It's often very difficult to identify with the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to watching news footage or reading articles in newspapers. We're all part of the same planet, and yet, it can feel as though we're an entirely different species from our cousins across the pond – or further afield. Trust our pets to put things into perspective, then.
Introducing Dollar Street, a project released by Gapminder. Having visited 240 families in 36 different countries, the project has collected some 30,000 photographs in an effort to prove that we're not so different, and while there are so many ways in which we're more similar than we could have realized, it’s our love for our pets that stands out. Among those 30,000 pictures, a great deal of them depict the family's love for their pet – something that doesn't change, regardless of the backdrop.
Gapminder Co-Founder Anna Rosling Ronnlund says of Dollar Street: “It’s striking to see how similar our lives are. It makes the world less scary to see that most people struggle with everyday business most of the time and they are not so exotic and it's not so scary."
With these glimpses of households at various levels of income, Dollar Street aims to dispel myths surrounding how the other half lives, as well as making our economic differences more relatable – and what's more relatable than our pets? Indeed, we as a species have been keeping pets for some 15,000 years, and we treasure our canine companions and feline friends in much the same way as anyone else, regardless of where they live or what they earn.
Dollar Street is a celebration of our differences, and a means to accept our similarities. For example, you'd struggle to identify the disparities between a dog currently living with a Haitian family that earns $40 per month, and one that shares his home with a Bulgarian family earning more than $650. Despite their circumstances, both pups are cared for to the best of the pet parents’ abilities.
Here are a few pictures of pets around the world. If you'd like to see some more families and pets from the richest to the poorest homes, visit Dollar Street.
Photo ©Dollar Street