There comes a time in your adult life where having a ton of stuffed animals will get you the weird looks of, "How old are you again?, I'm 21 and, yes, I still have most of my stuffed animals, and, yes, I've added to the collection since being at college." Now, there are the animals that the significant other has given me. The special teddy bear (or penguin, moose, two turtles and hedgehog) that the boyfriend gives the girlfriend so she always has something to cuddle with when they aren't together. Stuffed animals are seen as a crutch, a childish need to be comforted by an inanimate object. There are undoubtedly adults in the world who refuse to become adults and so cling to that child-like view of stuffed animals. I'd like to present a different opinion.
1.They provide great medical benefits. I have three full-size pillow pets (a horse, penguin and turtle, plus a little turtle) and I have found that they provide some of the best support when I'm sleeping. I have asthma, and when I'm in a "cycle" my pillow pets help keep my chest open so I can sleep better at night.
2.They're surrogate pets. After a long day of class, fish aren't the cuddliest, most comforting pets to return home to. Sometimes you just want to curl up under a blanket with something soft that silently understands that you just need to eat the whole bag of chips today.
3.They are a reminder of the importance of being a child. I believe in fun. In becoming adults, we can get too caught up in the bills, homework and real life to remember what it's like to have fun. Coming home to a hedgehog on your bed instead of another decorative pillow is just something that's hard not to smile at.
4.They are the best secret keepers. I like to joke that my stuffed animals know more about me than any other person ever could. But there is so much truth to the joke. At three a.m. when I'm crying myself to sleep, the smiling faces sewn onto their little stuffed faces surround me and I don't feel so alone.
5.They are memory keepers. Two of my oldest stuffed animals, Big Bunny and Little Bunny (I was an original 5 year-old) I got from my big brother. Big Bunny came into my life one stormy night when the thunder was keeping me awake. To this day, if I can't sleep during a storm at home, I tuck Big Bunny under my arms and I'm able to sleep.
So of all the vices a person can have, I will take my collection of stuffed animals that makes me smile and keeps a little piece of childhood alive in me.