Is pet ownership hypocritical? (The value of non-human life)

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#1 Edited by KHAndAnime (13165 posts) -

For me to present my argument, we must find common ground on one belief - the belief that animals were meant to live in nature, free of dependence on humans. As a society, we're starting to take the stance that doing harm to our planet and nature is a bad thing. I'm not talking about for the reason of sustainability either - our society is moving towards the idea that plundering nature beyond our necessity has negative moral connotations behind it (remember Avatar?). So despite our past dependence on one-another for survival (e.g. hunter+hunting dog), which is natural in nature and was mutually beneficial for both species, there is nothing to suggest that there's a good reason for humans to keep pets. They provide amusement and a sense of companionship. But is that companionship something substantial and real? Or is it actually a bit fake and a little sickening?

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

The first argument I hear from all pet owners can mostly be deduced to the same thing : "I saved my pet from a bad situation". Interesting enough - pet owners fail to acknowledge that the bad situation they saved the pet from was created from the status quo of pet ownership in the first place.

The second argument I hear is : "Well, we all eat meat anyways - it doesn't make a difference - it's not like I'm killing and eating my pet. Besides, my pet shows me affection and loves me." They act as if these animals have the freedom of choice. They don't. Meat eaters aren't disillusioned about what they do - I wouldn't kill a cow and pretend that I'm doing these cows a favor. I eat various types of meat and fish because I can and ultimately it's an effective staple of the diet. Do I need to eat meat? No. But based upon my experience - all vegetarians I've personally known for lengthier periods of time all have developed health issues that aren't common in non-vegetarians. The majority of pet owners I've met, on the other hand, act as if they own a pet because they're saving a life and doing a favor to another life form. Here's another way to look at it - pet owners enslave animals for their own amusement, purely because they can. Yet pet owners like to believe they have a "real bond" with their helpless pets.

Animals are domesticated through nurture upon birth and have no natural desire to be around you or me. For them to act naturally would cause them to get beaten and put away. I love eating cows, pigs, fish, etc. despite this, I like animals. I'm glad they exist - I just wish the ones that weren't designated to be eaten could at least experience a life that is natural to them.

A zoo at least attempts to provide animals with a recreation of their natural habitat. Cats and dogs get no such luck - most are left at home and sit in a box while their owners go to work and live their lives. Then many owners come home and beat them because they didn't pee in their designated spot. I'm inclined to believe that pet ownership is a very hypocritical thing and I don't ever think I would own a pet personally. Honestly, if I was enslaved by an Alien and they gave me the option to sacrifice myself for to provide their nourishment or the option to be their pet for the rest of my life, I'd probably take the least boring and less humiliating approach to the situation.

Do you think that there will be a point where animal life is valued beyond being mere food? Once we reach that point, do you think opinions on owning pets would sway?

#2 Edited by wonder6192 (33 posts) -

no, i don't see the vast majority of people changing their views on pet ownership. as you said, most people think they are doing their pets a favor and think their dog cares about that new coat coat you got them. besides, it's not all bad, i mean, what's the alternative? throw them all outside and let them roam the streets?

#3 Posted by killzowned24 (7286 posts) -

I have had cats that roam wild outside and they would run to me and jump into my arms when I call for them.

#4 Posted by Detroit222 (5273 posts) -

My cats roam my house. They have food and a warm place to sleep and humans who care for their every whim. I don't believe in punishing them for acting like cats. I figure it is a quid pro quo relationship. They look after me, I look after them. You think it's better if they run wild? Most outdoor cats only live 3 years. They are run over, killed by larger species (dogs) or catch a really nasty disease. My current oldest cat is 12 years, my youngest is 10 months. I think if they could speak and you ask them 'do you want your freedom?' They probably would respond 'we're already free to do as we like.'

#5 Edited by comp_atkins (31109 posts) -

Animals are domesticated through nurture upon birth and have no natural desire to be around you or me.

that may be true for a wild animal, but any pet owner will tell you their pets actively seek their owners out for attention, affection, and just to be near them. for a domesticated pet, this is their natural behavior now.

#6 Posted by Master_Live (13635 posts) -
#7 Posted by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@KHAndAnime: "For me to present my argument, we must find common ground on one belief"

The fact that we have to adapt to your point of view in order for you to even present your argument should be a sign to you that it's not a very strong argument.

#8 Edited by KHAndAnime (13165 posts) -
@Master_Live said:

@KHAndAnime: Have you ever own a pet?

Personally? No. My family owned a cat, who they had before I was born and it passed away when I was in 7th grade from a tumor. Due to this I'm more of a cat person. This cat was also "saved from a bad situation", and was previously owned by an abusive owner. It was a relatively wild cat. We always left windows open in our house so the cat could go where he pleased. He mostly hung out outdoors. Of course he always would come back (though occasionally he disappeared for lengthier periods of time). Never really thought much of it - he had plenty of freedom to do what he pleased. If he was ever restricted in doors for lengthy periods of time, he would damage furniture or make some sort of mess. I can relate to that, being claustrophobic myself. I don't like having my freedoms impeded. I can't imagine animals liking it that much either.

