At a time when French civil law gave pets a new legal status as “sentient living being”, the values of owning a pet have never been more recognized.
Today, animal concerns are part of a new form of general sensitivity and attention to nature and ecology. Since 2009, the European law has officially considered animals “sentient beings” under the Lisbon Treaty. And lawmakers in France made no exception to that as a French National Assembly committee voted earlier in autumn 2014 to officially change the legal status of animals from “personal property” to that of “sentient living being”.
According to various experts, owning a pet significantly improves the quality of life and has strong therapeutic and socio-educational effects. It encourages the awakening of small children and some studies have shown that there are less frequent femoral neck fractures for elderly pet owners. It is also known that pets often mediate within a family or a group and bring calming relations in today’s stressful and uncertain environment.
Charities have also popped up here and there providing animal therapy to people in need. In France, La Ferme de Nat is an awarded therapeutic farm where awakening techniques and cares, based upon the relationship with animals, are offered to the disabled and the needy.
Also, who remembers the Moncler ad campaign shot by Bruce Weber in 2011: “Don’t steal the jacket”? The fashion photographer and filmmaker had collaborated with the jet-setters’ down jacket brand to support Green Chimneys, a nonprofit organization helping young people in difficulty such as entrusting neglected and abandoned pets to children in need of love too.
Devoid of any ambiguity, domesticated animals are emotionally good for us, providing lots of feel-good vibes and well-being. They keep you fit as they involve regular walking in natural surroundings, more physical exercises, and allow you to maintain a better psychological balance.
“Whenever I feel myself getting wound up, I take the dogs for a walk. Watching the seasons changing really clears my head and you can’t be too self-absorbed when you’re struggling to get the dog out of a muddy puddle”, says 1990's British supermodel Yasmin Le Bon, who has been designing dog-walking accessories for the chicissime brand, Mungo & Maud. “Years ago I had to stop training as I’d hurt my back significantly. It’s only since we got the dogs that it got better”.
This specific relation between children and animals has also inspired Russian artist, Elena Shumilova, in the cozy and heartwarming photographs selected for this article. She devotes most of her time picturing her two sons and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit of the farm she runs in enchanting settings.