« One with nature: Tessa Love on psychedelics and connectedness | Main | No thanks: Kate Miller on farmers and gratitude »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


F. Diane Barth, the writer of, ‘Is an Emotional Support Animal Serving a Person’s Needs or Their Narcissism’, has both claims of if an animal can emotionally support a person, or if it is just their narcissism of who they want to be. Barth was recently on a plane and she had seen a lady with her dog. Barth states, “ which this owner said she needed to help her cope with anxiety.” In making this comment Barth is introducing if it will be a positive or negative if we have animals on planes to help with mental health people. One of Barth’s arguments were people could be allergic to pets and/or afraid of animals. According to one of Barth’s clients, “‘I’ve been on a plane where the owner took the dog out of it’s carrier and let it climb around on the seats. I was so anxious I spent the whole trip shaking and crying.”’ What Barth’s client is trying to say is that even though the animal is helping the owner, it; however, isn’t helping her in anyway. It is making her scared and becoming anxious herself. I feel if people that really need their animal with them to help with an illness there should be a special section with proper documentation to help benefit both the owner and the people around them.


Should Everyone Go to College: Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill

According to Greenstone and Looney (2011), students that complete a bachelor's degree compared to a high school diploma reach over a 40,000 dollar pay difference in their lifetime. In Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill’s essay, they both chose a strong economic approach to justify going to college.Both authors claim that the return investment of a college education is overwhelmingly positive on average; however, they also bring to light the biggest flaw in our culture’s belief that “a college degree is a prerequisite to entering the middle class”(pg. 318). Owen and Sawhill have both recognized the value of a college education while also acknowledging that it may not be the best option for many teenagers thinking about going to college. With this, I fully defend their standpoint. A power plant engineer requires no schooling other than training supplied by the ordered company and will make substantially more money yearly compared to an average bachelor's degree holder. I believe a college degree should be less of an expectation and more of an individual requirement regarding the person's field of interest.


Don’t Drop Out: Alex Kern

College is a modern expectation, a gateway to a “successful life”; yet, not all of us get the opportunity to attend a four year school or more. For students entering this new scholar lifestyle, not many are focused on anything other than a career for their future.In high school, students that are accepted into top schools often stand out at a young age. They collect academic achievements and stand out from their peers. Universities allow students to be around like minded peers that are racing to do better and be better than one another, they no longer can just expect to stay on top. College benefits students in a multitude of ways, one being networking. Networking is very difficult for a student that leaves high school and immediately enters the work force of their desired career. They have no advisors or professors to guide them nor answer their questions. College allows students to steer other students into the direction they should be going, along with easy access to future employers. Students in this position are often accepted and preferred over ones who enter the workforce before attending college if at all. People in college are given higher positions while others are placed at the bottom and must work to reach the top, of strict requirements aren’t in place for university degrees. As Alex Kern presents a number of criticisms, after reading the following points he comments about, I feel he presents them fairly because they are in fact his just opinions. One example was, "A college education makes you more likely to get the job of your dreams." In this case he responded that it is true for most professions, yet not enough to keep him motivated. Another was, "Many success people have college degrees”;for instance, Steve Jobs, founder of apple. Lastly, "A degree gives you a safety net to fall back on." In my personal opinion many people are successful without a college diploma. I don’t like to misconstrue modern education for overall intelligence. If you ask a fish to fly, a bird may view it as stupid;although, it does something a bird can’t do - it can swim. I use that motto for my opinion on Alex Kerns article. I support his essentially unbiased opinions, and I don’t believe everyone should have the same expectation. We all have different passions, different visions of a perfect life. As powerful as a college degree may be, there are a plethora of career paths that have their very own yellow brick road that leads to the wealth and power of a college graduate.


F. Diane Barth is the author of several articles on the NBC Think portion of the website. In her current article, also titled "Is an emotional support animal serving a person's needs or their narcissism?", she delves into the two particular sides/stances of emotional animals in public areas. Throughout the story, the view goes back and forth until it ends up being that emotional animals are used for narcissism then actual help. In a way, I agree with her statement in the aspect that humans tend to use emotional animals as a means to cheat the system. For example, when she was interviewing families, one stated how "pets certified as an official support animal because they had heard too many stories about animals that had been lost or had died while traveling in the traditional way. They were aware that some of their fellow travelers could be uncomfortable with their pet, but they said that he was a hypoallergenic breed and that they gave him a mild tranquilizer before any flight." The interview conducted helped showed that animals or excuses are simple ways humanity tries to save money at the extent of other passengers. To further back up the claim, there was another person, who was interviewed and stated that she was scared of a dog climbing around freely, causing her to shake and cry the whole way there. I do understand the other side, and thus there could always be a compromise. What would be nice to see is that those who need therapy or emotional dog can get one that completely trained, or teach both the owner and dog how to behave in public environments.

Danielle Benton

Barth answers their question within their essay. Barth balances between both sides and acknowledges the fact that animals do provide comfort to patients with extreme anxiety and depression, but also notes that people abuse the system and have pets for their entitlement. Barth first talks about how calming pets are and the experiences she’s had with them. She then migrates to how some people feel that they are entitled to a service pet. As stated in the essay, some people use their service pet as a way to either keep their pets with them and not make them suffer in the plane cabin or allow the owner to not pay for their airline tickets. Barth explains both sides of the argument, but shows their view on the subject towards the end, “My British friend asked, “Wouldn’t a stuffed animal do just as well?” It would certainly be less selfish,” (Barth). This shows that Barth agrees that there are other ways to handle stress and that, even though animals do provide a form of comfort, it seems selfish to other people and to the pet itself.

Saimon Shabandari

No one can deny that people who have pets are love them and treat them as their family members. And that is normals as they feed them, bath them , take them out to walk , They spend a lot of money on their loved ones buying for them things and services like clothing, grooming, medicine. They even sleep share same bed with their domestic animals, i have heard that some enthusiasts even pt their pets name in their will. Therefore having them so close and taking care of them make their emotional and physical bonds strong. However, me as a person who suffers from allergy against having pets in public places , especially food chains , restaurants , cafes and supermarkets. Statistic shows that over 30 % of world population suffers from allergy. And Why should I pay for medicine and suffer from serious health problems if for some reason my next table person wants to have his pet company. Why should I pay decent amount of money to restaurant to get quality food and spend quality time , but suffer from consequences later .
I strongly believe that people who wants to enjoy their pets company outside should take them to places where there is afresh air , like parks and never ever to restaurants , and those restaurants that claim to be pet friendly should allocate special room and area for people with service dogs and pets.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Become a Fan