Is it immoral to keep pets?

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JoJo:
is it really morally okay to keep animals as pets or do animals deserve the right to be free?

Depends on the pet, and on the ability of the owner to properly care for them.

In the case of dogs, they belong with humans in the same way that clown fish belong with sea anemones. They evolved to live with humans. Dogs are not wild animals (and haven't been since they split from wolves). Separating them from humans would be cruelty. Keeping them as pets (provided the owners are able to properly care for them) is what they need.

Humans and dogs co-evolved. Dogs evolved from feral canines, which in turn evolved from wolves. Those feral canines hung around human camps, eating scraps (or whatever else they could get away with). Humans found some of them useful, and gradually these became what we know as dogs. Thus, to argue that owning dogs is immoral is to argue that evolution is immoral--an argument that is, as far as I'm concerned, self-refuting (after all, how can a statistical phenomenon be immoral?).

Cats I'm a bit less clear on--I'm a dog person, and haven't looked into feline domestication. Fish, lizards, and the like aren't developed enough to identify the difference between captivity and the wild (far as they're concerned they ARE wild), so the whole pet ownership thing is irrelevant to those taxa.

But in at least one case, ownership of a pet is simple evolution. And that, at minimum, cannot be considered immoral.

I don't know about you, but I don't beat my pets or feed them second-rate food.

I stroke them, give up half my chair for them, and them seem to like the 'second-rate food' to the point of being a bit tubby and trying to break into the bags to eat it when I leave it out.

My pets have never been injured in a domestic environment and have only come to harm as a result of other wild-life, with one of my cats having its leg bitten by a rat. The wound had gone unnoticed for a while and had gotten quite bad, and it was only me stroking its tubby tummy and noticing a cut on the inside of its leg and taking her to the vets that saved her leg and her life.

If you're a half-decent owner, your pets life-expectancy is much higher than in the wild, they can afford to have luxury time, they are much better fed, never dehydrated, given a good degree of mental stimulation and exercise, and (if they are the type of creature to form bonds) they greet you at the door.

EDIT -

What alternative do you suggest? Throwing dogs and geckos out into the wild and seeing how things work out?

JoJo:

This may sound like a horror story but in fact it's the grim reality of the millions of animals kept by us humans as "pets". I often see discussions about the morality of eating animals, or farming them for fur, but rarely this question comes up so I ask you Escapists today, is it really morally okay to keep animals as pets or do animals deserve the right to be free?

So many posts I want to reply to but I'm feelin' lazy right now.
When I think of pets I think of..image
To me its now become a kind of necasery evil, the whole they live longer when domesticated, the wiled is cruel to them, they would die just doesn't sit with me, I personally would rather have a shorter free life than a captivated long one. Also the whole there not like humans, there not smart enough to understand, will people stop being so arrogant about being human, yes we get it you mastered the precision grip, now if you want to prove your superior actually use it for something impressive.

I have no problem with a pet that has a good life, but I personally can't shake the feeling that they are just a living 'thing' for people to own. Where I really draw the line is when an animal is kept in a crappy or small conditions (I include fish in this) or if an owner neutered or its wings clipped, I can't express how much that pisses me off.
As long as people don't do this I can live with it
image

CrimsonBlaze:
Well, for those who feel that pets have better lives under the direct care of their owners and are better off than being in the wild, I have something to share.

In my family's ranch, there is a tradition of owning dogs (usually 2 or 3 at a time). The dogs, though legally bounded by their owners, do not depend on them for anything other than honest companionship. They are able to roam free on the property, interact with other farm animals (they obviously don't harm them), hunt any small animals or scavengers that would occasionally creep into the property, and genuinely allowed to live their lives out unrestrained. We still see the dogs daily, so their not like cats that are constantly absent, and they are very friendly and playful to everyone, even strangers. They are obviously vaccinated when necessary, but other than that, the dogs live long healthy lives, free from any form of disease or medical problem.