It was a relatively normal situation. As I said - didn't think much of it. But after not having a pet for so long, and seeing how other people treat their pets - I'm skeptical about the "wholesome entertainment" factor of it all. Living in a city, all I see are animals confined to extremely small spaces. I see people too lazy to take their pets outside. I see pets getting killed due to owner negligence. I see tons of people who barely have the means of adequately taking care of themselves yet they're also attempting to take care of multiple animals. I'm skeptical as to how many of these animals live fulfilling lives, being confined to human rules and human conditioning. In a sense I feel like their lives are completely devalued.

@wonder6192 said:

no, i don't see the vast majority of people changing their views on pet ownership. as you said, most people think they are doing their pets a favor and think their dog cares about that new coat coat you got them. besides, it's not all bad, i mean, what's the alternative? throw them all outside and let them roam the streets?

If I were to call pet ownership a problem, then I'd say there is no immediate solution, if even one at all. Domesticated cats and dogs would have little success being reintegrated into the wilderness. In fact, any animals with domesticated lineages would have likely have little to no chance. I'm pretty sure it's extremely difficult to reintegrate any animals into the wild that have lost their roots there. Having said that, if it were possible to reintegrate cats and dogs into their ancestral habitats (they flourish in many habitats, from what I understand) within a large reserve of some sort - I think that would be a significant improvement over the situation we have now. Perhaps an animal sanctuary where mass amounts of cats and dogs are neutered and then cared for until they die of natural causes.

I simply think they shouldn't be subject to our human systems. I'm sure there are plenty of people that fully appreciates their pets (and their pets appreciate them), but there even more people that trivialize the responsibilities over 'owning' another life and do not treat their pets as if they were their human neighbor. And then there are simply too many cats and dogs reproducing with absolutely no natural means of these animals dying. So they just build up in the pound and elsewhere and then get euthanized. Maybe my reserve idea is far fetched, but are there really no alternatives? It seems too many animals get neglected and many unwanted animals are euthanized just so people can have their pets.

Even if these pets on average lived longer in the care of pet-owners, many (if not most) of these animals are stuck in confined spaces for the majority of their time and live arguably boring and unfulfilled lives due to their lack of freedom. They would at least get a reasonable amount of freedom to pursue their instincts in some illusion of the wilderness.

besides, it's not all bad,

It's pretty bad if you saw how many animals are practically born into death due to the status quo of pets being so integrated with our society. Have you witnessed animals being put down simply because they weren't wanted? Do you think that's fair? Have you seen a confused dog run into the road and get run over by a car - with the owner being present? I have. It's an ugly situation - one that shouldn't even have the potential of happening in any logical society. Yet it happens hundreds of times, probably every day.

@comp_atkins said:

Animals are domesticated through nurture upon birth and have no natural desire to be around you or me.

that may be true for a wild animal, but any pet owner will tell you their pets actively seek their owners out for attention, affection, and just to be near them. for a domesticated pet, this is their natural behavior now.

From birth, a cat isn't going to follow you around and live in your house. Given no boundaries, a cat, dog, or any animal would do its own thing. Their domesticated behavior exists they were conditioned that way upon birth. Most pets have absolutely nothing going on in their lives outside of occasional interaction with the owner - many spend most of their time isolated or isolated with another pet. In a sense - an animal getting extremely excited at the sight of its owner walking through the door is actually a bit sad, no? It says more about how exciting the pet's life is than it does how great we are for taking care of an animal.

#9 Posted by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@KHAndAnime: "I simply think they shouldn't be subject to our human systems."

Yet you support such subjugation through eating meat.

#10 Edited by KHAndAnime (13165 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@KHAndAnime: "I simply think they shouldn't be subject to our human systems."

Yet you support such subjugation through eating meat.

I'm speaking from a stance of idealism. I'm talking about the people that actually say they care about all animals - but these people support a system that isn't beneficial to them in the least. Personally? I have no stake in it. I don't care. It's just an observation of what I find to be a conflicting situation if you do in fact have a moral stake in it. In a perfect world of people with perfect moral fortitude - I believe we shouldn't interfere with the affairs or negatively impact any animals (or any species that isn't us). I don't think they should be integrated into society as much as they are either - as it creates complicated social issues. I'm not someone with perfect moral fortitude (or even great morals) - but that's not the point. I'm just proposing an argument that questions the morality of a society that lets anyone fork over $100 to take care of a life, as well as exploring the negative implications of the existence of this industry (and concept).

@Detroit222 said:

My cats roam my house. They have food and a warm place to sleep and humans who care for their every whim. I don't believe in punishing them for acting like cats. I figure it is a quid pro quo relationship. They look after me, I look after them. You think it's better if they run wild? Most outdoor cats only live 3 years. They are run over, killed by larger species (dogs) or catch a really nasty disease. My current oldest cat is 12 years, my youngest is 10 months. I think if they could speak and you ask them 'do you want your freedom?' They probably would respond 'we're already free to do as we like.'

