Is it immoral to keep pets?

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Some animals such as Sugar-gliders are inner social animals. Meaning they need their own kind to be happy. In that respect I wouldn't ever own one without making sure he had plenty of friends to make him happy.

Cats and Dogs on the other hand are just social. A dog will see you as part of the pack if you play your cards right as will a cat. It is why dogs will protect you with their lives and cats will give you dead mice as presents. They are caring for you because you are part of their family.

My cat is an outdoors cat. It has the freedom to leave whenever it wants, but he just hangs around. I assume he's happy as he will actually run across the yard to rub himself around my legs when I walk outside.

Not all pets are treated the same, the same way some humans treat other humans cruelly some humans treat animals cruelly. Its a sad reality, but its not the rule. I for one treat my animals with kindness and respect. I learn their social cues and try to figure out what makes them happy.

Picture this scene. You are a human minding your own business when suddenly, without warning, a gigantic super-intelligent alien steps on you and crushes you beneath its foot. Or alternatively, the super-intelligent alien uses some kind of spray specifically designed to kill you. All you were trying to do is go about your daily routine, but because what you were doing was deemed unacceptable to the super-intelligent alien's arbitrary rules. You have little chance surviving a day or two, and no one will give a stuff about you when you're dead. That is your life.

This may sound like a horror story but in fact it's the grim reality of the millions of bugs killed by humans without so much as a second thought. So, is it immoral to kill bugs?

See, it's very easy to make anything sound ungodly immoral if you put the right spin on it. You could make love sound immoral if you described it in that tone.

Keeping pets is a win-win situation. You get to prolong the life of some unfortunate animal that was probably bent for the lethal injection, gain a companion for 20-ish years (dogs/cats) and you can film them with your iPhone and post your shenanigans on YouTube as much as you like.

The pets? They're just happy to be fed, sleep somewhere warm and have a Chtulhu'ian being that looks after them and cherises their companionship.

Captcha again: all dancing

MasochisticAvenger:

See, it's very easy to make anything sound ungodly immoral if you put the right spin on it. You could make love sound immoral if you described it in that tone.

And now I am cursing myself for having a vivid imagination. Aliens, love, arbitrary immorality, etc etc...I need some bleach.

But yes, your point is correct, appeal to emotion is just cheap and I really hate it too.

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

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

no I'm pretty sure my cat knows who's the boss O.o
well, at least until I politely tell him (once more) that he's somewhat wrong with his interpretation of reality.

also I think dogs know their position very well, they probably just don't know how life looks from our perspective and so have nothing to compare their current situation to. And, let's face it, it's nice to always have someone who gives you food and cuddles you for free : D

You might be right for the rest, though. Then again, it's more a matter of inexperience and good enough circumstances they simply don't need to care, I think.
If things get too unpleasant they will run/scream/scratch/etc. as they see fit.
unless you get bored to death by your owners, then you might get depressed D:

JoJo:

Psykoma:

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.

Maybe by not looking at individual characteristics and read into their overall behavior. A chimp may smile when angry, but I'm pretty sure they're probably doing other things as well that makes their anger very apparent.

Anger isn't the only negative emotion. It's not surprising that pets often don't appear to show dislike towards their owners when they're conditioned strongly via rewards and discipline to react in a way their owners desire. What's interesting is the similarity between many of the arguments on this thread and the arguments made by slave owners several centuries before: "they aren't like us", "they have a better life as a...", "they couldn't survive on their own".

Are you an idiot. A human owning a Human slave, compared to a human owning a dog or a cat is so different it's nigh incomparable. Humans are complex, deeply intelligent creatures, with not only the ability to look after ourselves, but have the innate desire to. Dogs and Cats on the other hand have very basic survival instincts and basically have it hundreds of times better living with humans that they do in the wild. Just ask these simple questions, Are there dog vets, are there dog chefs, are there dog bedmakers, are there dog home makers.

The 'aliens take you away and keep you as a pet' analogy fails for the major reason that my cat is not an animal that can survive on its own in the wild. Domesticated animals are by and large not suited for living in the wild and rely heavily on co-existence with humans. We have engineered their evolution to suit us. So the analogy would work better if, over the course of thousands of years, super-intelligent aliens were breeding us to be more and more reliant on them, as well as breeding us for various traits that are beneficial to those aliens.

However, another problem is the question of the fact that we humans are capable of reasoned, complex thought; my cat is not. My cat is driven largely by instinctual reactions to things; it is impossible for me to explain to my cat that the cat next door to us isn't an enemy and isn't going to compete for resources. There is no point in being territorial because I will always feed my own cat enough to keep her fit and healthy; my cat does not and will never understand that.