And I mean various breeds of dogs. Over the past score, our family has owned Dalmations, Collies, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes, etc. They have all been very docile and energetic.

That's why when I think about owning a dog, I tend to think twice because I feel that I cannot give them both the freedom and independence they desire to truly live long, happy lives under my ownership.

Wow that sounds better than my living conditions, bravo sir.

I think this quote from a TV Show I watch makes a good point on this topic:

Sharpe: What've you got there Harper?
Harper: Just a wee wild bird.
Sharpe: Won't it fly away?
Harper: No. It trusts me.
Sharpe: But you're gonna put it in a cage.
Harper: It knows it'll get a few crumbs in a cage.
Sharpe: I thought wild things like their freedom.
Harper: Freedom to starve is no freedom.

I actually have a parrot that does free flying. Which is as you might expect, it flies around outside without any restraints when I take it to places like the local park. It chooses to come back to me, because it trusts me and knows I will keep it safe.

Daystar Clarion:
I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Dogs, cats and other pets are too stupid to know that they're pets.

Also, my dog seems very happy with her life.

Better food than in the wild, better healthcare than in the wild, better beds than in the wild.

The wild seems kind of lame :D

And as always Daystar makes a good point (and gets first post as usual), pets are, well, stupid. They don't think about things in the same way as us.

Dogs choose to be so excited when 'master' comes home that they pee themselves because thats what they want to do. They don't pretend to be excited in order to get a treat. They have been bred specifically for human companionship.

My cat chooses to sleep on the pile of laundry in the back all day because thats what it wants to do, it doesn't give a shit. It gets to live in absolute peace and has some ugly human serve it three square meals a day, I know more than a few people who would love that kind of life.

It would be more cruel to set them all free. How many of those cats, dogs, hamsters, budgies etc...would surive for more than a few days in our modern cities?

No.

The statement in the original post is too ridiculous to give a more elaborate response.

archvile93:

nuba km:

DktrAgonizer:

Yeah, no. You're basically saying that animals are too dumb to experience love. Not true at all, man. Pet owners (and in fact, I'm not a fan of that term since it implies, well, ownership instead of guardianship) treat pets like they're part of the family. (Good ones, anyway, but I'm not going to get into that right now). Pets don't simply like us because we give them food. They love us because we in turn give them love; food, shelter, play, etc. We take care of them, we love them, and they love us. There's a reason for that phrase "Dog is a man's best friend."

If you're still skeptical, have you ever seen the videos of dogs welcoming back soldiers from deployment? They're not excited because they just want their food, they're excited because their family is back and they missed them. You can clearly see the love these dogs have for their "parents" in these videos. Here:
http://welcomehomeblog.com/?s=dog

I'm not even going to touch on your other points right now, because I think others are doing a fine job of it.

Animals are only smart enough to realise certain actions when taken end up giving them a certain things, you can train a pigeon to press a red button by giving it food every time it does so, this was originally done to make a missile homing device (I kid you not) but later used to train pigeons to spot life jacket. just because the pigeon starts pointing out the life jacket doesn't mean it has started loving humans for taking care of it, no it just does this as it know it will get food if it does this.

The same is true for why your dog wags its tail or claws at your door or looks into your eyes sadly as it know these action have gotten it what it wanted. Also if you keep the pigeon away from a red button for long it will tab it more frantically next time expecting more food having build up.

Dogs do experience love. It's an evolutionary advantage for the same reason it is in humans. It discourages killing off those around you for short term benifits, then leaving you all alone when a polar bear attacks. Pack animals tend to experience love, otherwise the group would not function, as they'd all kill eachother.

pack animals do nothing out of love it is only out of advantage, wolfs hunt in a pack as it increases the chance of catching prey for all of them, the alpha male get plenty of wolfs to breed with and takes the most food as he can dominate any of the other wolfs, not because the other wolfs respect his abilities and the weakest wolf gets any left overs after the others eat but at least he gets something as he would most likely not be able to eat anything by himself.

