The pets of the United States enjoy higher standard of living than those of any other country.
The pets of the United States enjoy higher standard of living than those of any other country. And the care lavished on them doesn't finish when they die. In Chicago, an extensive funeral business has sprung up to cater for the needs of pets in their animal valhalla.
Since a larger proportion of American pet owners treat their animals as almost human, the Chicago industry is based on the premise that the pets should receive a human-style burial.
So bereaved animal-lovers can pop into a pets funeral parlour. There, they will be given a choice of shrouds and of satin-lined coffins -- some of them carrying a 130-dollar (GBP 44 sterling) price tag.
Then they can buy a plot in an animal cemetery, marking it with a granite tombstone or a marble cross.
One way and another, the pets interred in these cemeteries get a better send off than the majority of human beings. No-one can say that the pets' funeral industry is a dying business.