Idealistically speaking, I don't think the cats shouldn't be in the city or in our harm's way at all. They should be taken somewhere safe and cared for. If you're talking about pet outdoor cats, my family's cat was an outdoor cat and lived to be almost 20 years. Plenty of outdoor pet cats do just fine. I feel like they don't have it so bad compared to the indoor ones. You know - the ones that can't even go outside more than twice a day. If you deprive an animal of its survival instincts and daily challenge - how much does it really have to live for anyways? Can you imagine being treated to equal amounts of confinement?

And is it worth having your 2 cats so dozens of other cats can sit in pound somewhere and die? Essentially you're partaking in this system.

#11 Edited by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@KHAndAnime: "Personally? I have no stake in it."

That's where you're wrong. You went on at length about your desire to eat meat. You have a stake in systems that subjugate animals because you are an active player in a system which harvests them for food.

"They should be taken somewhere safe and cared for."

I thought you said that "animals were meant to live in nature, free of dependence on humans." You now claim that they "should...be card for." Which one is it?

Maybe you need to take a step back and reevaluate your contradictory and (clearly) poorly thought out position.

#12 Edited by Sword-Demon (6872 posts) -

For me to present my argument, we must find common ground on one belief - the belief that animals were meant to live in nature, free of dependence on humans.

stopped reading here.

animals weren't "meant" to do anything.

#13 Posted by redstorm72 (4507 posts) -

For me to present my argument, we must find common ground on one belief - the belief that animals were meant to live in nature, free of dependence on humans. So despite our past dependence on one-another for survival (e.g. hunter+hunting dog), which is natural in nature and was mutually beneficial for both species, there is nothing to suggest that there's a good reason for humans to keep pets. They provide amusement and a sense of companionship. But is that companionship something substantial and real? Or is it actually a bit fake and a little sickening?

What is "natural" is irrelevant. Human kind has been breaking that barrier for thousands of years. It's not "natural" for humans to fly, but we still invented planes. Is it wrong for humans to fly just because we weren't initially designed to do so? Besides, "natural" is just a human concept, not a definite rule. The man-pet relationship developed out of nature. Also, how is the pet-owner relationship not beneficial to both parties? Humans get companionship, pets get food, shelter, and affection. Sure, they lose their "freedom", but that is a largely human concept, not something pets are too concerned about.

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

The same can be said about children. My parents gave me a name and kept me in a confined space (the house) most of my life. They also punished me when I urinated on the floor or broke things, even though this was "natural" for a child. Did my parents not love me?

The first argument I hear from all pet owners can mostly be deduced to the same thing : "I saved my pet from a bad situation". Interesting enough - pet owners fail to acknowledge that the bad situation they saved the pet from was created from the status quo of pet ownership in the first place.

The second argument I hear is : "Well, we all eat meat anyways - it doesn't make a difference - it's not like I'm killing and eating my pet. Besides, my pet shows me affection and loves me." They act as if these animals have the freedom of choice. They don't. Meat eaters aren't disillusioned about what they do - I wouldn't kill a cow and pretend that I'm doing these cows a favor. I eat various types of meat and fish because I can and ultimately it's an effective staple of the diet. Do I need to eat meat? No. But based upon my experience - all vegetarians I've personally known for lengthier periods of time all have developed health issues that aren't common in non-vegetarians. The majority of pet owners I've met, on the other hand, act as if they own a pet because they're saving a life and doing a favor to another life form. Here's another way to look at it - pet owners enslave animals for their own amusement, purely because they can. Yet pet owners like to believe they have a "real bond" with their helpless pets.

I'm not really sure what you are arguing here. Yes, part of the "situation" we are saving our pets from is created because of pet ownership, but that doesn't make it any less real. Homelessness is created because of the status quo of our modern society, but it doesn't make it any less of kind act for a church to take in the homeless. One of my dogs was adopted from the pound, and would have been euthanized if we hadn't adopted her. you can argue the situational factors all you like, but the fact is my dog would have died if we hadn't adopted her. Is death really better than living with humans? Also, like it or not, there are dozens of types of dogs that cannot survive in the wild anymore. Yes, we created them through pet ownership, but that doesn't change the fact they exist. Should we just let every Pomeranian, Pug, Chihuahua, etc, die because it would be better than having them live in a house?

Animals are domesticated through nurture upon birth and have no natural desire to be around you or me. For them to act naturally would cause them to get beaten and put away. I love eating cows, pigs, fish, etc. despite this, I like animals. I'm glad they exist - I just wish the ones that weren't designated to be eaten could at least experience a life that is natural to them.