The Alpha of any packed is either killed or brudaly injured the moment a stronger wolf comes about as they don't love each other they merely understand that being in a pack is beneficial to the survival of them all and that at the end of the day combat/survival abilities impact your position in life.

This question deserves more thought than people are giving it. I've never seen a cat that seemed one hundred percent happy with its situation. Cats are basically a current high point in evolution - a super efficient solitary mammal KILLER. Same way a human likes to eat an omnivore diet,.sleep at night, have sex, etc., a cat probably really likes to kill. We just keep them around because they're fuzzy and too small to hurt us. The only cats I've ever run into that seem to "enjoy" their situations are outdoor cats that get to leave and hunt as they see fit. Indoor cats just become neurotic and cranky after a while.

Dogs seem to enjoy being "owned" though. A lot of that has to do with selective breeding and forced domestication, but dogs seem pretty happy as long as you treat them well and let them outside.

Reptiles, fish, birds - I think those animals would PREFER to be outdoors and free, but it's hard to tell if they even know. They're at a state of evolution where they're so concerned with eating and conserving energy that there's probably no way to know if they actually "think" about anything in the way we consider it. But owning one of these kinds of animals is just - weird. Why not let them run around and be part of the natural cycle, instead of shoving them in a box because you feel lonely?

nuba km:

archvile93:

nuba km:

Animals are only smart enough to realise certain actions when taken end up giving them a certain things, you can train a pigeon to press a red button by giving it food every time it does so, this was originally done to make a missile homing device (I kid you not) but later used to train pigeons to spot life jacket. just because the pigeon starts pointing out the life jacket doesn't mean it has started loving humans for taking care of it, no it just does this as it know it will get food if it does this.

The same is true for why your dog wags its tail or claws at your door or looks into your eyes sadly as it know these action have gotten it what it wanted. Also if you keep the pigeon away from a red button for long it will tab it more frantically next time expecting more food having build up.

Dogs do experience love. It's an evolutionary advantage for the same reason it is in humans. It discourages killing off those around you for short term benifits, then leaving you all alone when a polar bear attacks. Pack animals tend to experience love, otherwise the group would not function, as they'd all kill eachother.

pack animals do nothing out of love it is only out of advantage, wolfs hunt in a pack as it increases the chance of catching prey for all of them, the alpha male get plenty of wolfs to breed with and takes the most food as he can dominate any of the other wolfs, not because the other wolfs respect his abilities and the weakest wolf gets any left overs after the others eat but at least he gets something as he would most likely not be able to eat anything by himself.

The Alpha of any packed is either killed or brudaly injured the moment a stronger wolf comes about as they don't love each other they merely understand that being in a pack is beneficial to the survival of them all and that at the end of the day combat/survival abilities impact your position in life.

"Every party needs a pooper, that's why we invited you"- some random guy

You must of never owned a pet, because you really don't get it. Tell me that dogs, or cats don't experience love or compassion for another living being when they pounce on you, and become as joyful as can be when you've come home from a holiday. Or when a homeless person's dog stays with him, even though the homeless person can't give him the best of homes or the best of food. The dog stays with them because of the unconditional love dogs have with the members of their packs.

ToastiestZombie:

nuba km:

archvile93:

Dogs do experience love. It's an evolutionary advantage for the same reason it is in humans. It discourages killing off those around you for short term benifits, then leaving you all alone when a polar bear attacks. Pack animals tend to experience love, otherwise the group would not function, as they'd all kill eachother.

pack animals do nothing out of love it is only out of advantage, wolfs hunt in a pack as it increases the chance of catching prey for all of them, the alpha male get plenty of wolfs to breed with and takes the most food as he can dominate any of the other wolfs, not because the other wolfs respect his abilities and the weakest wolf gets any left overs after the others eat but at least he gets something as he would most likely not be able to eat anything by himself.

