Allegedly Atheists Prefer Cats While Christians Prefer Dogs According to a Study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

A new study has shown that Atheists prefer cats while Christians prefer dogs. It also reveals that the more a person goes to church in a week they are less likely to own a pet. This is a fascinating study by Ryan Burge and Samuel Perry. 

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are God.”

Christopher Hitchens 

I grew up with dogs. I love dogs deeply. In my family in California I grew up with German Shorthair Pointers. From my youth until adulthood dogs were always present. If you were to ask me of one things that I miss most about my family in California its the dog. Watching it grunt and hearing it snore as it sleeps. Seeing it play with its toys. Or having it jump onto bed and lick me as I laugh in response and wrestle with Liesel.  The current German Shorthair Pointer you can see above and below. I decided that this can be a post that I add pictures of pooch porn that can show a dog that is exceptionally cute back in Fresno, California. 


New Study Reveals That Religion Can Determine Pet Ownership

In late December of 2019 Ryan Burge and Samuel Perry published a study at the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion that revealed that faith or lack of faith can help determine what pets you are drawn to. Ryan Purge is an American Baptist pastor and social scenarist at Eastern Illinois University. While Samuel Perry is a social scientist from the University of Oklahoma who crunched the new data from the General Social Survey. The General Social Survey is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center from the University of Chicago. The most recent study determined that among those who own a pet, 74% own a dog. While about 40.3% own cats. Evangelicals and mainline Protestants have the most pets. While Catholics have 1.72 animals which also include frogs, fish and other pets. When you break if down in another way and ask what religious tradition prefers a pet the answers are surprising. Evangelicals and Catholics are more likely to have a dog over mainline Protestants. Black Protestants are found to be drawn to cats. Those who claim no religious affiliation tend to have cats. The study also determined that the more people go to church in a week the less likely they are  to own a pet. 

As for why this is developing with pets let’s look at what Ryan Burge says. “One is practical. People who are highly involved in activities at church or other houses of worship may not have the time to take care of a lot of animals in their home. A second possibility is that people may be using pets as a replacement for social interaction. Therefore, people who are frequently attending church events don’t need to fill that social void with pets. In another regression model, we found that higher church attendance is especially predictive of lower cat ownership.” You can read more about Ryan Burge’s article at the Religion News Service in, “Atheists prefer cats, Christians love dogs, study shows.” You can read the actual study in, “How Religion Predicts Pet Ownership in the United States.”



Its an Interesting Perspective

When I first heard of this study I immediately thought of what Christopher Hitchens said about dogs and cats. That quite by Hitch is leading this post. This writer is still processing this information. Its deeply interesting. Those that I know who are Evangelical and Catholic tend to be dog owners. Those who I know who are nothing or secular or atheist tend to be cat owners. But I would also suggest to that part of the reason why people can own cats is that they can be easier to deal with in a small urban space. Sometimes renting an apartment in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle or San Francisco can be a challenge. In a more compact space cats can fit in just purr..fectly! As for myself I am drawn to dogs but I also have a hectic lifestyle in D.C. and that prevents me from having a dog. If I did I would not be able to travel as easily as I can in writing this blog. Feel free to share your thoughts below. 


8 thoughts on “Allegedly Atheists Prefer Cats While Christians Prefer Dogs According to a Study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

  1. Atheists Prefer Cats While Christians Prefer Dogs

    Ooooo… Kayyyyy…?

    (I wonder if “Cats are independent while Dogs are submissive extensions of their master” factors into it?)

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  2. Well, I’m an atheist and I have a cat, and no dog. I grew up with a dog, and while I liked him OK, I no longer have a fenced back yard. and I don’t have the patience to take a dog for walkies several times a day in all sorts of weather. To me dogs aren’t worth the trouble. (If my spouse liked cats, I could do with having more than one. But he just tolerates them.)

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