A zoo at least attempts to provide animals with a recreation of their natural habitat. Cats and dogs get no such luck - most are left at home and sit in a box while their owners go to work and live their lives. Then many owners come home and beat them because they didn't pee in their designated spot. I'm inclined to believe that pet ownership is a very hypocritical thing and I don't ever think I would own a pet personally. Honestly, if I was enslaved by an Alien and they gave me the option to sacrifice myself for to provide their nourishment or the option to be their pet for the rest of my life, I'd probably take the least boring and less humiliating approach to the situation.

Do you think that there will be a point where animal life is valued beyond being mere food? Once we reach that point, do you think opinions on owning pets would sway?

Another kind of pointless argument. Every living creature has their psychology altered through nurture from birth to mold in with the greater whole. Kids are taught to play nice with others, wolves are taught to respect the pack leader, etc. Why is it so wrong when in the case of pet-owner relations? Besides, at least in the case of dogs, they naturally seek out a pack and a leader, whether human or otherwise.

I think your major problem is that you are imagining yourself as the animal. You have to remember that an animal has no real concept of "freedom", at least, not in the same way we do. If you had ever owned a pet, you might understand. I didn't beat my dogs into loving me. I took them home, and they sought my affection. Yes, I taught them not to pee on the floor, but my parents taught me that as well.

And to answer your question, no, opinions on owning pets will not sway. This relationship has existed for thousands of years, its not going to change just because a few hippies come along and think its wrong to confine "mother nature".

#14 Edited by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

#15 Edited by br0kenrabbit (12681 posts) -

Dogs don't actually do well in the wild because we've spent thousands of years breeding the wolf out of them.

#16 Posted by comp_atkins (31109 posts) -


@comp_atkins said:

Animals are domesticated through nurture upon birth and have no natural desire to be around you or me.

that may be true for a wild animal, but any pet owner will tell you their pets actively seek their owners out for attention, affection, and just to be near them. for a domesticated pet, this is their natural behavior now.

From birth, a cat isn't going to follow you around and live in your house. Given no boundaries, a cat, dog, or any animal would do its own thing. Their domesticated behavior exists they were conditioned that way upon birth. Most pets have absolutely nothing going on in their lives outside of occasional interaction with the owner - many spend most of their time isolated or isolated with another pet. In a sense - an animal getting extremely excited at the sight of its owner walking through the door is actually a bit sad, no? It says more about how exciting the pet's life is than it does how great we are for taking care of an animal.

well, not a cat no.. cat's are assholes. :P

#17 Edited by AmazonTreeBoa (16480 posts) -

I have two cats and they are very happy. They are indoor only cats. I take them outside and have them trained to stay on the front porch or in the backyard depending on where I take them. I would never beat my cats and dare somebody to try. My cats are just like my kids to me. They get fed well and are well cared for. If I lived in the country, I would allow them to run free a bit more than I do now. I plan on getting a trailer for my bicycle to take them on trips with me. My cats are way better off than what they would be if they remained strays. I take them to the vet when they need it as well. I am a firm believer that if you can't/won't care for your pets, then you shouldn't own them in the first place. I also own two snakes. I also take care of them. Never needed to take either to a vet yet. I feed them every other week. Have had Moo Moo (male cat) for 5 years and swirl (female cat) for 3 years. Have had both snakes (both female) for almost three years.

#18 Posted by V3rciS (2207 posts) -

At my work we have 2 cats... the work is in the city on a ground floor next to park and the cats the majority of time live in the building but also go out whenever they want, I don't really see how I'm restricting the freedom of my cats? They go out whenever they like, come home... sleep and eat and then go out again.

#19 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

#20 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

#21 Posted by lamprey263 (22453 posts) -

my animals are pretty happy, my cat spends all his time outside eating other animals like a psychopath he plays with mice all the time torturing them before killing them, then he comes inside from time to time for my loving affection and approval

my dog loves me, loves to play, loves eating my table scraps, loves trips in the car and going for walks and going to the dog park

maybe you just believe people's pets are unhappy because you can't see beyond yourself as a miserable person that makes other people around you miserable

#22 Posted by redstorm72 (4507 posts) -

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

#23 Posted by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

LOL try harder bro

#24 Edited by redstorm72 (4507 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:
@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

LOL try harder bro

Are you KHandAnime's alt or something? I'm not "butthurt" by the OP's argument, I just thought I would give my counter argument in the same condescending way the OP did. Anyway, what are your thoughts on the OP's post?

#25 Posted by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

my animals are pretty happy, my cat spends all his time outside eating other animals like a psychopath he plays with mice all the time torturing them before killing them, then he comes inside from time to time for my loving affection and approval

my dog loves me, loves to play, loves eating my table scraps, loves trips in the car and going for walks and going to the dog park

maybe you just believe people's pets are unhappy because you can't see beyond yourself as a miserable person that makes other people around you miserable

There is a lot of people coming in this thread just to JUSTIFY having there own pet. Don't post if you aren't gonna add anything to the discussion

#26 Edited by lamprey263 (22453 posts) -

@Mcspanky37 said:
@lamprey263 said:

my animals are pretty happy, my cat spends all his time outside eating other animals like a psychopath he plays with mice all the time torturing them before killing them, then he comes inside from time to time for my loving affection and approval

my dog loves me, loves to play, loves eating my table scraps, loves trips in the car and going for walks and going to the dog park

maybe you just believe people's pets are unhappy because you can't see beyond yourself as a miserable person that makes other people around you miserable

There is a lot of people coming in this thread just to JUSTIFY having there own pet. Don't post if you aren't gonna add anything to the discussion

I don't justify having my own pet you, I'm saying my animals are happy, because TC's post would make it sound otherwise.