The Alpha of any packed is either killed or brudaly injured the moment a stronger wolf comes about as they don't love each other they merely understand that being in a pack is beneficial to the survival of them all and that at the end of the day combat/survival abilities impact your position in life.

"Every party needs a pooper, that's why we invited you"- some random guy

You must of never owned a pet, because you really don't get it. Tell me that dogs, or cats don't experience love or compassion for another living being when they pounce on you, and become as joyful as can be when you've come home from a holiday. Or when a homeless person's dog stays with him, even though the homeless person can't give him the best of homes or the best of food. The dog stays with them because of the unconditional love dogs have with the members of their packs.

I once had a hamster but it was ungodly evil, attempted to assassinate my sisters hamster, luckily I was there to stop it.

But anyway, like many others have said and I have explained the thing you think is love is not, I have also in that post explained how dogs to not have "unconditional love" with members of their pack, otherwise they wouldn't kill the alpha the moment he is weak enough to take on (and then often kill his offspring) and after that all the animals go pack to their buisness.

JoJo:

GeneralTwinkle:

JoJo:

Not to pick on you in particular but I was anticipating this point coming up and I have to ask: how do you know they like being a pet? It's not like they can tell you in words and as a university biology student I can tell you that body language isn't universal across species, for examples chimps "smile" when they're angry.

Have you had a pet?

You can easily tell what they like/dislike, when they're happy/sad etc...

When chimps smile angrily the rest of their body language shows they're pissed.
Dogs especially, are very emotive. The reaction of getting treats is the same as me coming home, or patting and playing with them. If you've had a pet, and you had trouble telling if it was happy or not, I'm not sure you should have one.

I had goldfish when I was a little kid and as far as I can recall they had just two body language signals: alive and dead ;-)

But I have friends and grandparents with dogs and cats and I've seen the owners often ascribe emotions or thoughts that are clearly too complex for that sort of animal onto their pet, so I suspect that often what an owner reads as "happy" is actually "give me more food / water / toys" etc or something different entirely. Stockholm syndrome is a thing too, aside from the joking quip by Tippy above me, perhaps your pets don't realise how happy they'd be in the wild with their own species?

I suddenly don't think you're qualified to have this conversation.

Dog's minds are about as complex as a two-year-old's. If a two-year-old can feel it, a dog probably can. And like a two-year-old, if you put a bunch of two-year-olds together, they are going to find ways to be happy without adults around. If you assume they could feed themselves, flee from danger, and reproduce, then there would be little difference between them and dogs.

I could go into all the stories about my pets, the wild animals we've fed, or the dog I almost hit and the realization of death that was on its face, but since you haven't had pets, you're just going to keeps asking "how do you know?" and all I can say is I just do.

I consider the cat that lives with me as a friend. Everytime he leaves the flat he always comes back, so he can't hate it here.

I think we've decided that you can't tell if a pet is happy unless you've actually experienced it. Really JoJo, this isn't something that you can just explain, you have to experience it for yourself to see it.

Not that I really care but there is nothing worse than "fixing" your cat/dog. No man wants to lose his balls. Damn all of you individuals who boast loving your pet, and yet proceed to do something so terrible... Damn you all to Hell!

Speaking as a man, and just say I was imprisoned for whatever reason. And just suppose I was about to be castrated, "just kill me now" is about all I can say to that. Your dog may not be capable of higher reasoning, but if the reality of the situation could be described to him I bet a good 99% of the population would not be onboard! Fuck Bob Barker and his Nazi ideals.

If you are some sort of vegan pussy then don't talk to me about your pets because each and every animal gets the same degree of respect from me, and that is basically that you are on your own in this universe, but if you want to chill for a while and smoke some grass that's cool. Just couldn't imagine why anything would want a chain around their neck.

