As I write this, I have a dog on each side of me and my little rex cat snuggled under my arm.

Officially I live alone, but nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not a crazy cat lady. I have good friends and an active social life. However, I'm happiest scanning a rock pool or watching a dragonfly's aerobatic show. Lately I've been training my two dogs and it's pretty awesome being understood by another species even when it is just 'roll over'.

One of the things I like most about animals is how much I learn about them every day. I will never know absolutely everything about any single creature, giving animals an unquantifiable quality and an endless yet enjoyable challenge for the observer.

In contrast to some people, I can know more than I'd like to within five minutes.

Some are the well meaning individuals that try and set me straight on why I absolutely must have children and how much meaning and joy they will bring to me.

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I am one of those people that will make more of a fuss over your cat than your new baby and will politely decline the honour of holding the squirmy, leaky little bundle. Admittedly I get on rather well with actual children once they are past the larval stage, but it doesn't make me want to create more little humans.

Here are 10 reasons why animals are better than people

1.

They don't give non-committal responses about spending time with you

2.

You can serve them the same meal every day and they are always excited about it

3.

Animals don't judge, don't hate and don't scheme or lie

4.

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Unlike small humans, animals can be left on their own while you're out and it won't get you arrested

5.

Animals are peaceful company; they don't talk incessantly, offer unwanted advice or even worse; have a really annoying laugh.

6.

They don't suddenly have to send a text or take a call while you're out together

7.

Dogs are incredibly loyal to their people and stand by them no matter what

8.

People can be cruel and callous towards animals and selfishly destroy their habitat. Wild animals will generally leave people alone.

9.

You don't have to go through a lengthy pregnancy to expand your family

10.

Dogs give the best 'welcome home' ever

I'm not alone in rating animals over humans - especially when it comes to showing compassion. A 2013 study by Northeastern University suggested people felt more empathy towards a hurt dog or puppy than for an adult human.

However, when it came to children - participants were just as compassionate as they were for dogs. So, the age of a human influences how we feel, but not so much with animals.

This is down to vulnerability. Infants and animals are seen as less able to protect themselves - we are hard-wired to care more and want to step in.

Because of my favoritism, I support animal charities - not as a snub to human charities competing for the same dollar.

A recent article asked: how can you give money to a dog when a child is dying? To me, this implies that donating to animals is an insult to humans due to their superior importance. According to this mindset, to support any charity or cause other than for vulnerable children would be abhorrent.

I'm not a people hater, I just often prefer the company of animals. Of course humans are animals too, it's just a pity they don't act more like it.

- nzherald.co.nz