.

• Even more reasonable than that: when asked to choose between a dog and a cat, 51 percent chose dogs and 27 percent chose cats. Notice the absence of the word “only” before “27.” That number should be zero.

• More than any other animal, Americans (21 percent) are terrified of snakes. Alligators (19 percent), sharks (18 percent), and bears (14 percent) were the next three most-frightening. So first of all, have you people ever seen a bear before? THEY ARE CAPABLE OF PLAYING HOCKEY. (However, this is correct: “the bear is the clear favorite to win in a fight between the two, with 56% of respondents picking the bear over the shark.”) But more egregious than the underestimation of bears is the underestimation of cats. In a separate question, only five percent of respondents admitted they were afraid of cats. As a quick summary, cats are 1) destroying your brain, 2) systematically slaughtering billions of birds every year, and 3) quickly being bred into miniature lions, tigers, and other wildcats. To sleep on the threat of cats is to sleep on the impending downfall of Western society.

• A few other tidbits: more people chose a tiger (26 percent) rather than a dinosaur (18 percent) as the exotic pet they would want to own. Only 10 percent said they would want a hippopotamus for Christmas. More people thought a dog (37 percent), not a cat (19 percent), would make a better president of the United States. Most Romney supporters chose Lassie as their favorite movie animal, while most Obama supporters chose Bambi. And the more liberal you are, the more likely you are to be frightened by a cockroach.

Check out the full results here.

Ryan O'Hanlon
Senior Digital Editor Ryan O’Hanlon joined Pacific Standard from Outside, where he was an assistant online editor. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and his writing has appeared in Deadspin, Grantland, The Awl, New York, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @rwohan.

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