JoJo:
[quote]You can't understand more than a word or two of their language and most of it's simply unlearnable by human ears for various reasons, yet they scold or hit you whenever you do something against their arbitrary rules which to you make no sense.

What is your idea of domestication? Because I never hit or scold my dog for not understanding English, that would be insane; not to mention pretty much illegal.

Also, what everyone else has said. Animals simply do not reason the same way we do. If we reasoned the same as dogs, we'd all be naked and would constantly trying to lick our crotch.

...Yeah, I'm gonna say no on this one, especially since my family adopted a pitbull mix who is very loving and protective of me and the rest of the family...

My cat was allowed out whenever he wanted really, he would go out and explore and even hunt, meaning he got his food (even though we did feed him) yet he would always come back and enjoyed us

hell one time my mum and sister went to france giving me the house to myself for a week so. about a day without seeing them my cat (while happy with me) seemed to be sad with them gone, he wasnt eating as much, seemed to be less actice and was even spending alot of time in their rooms and where they usually sit because he missed them

our cat could run away at any time she wants. For some reason she decides to come back who feed her when she wants, pet her when she wants and clean up when she is to lazy to step outside to take a dump.

Think of it as adopting a child from a 3th world country. There is going to be people that treat those children badly. But almost everyone else is going to treat them the best way they can. And if the child really doesn't like it he/she could eventually leave. The only difference is a pet is a little harder to communicate with.

I do think people should stick with dogs cats guinea pig and fish and the like. Monkey's, birds of prey(like owls) and bigger reptiles are not something an untrained person can take care of.

I don't have any pets right now (I spent too much time taking care of the humans I love) but I'm not against the idea.
Also, dogs have been domesticated for so long that they're better off with humans than in packs. I bet there are many breeds of dog that at this point couldn't survive on their own: I'm thinking mostly about the ones small enough I can imagine a large seagull flying off with it.
....
Cat's would probably survive on their own...they hardly seem to notice most of the humans they live with anyway.

idarkphoenixi:
I think this quote from a TV Show I watch makes a good point on this topic:

Sharpe: What've you got there Harper?
Harper: Just a wee wild bird.
Sharpe: Won't it fly away?
Harper: No. It trusts me.
Sharpe: But you're gonna put it in a cage.
Harper: It knows it'll get a few crumbs in a cage.
Sharpe: I thought wild things like their freedom.
Harper: Freedom to starve is no freedom.

image

Seriously...

Referencing Richard Sharpe (or indeed, any Sean Bean character) should result in an instant thread win.

Dangit2019:
Also, what everyone else has said. Animals simply do not reason the same way we do. If we reasoned the same as dogs, we'd all be naked and would constantly trying to lick our crotch.

Should I not be?

Two of the most common domesticated animals are dogs and cats (as far as I know). So, let's take a look at being a pet from their eyes.

Dogs grow up by being left alone. Therefore, a pet dog never mentally grows up--it stays a puppy forever. They never have to fend for themselves or really even learn anything (probably why most dogs seem derped out beyond belief). Now obviously if a pet dog ever found itself in a situation wherein it must do things for itself, it might be fucked. But staying a pet doesn't seem all that bad.

Cats, on the other hand, turn the tables and basically make humans their pets. Cats don't meow to other cats; that's just for us. They can create over 100 noises, and at least one of those has in part a similarity to a human infant's cry. They use this to get our attention and essentially train us to take care of them. There's probably some other stuff, but I've forgotten it at the moment. Basically, cats live a pretty good life in our care.

So, I don't think it's immoral to keep pets. Maybe I'm biased, having always had pets in my life, but I don't really see a lot of negatives here.

Daystar Clarion:
I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Dogs, cats and other pets are too stupid to know that they're pets.

Also, my dog seems very happy with her life.

Better food than in the wild, better healthcare than in the wild, better beds than in the wild.

The wild seems kind of lame :D

While I agree with what you're saying, hypothetically speaking, assuming the existence of a hyper-advanced alien race that wishes to keep humans as pets, we'd be seen as too stupid to know that we're pets, too.

