A woman on TikTok is venting about a very specific “red flag” trait she’s noticed in a lot of people lately, and she’s spreading the word about why she believes it’s holding them back.
According to a TikToker named Iona (@ionaonthecoast), she’s noticed that a lot of people are “constantly complaining” about the same things: the stress of raising kids, their hectic family life and the fact that they’re always broke.
“And yet somehow, every single week without fail, they have a brand-new pet,” the TikToker claims in her video. “They have like seven Guinea pigs, 60 snakes [and] I don’t know how many dogs and cats. Like, no s*** you’re struggling, Stacy. You keep adding elements to the mix.”
What’s more, Iona said she feels bad for the animals that essentially get taken in to help put a Band-Aid on their owner’s struggling mental health — because most of the time, she doesn’t believe they could possibly be well taken care of.
“To me, it just signals poor impulse control,” she continued. “That you keep adding critters to the mix to deal with your stress. I just don’t think that’s a very healthy or sustainable way of dealing with your problems.”
Some commenters immediately agreed.
“so true iona,” one person told her.
“I hope Stacy gets the help she needs,” another added, somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
But others wondered how widespread this issue could really be.
“Wait, how many of these people do you know??” one person asked her.
“at least a handful???” the TikToker replied.
“sounds like you know a few zookeepers,” someone else said.
“HAHAH I DO,” Iona told them.
To be fair, there’s a very wide spectrum of animal lovers out there. Plenty of people have a reasonable number of pets at home and responsibly care for them. Plus, science has proven that pets can actually improve your health, since they’ve been shown to lower your cortisol levels and blood pressure, which can have a big impact on your overall mood.
That said, there’s a pretty big divide between people who take on a bit more than they can handle and full-on animal hoarders who put pets — and themselves — in unsafe living conditions. (It seems like @ionaonthecoast isn’t really singling out those people.)
In the end, there seems to be a somewhat ironic reason why Iona has zeroed in on this kind of behavior: Turns out, she would take in a ton of animals if she could, too, but holds herself back instead.
“I can’t talk because, in my head, I definitely want a compound with like seven dogs,” she admits at the end of the clip.”
“So, um, I guess I’m one of the red flags,” she adds with a laugh.
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