#27 Edited by playmynutz (5925 posts) -

Animals do not choose to be domesticated but we humans as masters need to treat all animals respectively.

#28 Edited by joehult (356 posts) -

Open the front door, if your dog wants to leave, he will leave, otherwise he is your companion.

#29 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72 said:
@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

LOL try harder bro

Are you KHandAnime's alt or something? I'm not "butthurt" by the OP's argument, I just thought I would give my counter argument in the same condescending way the OP did. Anyway, what are your thoughts on the OP's post?Hah

You wish I was his alt:) . Just because the OP is saying something you strongly disagree in doesn't mean hes condescending LOL. In comparison to my posts in the thread (which are very condescending) KH seems like a nice guy. It might sound a little dumb but I'm not really in the mood to type an essay on my position to get across my whole entire view on the OP's post.

#30 Edited by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Tons of anecdotes in this thread. Where are you getting this "most" crap from?

#31 Posted by WittleWittleton (47 posts) -

I'm going to toss this idea out there for discussion: Could we not interpret the pet relationship between a human and another animal such as a cat, dog, iguana, etc as simply a form of mutalistic symbiosis?

Mutualism is quite common in nature and is actually incredibly fascinating. Both species benefit in this case, and given this perspective I wouldn't see it as an undervaluing non-human life.

I'm not a student of biology/ecology, so if there are biologists out there who could clarify or correct me on what im saying, please do!

#32 Posted by redstorm72 (4507 posts) -

You wish I was his alt:) . Just because the OP is saying something you strongly disagree in doesn't mean hes condescending LOL. In comparison to my posts in the thread (which are very condescending) KH seems like a nice guy. It might sound a little dumb but I'm not in the mood to type an essay on my position, as It would take to get across whole my view-point on the situtation

When you responded to a guy defending his decision to own a pet you said "Don't post if you aren't gonna add anything to the discussion". Yet all you've done so far is bash other peoples positions. I will repeat, "pot, meet kettle".

#33 Edited by comp_atkins (31109 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

what

#34 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Tons of anecdotes in this thread. Where are you getting this "most" crap from?

I realize that was the biggest hole in my post as there is no real way to prove it either way. I'm only going off of personal experience of everyone i have ever met. Not just my buddies, distant relatives, co-workers, classmates etc. Which is better than going off of posts from this thread.

#35 Edited by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Tons of anecdotes in this thread. Where are you getting this "most" crap from?

I realize that was the biggest hole in my post as there is no real way to prove it either way. I'm only going off of personal experience of everyone i have ever met. Not just my buddies, distant relatives, co-workers, classmates etc. Which is better than going off of posts from this thread.

So you choose to surround yourself with a bunch of losers, what makes you think that they are representative of the larger population?

#36 Edited by lamprey263 (22453 posts) -

How about we expand on this notion that pets have a natural environment that doesn't involve humans, because many of the breeds of cats and dogs out there have come about in a domestic environment and have no history in the wild, they came about based upon hundreds of years of domestic breeding patterns. Some wouldn't survive in the wild on their own and not because of their domesticated lifestyle but the inability to gather it's own food and hunt. Cats could probably thrive on rodents but they would then themselves become pests with uncontrollable population growth. If you think owning a cat is cruel then dealing with them like people deal with rodents is a lot worse. Many breeds of dog would die off if introduced to the wild, probably because they'd be hunted down and eaten by bigger dogs or natural predators. Many of these breeds of dogs have flourished because their natural environment is a symbiotic one with humans. Also, as far as dog breed histories go it strengthens the idea of a symbiotic relationship because the dogs actually had purposes that benefited humans in a variety of roles other than that of companionship, and they still do to this day.

#37 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20395 posts) -

for one thing, areas designed by humans can be desirable locations for animals to thrive. most people don't want cockroaches, rats, or pigeons living around them, but dammit it happens anyway.

secondly, it's not like people are going out and taming wolves nowadays. they are living with animals born to live among humans. i have a yorkshire terrier. even if she were miraculously born in the woods (or whatever other "natural habitat") without ever being conditioned to go to her bowl for food instead of hunting, she'd never survive. she's living in the environment best suited for her right now.

#38 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Tons of anecdotes in this thread. Where are you getting this "most" crap from?

I realize that was the biggest hole in my post as there is no real way to prove it either way. I'm only going off of personal experience of everyone i have ever met. Not just my buddies, distant relatives, co-workers, classmates etc. Which is better than going off of posts from this thread.