Of course, that's also assuming a slightly different situation than the OP has described. I'm imagining something more like what if the Earth had already been predetermined as the best place to house humans in a long-term, large-scale type deal and they just watch over us in amusement Sims-style.

Picture this, I let my dogs or any dogs i will have starve to death or be ripped open by other animals. Yeah all domestic strays have a very shit life to be honest my dogs would never run off simply due to how fantastic their life is, i let the run free wi absolutely nothing to stop them and they have never not returned.

So no, case closed.

ToastiestZombie:
I agree with everything but that first point. Humans, even the most stupid ones are much more clever than any animal. But really, the dumb parts of dogs and cats are part of their charm. They don't know any better, whereas if a human is dumb they are probably that because they didn't pay attention in school. Also, the loyalty of dogs is amazing, it's the reason so many homeless people have dogs instead of a friend to keep them company during the cold days and nights. A human would judge them, or be condescending to them, or just ignore them completely. Whereas a dog, with the proper care will give you the most unconditional love possible.

So OP, until you've actually owned a pet and felt the amount of love you have for them you can say NOTHING about it being immoral. Sure, if a pet owner beats their pet and leaves it alone in the dark then yeah, they're immoral twatbags who should be put in jail. But if you actually care for a dog, why should it be immoral?

To be honest, the first point was in jest (I had a Darwin's Awards book beside me at the time).

JoJo:

I'd also think that two years so far studying biology at university would be more of a qualification to speak about animals than simply owning one individual animal, not currently owning a pet also allows me to take an objective viewpoint without letting emotions or justifications get in the way.

You would think that it would be more of a qualification.

but you are really, REALLY bad at it it seems... You remind me of so many college kiddos who inevitably go "I have X amount of time of college under my belt! I KNOW HOW HOW THE WORLD WORKS BEHIND THE SCENES NOW!"

But really your original post is just laughable in how wrong it is.

Take my outdoor cat to be example. We found her as a stay, brought her in and fed her, washed her up and got her her shots. We leave our doors open all the time and she comes and goes as she likes, but she always comes back to cuddle up with us and spend time with us.

If she didn't like her life she could go back out to being stray and live in the wild, but going on ten years she has been a very willing member of the family.

So yeah, you are horribly horribly wrong. And not owning a pet doesn't give you an unbiased opinion kiddo. It means you are on the outside looking in with no experience and laughable training being used to jump to false conclusions.

Go share your theory with your professors. I would be surprised if they didn't laugh in your face.

JoJo:
is it really morally okay to keep animals as pets or do animals deserve the right to be free?

It is morally okay to keep animals as pets.
"deserve the right to be free" is a silly thing to say. Deserving legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom also means they have to have the intellect and awareness to act and react responsibly with said freedom without impugning others same rights, which has not been displayed in any pet. Humans who fail to display this also end up in prison having their rights of freedom revoked temporarily (or permanently as the case may be).
When initialing writing this post, I started by detailing everything wrong with your scenario and its comparison to pet ownership but deleted all of it because frankly even if you fixed it it would still have this underlying problem to it - pets are not as intelligent, self-aware, and sentient as human children.

The thing is, most animals that are kept as pets now (especially dogs) have been domesticated over thousands of years and many would probably find it very difficult to survive on their own. It would probably actually be very dangerous to let them all loose.
And at least as pets they are looked after.
If you ask me, it would be far more immoral now to let all of our pets go free.

No it's not immoral to keep pets. They do not have the same level of awareness as we do and there is no reason to contemplate how we treat them as they do.

I've had my cat for a while and I can say for certain he loves his life where he is.

I can tell when he wants something and when he wants just love and attention.

When he wants something, he gets clever by knocking stuff off tables and staring at me from across the room. Basically just ways to get me to stand up and kick him off so that he can lead me to his food and water dish.