So you choose to surround yourself with a bunch of losers, what makes you think that they are representative of the larger population?

My buddies are who i choose to be around with. I don't choose my co-workers, relatives, class-mates etc. I myself though acknowledged that the point I used cannot be PROVEN either way. So why would i think it to be an accurate representation of everyone?

#39 Edited by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@Mcspanky37 said:

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Tons of anecdotes in this thread. Where are you getting this "most" crap from?

I realize that was the biggest hole in my post as there is no real way to prove it either way. I'm only going off of personal experience of everyone i have ever met. Not just my buddies, distant relatives, co-workers, classmates etc. Which is better than going off of posts from this thread.

So you choose to surround yourself with a bunch of losers, what makes you think that they are representative of the larger population?

My buddies are who i choose to be around with. I don't choose my co-workers, relatives, class-mates etc. I myself though acknowledged that the point I used cannot be PROVEN either way. So why would i think it to be an accurate representation of everyone else?

"I don't choose my co-workers, relatives, class-mates etc."

If you are around these people it's because you choose to. No one is forcing you to be there.

"So why would i think it to be an accurate representation of everyone else?"

You tell me. You're the one that made the claim "[m]ost of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves."

#40 Edited by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -
@LoG-Sacrament said:

for one thing, areas designed by humans can be desirable locations for animals to thrive. most people don't want cockroaches, rats, or pigeons living around them, but dammit it happens anyway.

secondly, it's not like people are going out and taming wolves nowadays. they are living with animals born to live among humans. i have a yorkshire terrier. even if she were miraculously born in the woods (or whatever other "natural habitat") without ever being conditioned to go to her bowl for food instead of hunting, she'd never survive. she's living in the environment best suited for her right now.

Thats one of the better points I've seen in this thread. These animals were breed to be living in a human environment and that a good chunk of these pets wouldn't survive too well in the wild anyways. Good point sir.

#41 Edited by lamprey263 (22453 posts) -

Do you think that there will be a point where animal life is valued beyond being mere food? Once we reach that point, do you think opinions on owning pets would sway?

Don't we already value animals as more than food (like pets)? And it doesn't sway society from pet ownership.

I personally have considered a vegetarian diet, I find the way we produce meat to be very cruel, though any efforts I've made I haven't stuck to, but I do consciously try to keep my meat consumption to a minimal. But I don't think society will make the push out of idealism. With population growth not keeping up to food production and issues of future water shortages and food prices going up will all cause meat to be costlier to produce and costlier to buy. In our lifetime we'll probably see this effect our consumption of meat. We'll still eat meat, just a lot less of it. But maybe in such shortages we'll look to new dietary substitutes to replace meat in our diet.

...but I think we'll still have pets.

#42 Edited by Lance2500 (680 posts) -

why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives

With regards to the point you make about keeping pets in confined spaces, I have a cat and I let her out several times during the day and night when she wants to go out. So in theory she has as far as she wants to venture in the outdoors. While she is outside she also has the choice of leaving and never coming back but time and time again she chooses to come back to my house so that makes me think she likes it here. This is just my situation.

#43 Posted by Mcspanky37 (1695 posts) -

It's interesting how offended people are by this interpretation of the relationship. Some things I noticed...

- All pet owers here get offended by the idea their pets aren't happy or taken care of. But they can't actually talk to their pets, can they? Do you people not understand the concept that these cats and dogs were conditioned to be live with you at birth - meaning they don't have a choice regarding their actions. For all you know, they're happy to get even the slightest amounts of excitement in their lives (which is the most likely probability). Is it love? I don't know - doesn't seem like it.

- All pet owners fail to acknowledge that by having their pets and perpetuating pet ownership, hundreds of dogs and cats get put to death every day because their owners take care of them properly or no one wanted to take care of them. Own a cat or dog? Guess what: you're directly responsible for this. Do you think the majority of animals end up in the hands of caring owners? They don't. They end up unwanted in pounds and are put to death due to lack of available funds to care for them.

I'm going to toss this idea out there for discussion: Could we not interpret the pet relationship between a human and another animal such as a cat, dog, iguana, etc as simply a form of mutalistic symbiosis?

Mutualism is quite common in nature and is actually incredibly fascinating. Both species benefit in this case, and given this perspective I wouldn't see it as an undervaluing non-human life.

I'm not a student of biology/ecology, so if there are biologists out there who could clarify or correct me on what im saying, please do!

How are cats and dogs being bred to live in cages, boxes, and small spaces something mutually beneficial? Would you view it mutually beneficial if I put you in a cage and got entertainment from you - as long as I kept you fed? Seems backwards dude.

#44 Posted by KHAndAnime (13165 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@KHAndAnime said:

People really like cats, and they really like dogs. So if people like cats and dogs so much, why do they give them names and keep them in confined spaces for the majority of their lives and beat or punish them when they behave in a way that's natural to them?

You speak as if all pet owners do this. I ask the question of people who leave their dogs outside all day or in crates all day, they have no business having animals. But to throw down a blanket statement as if all pet owners do this as a premise to your topic is absurd. You do know what "domesticated" means right?

You speak as if it matters if all pet owners do it. Obviously not all - but the point is that many, many, many do. Is it worth you having the one cat you can properly take care of so hundreds of other cats and dogs can be put in the pound and put to sleep daily because they're unwanted or neglected by their owners? Seems a little selfish on the owner's behalves...

#45 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10837 posts) -

I have no problem with owning domesticated animals as pets, as they are used to and require humans for survival. However, I do have a problem with owning wild animals as pets.

#46 Edited by KHAndAnime (13165 posts) -
@redstorm72 said:
@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

You're right - my argument persists on the idea that we agree that forcing animals to lead unnatural lives is wrong. It's essentially the plundering and altercation of nature entirely on human benefit. Last time I checked - people looked down upon that sort of thing. We create situations where animals become dependent on humans and humans don't have the resources to care for them. Take a trip to a few dog pounds and you'll see what I mean. If these animals died in nature - it wouldn't have been our responsibility. But now, it is.

@BluRayHiDef said:

I have no problem with owning domesticated animals as pets, as they are used to and require humans for survival. However, I do have a problem with owning wild animals as pets.

They require us for their survival only because we bred them that way and take away their instincts and ability to survive. I think the idea that the relationship between animal and man actually being beneficial mutual is kind of a joke. Seems every single person here is extremely biased towards the human point of view - but not a single person here has even attempted to approach the situation on the logic "what if it were me?". Seems all people are capable of thinking is "these pets are my toys and they love me because they get excited when they see me". Seems dumb, no offense. Once again - if you were brought up under similar situations as these animals, you'd behave just as they behave.

There were even black slaves back in the day that thought their Masters were doing them a favor by enslaving them...don't believe me? Look it up.

You could argue that the relationship between slave and master is beneficial for both parties - but that doesn't make it so.

@Mcspanky37 said:
@LoG-Sacrament said:

for one thing, areas designed by humans can be desirable locations for animals to thrive. most people don't want cockroaches, rats, or pigeons living around them, but dammit it happens anyway.

secondly, it's not like people are going out and taming wolves nowadays. they are living with animals born to live among humans. i have a yorkshire terrier. even if she were miraculously born in the woods (or whatever other "natural habitat") without ever being conditioned to go to her bowl for food instead of hunting, she'd never survive. she's living in the environment best suited for her right now.

Thats one of the better points I've seen in this thread. These animals were breed to be living in a human environment and that a good chunk of these pets wouldn't survive too well in the wild anyways. Good point sir.

My point is that animals shouldn't be continued to be bred into domestication because it creates a system where there's not enough resources to care of all the animals. You'd be shocked how many animals are destroyed by the system we have in place for pet ownership and domestication. The ones that are already domesticated? Keep them that way. I'm just saying perhaps it's not something that should be perpetuated. Similar to how we're trying to stop perpetuation of global warming.

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Considering that most people are ignorant, and the majority of people are poor or lower middle-class - I don't find this far fetched at all. Poor people probably own more pets than anyone. They're also the least equipped to be attempting to take care of additional life. I agree that humans should focus on taking care of each other before we focus on taking care of random animals that they can only barely provide for (up until it comes to an expensive medical procedure, in which case they put the animals to death).

#47 Edited by Masculus (2801 posts) -

I don't think animals are subject to same ethical principles that are set between men. If they are subject to such treatment, then any argument based on "nature" (of which, the meaning in the post is not clarified), and mankind's separation from it, is false as they are compared as equals. One can not make any true moral judgement - or the "what if were me?" question - in the case of an animal (if we claim to have a different status, even if man is an animal). The same way we can't - as you say - claim to have any individual animal's love, or as in the classical stories enact justice or revenge upon one. Choice and freedom are meaningless for an animal, the same can't be said about men. No, I don't think its hypocritical to have a pet, but to persist on the stated contradiction is.

#48 Edited by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@Mcspanky37: "All pet owers here get offended by the idea their pets aren't happy or taken care of."

No they don't.

Ignorance FTL.

#49 Edited by thegerg (14414 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:
@Mcspanky37 said:

@redstorm72: The massive amount of close-minded butt hurtness in your post is truly astounding. I can tell almost everyone in this thread is trying really hard to dismiss the OP's point without even fully understanding his perspective. (probably because people aren't reading the entirety of OP's posts)

Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, I clearly did read the entire post because I responded to each part of it. No one is dismissing the OP's point, he is just making a very weak argument, basically boiling down to "pet ownership is wrong because I think it's not natural".

You're right - my argument persists on the idea that we agree that forcing animals to lead unnatural lives is wrong. It's essentially the plundering and altercation of nature entirely on human benefit. Last time I checked - people looked down upon that sort of thing. We create situations where animals become dependent on humans and humans don't have the resources to care for them. Take a trip to a few dog pounds and you'll see what I mean. If these animals died in nature - it wouldn't have been our responsibility. But now, it is.