When he wants attention, he just climbs up on my shoulder or lays on top of my keyboard.

ElPatron:

Navvan:
B) This assumes that the animals lead a life worse or less fulfilling than they would on their own. This is not the case assuming proper care.

Now think about what humans consider fulfilling in their lives. Yeah, *that* staple of the boring 9 to 5 job you don't like keeps you from being homeless, but it's generally regarded as less fulfilling.

As an animal perhaps I would enjoy nature a lot more despite having to work harder for my food.

I'm not against pets, I just read your post and had to disagree. Animals have all reasons to fill unfulfilled assuming they have ever experienced nature.

Witty Name Here:
surrounded by thousands of other creatures bigger them in and in a constant state of paranoia

That's what you think as a human. Let's face it, all animal species have done exactly the same thing. The ancestors of the modern rodents shared their space with effing dinosaurs!

Proper care means proper exposure to the outdoors/exercise and giving your animal what they need to be content (fulfillment). If you're treating the animal properly they do not act out/behave inappropriately (assuming you've trained them to know what is appropriate). For example if a Husky does not get enough exercise they tend to start acting out regardless of how well trained they are. There is direct evidence that animals act out if they are not receiving proper care, and the fact that when an animal does receive proper care they do not exhibit this behavior suggests that they are capable of expressing discontent with conditions.

All of my past pets have lived in the country, got all the exercise and freedom they could ever want so I'm a bit biased in that I was/am capable of providing that where as someone who lives in a town/city would not be able to. However I have no reason to believe a properly cared for pet isn't fulfilled/content. Likewise certain species of pets that have literally been breed for domestication are domesticated in every sense of the word. This goes for quite a few species of canine, and there is no reason they would prefer to be in the wild just as there is no reason a 2 year old child would prefer to be in the wild.

i treat my pets better than i treat humans, my cat eats healthier than i do for christ sakes he also goes to the doctors waaayyy more than i do for checkups and to see if he's healthy. he is like my child, since i dont want to breed XD

crocodile tears, when my cat died of old age a few years back i actually went through depression for a year and i still struggle on his death day, i actually visit his little grave in a nice little patch of forest just like i visit late family members graves.

the only animals that would suffer by being a pet is an animal born and raised in the wild without any past domestication like a wild fox or something. dogs and cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and if let free would die of starvation, by the elements and or disease and never live a full life.

I dunno about you, but getting meals whenever I'm hungry and living in a cozy area isn't something I'd complain about.

Goddamn credit sucking hamsters and...fish....

Most cats and dogs (especially dogs) are too domesticated to have any chance of survival without human intervention (I think cats are, by nature, much better equipped overall), especially if they aren't working dogs and are bred with undesirable survival characteristics (but desirable appearance characteristics), like pugs and bulldogs. Which, I think that kind of breeding is immoral, but that's not in the scope of this conversation. (But, if you must know, it has to do with purposefully giving an animal a significantly lower quality of life through forced genetic mutations, just so we can enjoy their snuffles and caved-in snouts, among other things.)

Abusing pets or fulfilling only their most basic needs (if that) is certainly immoral. One should NEVER take on a pet unless they're willing to go the distance with that creature. I cry silently inside every time I see a dog chained to a tree for the better part of its existence. That's not a life. And, judging by the plaintive barks of the dog, it's pretty clear it's fully aware of that, too.

JoJo:

GeneralTwinkle:

Animals really, really like being pets. They love being it. Domestic animals =/= humans.

Not to pick on you in particular but I was anticipating this point coming up and I have to ask: how do you know they like being a pet? It's not like they can tell you in words and as a university biology student I can tell you that body language isn't universal across species, for examples chimps "smile" when they're angry.

that's pretty much their way of saying
"you're about to get fucked up"

I saw a program telling of chimp group aggressive behavior towards members that interupt the communal flow of life - they pretty much gang up on one and beat it to death

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