@BluRayHiDef said:

I have no problem with owning domesticated animals as pets, as they are used to and require humans for survival. However, I do have a problem with owning wild animals as pets.

They require us for their survival only because we bred them that way and take away their instincts and ability to survive. I think the idea that the relationship between animal and man actually being beneficial mutual is kind of a joke. Seems every single person here is extremely biased towards the human point of view - but not a single person here has even attempted to approach the situation on the logic "what if it were me?". Seems all people are capable of thinking is "these pets are my toys and they love me because they get excited when they see me". Seems dumb, no offense. Once again - if you were brought up under similar situations as these animals, you'd behave just as they behave.

There were even black slaves back in the day that thought their Masters were doing them a favor by enslaving them...don't believe me? Look it up.

You could argue that the relationship between slave and master is beneficial for both parties - but that doesn't make it so.

@Mcspanky37 said:
@LoG-Sacrament said:

for one thing, areas designed by humans can be desirable locations for animals to thrive. most people don't want cockroaches, rats, or pigeons living around them, but dammit it happens anyway.

secondly, it's not like people are going out and taming wolves nowadays. they are living with animals born to live among humans. i have a yorkshire terrier. even if she were miraculously born in the woods (or whatever other "natural habitat") without ever being conditioned to go to her bowl for food instead of hunting, she'd never survive. she's living in the environment best suited for her right now.

Thats one of the better points I've seen in this thread. These animals were breed to be living in a human environment and that a good chunk of these pets wouldn't survive too well in the wild anyways. Good point sir.

My point is that animals shouldn't be continued to be bred into domestication because it creates a system where there's not enough resources to care of all the animals. You'd be shocked how many animals are destroyed by the system we have in place for pet ownership and domestication. The ones that are already domesticated? Keep them that way. I'm just saying perhaps it's not something that should be perpetuated. Similar to how we're trying to stop perpetuation of global warming.

@Mcspanky37 said:

Sure not all them are abusive or bad care-takers. Most of pet-owners though can barely take care of there own family, or them-selves. Some of this problem is due to bad economy or just Ignorant irresponsible people which is without a doubt most of the planet. adding on a pet to the equation brings everyone down(If your in such a situation), Especially the pet.

Considering that most people are ignorant, and the majority of people are poor or lower middle-class - I don't find this far fetched at all. Poor people probably own more pets than anyone. They're also the least equipped to be attempting to take care of additional life. I agree that humans should focus on taking care of each other before we focus on taking care of random animals that they can only barely provide for (up until it comes to an expensive medical procedure, in which case they put the animals to death).

"My point is that animals shouldn't be continued to be bred into domestication"

Yet you're a meat eater. Make up your mind kiddo. You can't have it both ways.

#50 Edited by WittleWittleton (47 posts) -

@Mcspanky37: I posed my discussion question for this particular reason because it is slightly more abstract than what has mostly been said in this thread. It has less to do with individuals of the species and more to do with the population and diversity of those species. This is why i specifically called out any biologists/ecologists to comment on my post to clarify and correct it since I do not actively study those scientific disciplines. I understand exactly what you're saying. I shall try to elaborate my perspective.

The beneficial gain for the two species has to do with fitness, which can be very simply defined as an organisms ability to pass on its genes. Without differences in fitness, the relative difference in genes being passed by different organisms of a species, adaptation through natural selection cannot occur.

A pet will have to expend less energy for survival due to those needs (i.e. food, shelter, protection) being met by the human, and as such can experience higher fitness. For example, I may be in the business of breeding dogs. I keep one as a pet. I raise it to be perfectly healthy by giving it all the essentials. Another owner, such as my neighbour, is also a dog breeder who raises the dog in the same way. Not only us being pet owners increases the population densities of potential mates, should these dogs succeed in producing offspring, their needs would also be met by us, the humans. As such, the offspring's likelihood of survival and fitness increases for the same reasons as my dog. The genes that I'm breeding pass on and increase in numbers with the offspring. The offspring have slightly different genes because the other dog would have its genes passed on too. This increases diversity and the ability to adapt, which a beneficial for any species.

The benefit for humans, or the the breeders in my example, can come from companionship of having a pet, which for segments of the population increases their overall well-being. For some, a pet provides an emotional support, and sometimes a physical one (e.g. hunting, walking, running with the pet). While I cannot think or find any studies that show pet owners are more likely to have higher fitness, it is shown that physically and mentally healthy individuals have higher fitness. Like the dogs, diversity of our own species in beneficial for adaptation through natural selection.

I'm sure there are animal owners who only keep their pets in a cage and feed them to keep them alive, as you said. I know many pet owners who do the opposite. In either case, the fitness aspect is still present and is still a benefit. Again, any biologists/ecologists out there, please clarify and correct my comments! Also, I personally do not desire owning any pets.