However smart these highly advanced aliens are, we can still calculate complex mathematical problems and have highly advanced language; even animals who have 'language', like dolphins, are not terribly advanced. We have an advanced capacity for suffering, brought on by this expanded understanding of the world we inhabit, and our ability to comprehend our own mortality. If my cat suddenly developed the ability to talk and confessed to me that she wasn't being fulfilled by her life, I wouldn't force her to do anything she didn't want to. Only the cruelest among us would make our pets suffer.

I will say that if aliens wanted to abduct me, and said 'Hey, we'll take you to amazing places, supply you with delicious food free of charge, shower you with affection, buy you games and things to entertain you, provide free and top-notch medical care, and never expect you to have to put in hard work (unless you want to), and *all we ask in return* is that you be our best buddy', well... I'd have a hard time turning that down.

Sounds a lot cooler to me than sitting in this cubicle.

JoJo:

Picture the scene. You're just a human kid minding your own business when suddenly without warning, super-intelligent aliens take you away from your mother and into a strange new place run by other aliens. 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. You are fed either scraps from the table, or second rate food they buy specially. You have to pretend to be eager and be a "good human" when your masters return if you want to ever get any treats. If you're unfortunate, they may live in an environment which you can't survive in and so the rest of your life will be confined to one small tank.

When they go out, you are left alone or in the car or tied up outside, or if you're lucky you might get to come along with a rope tied around your neck so you can't escape from your "family". If the aliens keep more than one human of different genders, then there's a good chance that they'll have you castrated to prevent the inevitable, or perhaps worse maybe use you as a breeder and then take your kids away before they're grown. The aliens have far longer a lifespan than humans and so when you get old and too expensive to keep, they have you euthanatised, cry a few crocodile tears and then forget about you when they go buy a new pet human. That is your life.

Your spiel rings false as it ignores all the benefits to the animal and partially holds them up to human values, ontop of a few bits and pieces which are plain provocative and incorrect. "Crocodile tears" come on now, it's obvious that huge numbers of people genuinely care for their animals.

As to the rest: Being a pet represents a huge increase in quality of life to most animals. A properly cared for pet lives on average a longer, healthier life in a nicer environment than they otherwise would. So let's take your example in these terms and provide a relative comparison: You now live like a billionaire in exchange for slightly limited freedom, a possibility of not being allowed to breed and double or maybe triple your current life expectancy, all in the company of affectionate beings who will socialise with you at a level similar to that which you'd socialise with someone of your own species whom you couldn't understand.

This is the exchange. Freedom is secondary to happiness, so far as i'm concerned, and 300 years of hedonism sounds pretty appealing to me.

You quite simply cannot equate the conditions that will satisfy a dog or a cat with the conditions that will satisfy a human. Cats and dogs are simpler being and thus require simpler pleasures to make their lives meaningful. You can see it in people too, there is a reason games with simplistic, repeatable systems sell very well

See:
Arcadey fps games. It's because everyone can enjoy them. They aren't difficult to understand and contain enough complexity to keep someone of an average level of intellect interested and engaged.

Scale this effect down to the intellect of a dog and you get fetching a ball and similar.

Um yeah.
I can tell you never had a pet.

I find it amusing the numerous anthropomorphising that is being done in this thread.

If a dog comes up to you when your sad, its not because it knows you're sad and it is trying to cheer you up, or some sentimental bullshit, its because it is because you are acting weird and is worried about its food supply.

Same kind of thing can be applied to many other percieved 'animal emotions'.

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

until the doctor pinches your nutsack shut....

I still keep pictures of every single pet that I've fucking had and write and think about them at least once a week. I picked them up from an animal shelter or the garbage bin when they were starved and about to die, and gave them a long, good life. don't you tell me I just "forget" them and buy another one. Nobody "forgets" their pets, do you also think widows who want a new romantic relationship just "forget" about their dead husband?

Animals want to survive. Being a pet allows them to survive comfortably. They have food, shelter, stuff to play about with and companionship (I have two gerbils) so I really doubt it bothers them.

You can't compare human desires with animal desires. Although I haven't actually been out of my house in over a week so that tells me something.

T0RD:
Just because you chose that quite irrelevant piece of video I'll respend to your argument.
...
However, I disagree with your statment that claim the responses to this thread are "knee-jerk reactions" because people have, and love their, pets. You see, if you have a pet you'll have more of an insight into the morality of pet-keeping than if you do not keep a pet. And for that matter, I think that the OP's Biology degree (or current study toward a degree) gives him an insight into biology, not psychology, which I would say is the primary field of this discussion. So he has as much of a qualified opinion as anyone else on this forum.

Fair points well made, although I did only say that "To me it just seams that people arn't actually thinking about the question..." not saying it is 'cuse I don't know peoples back grounds on the matter, also I have to disagree with you say "...if you have a pet you'll have more of an insight into the morality of pet-keeping than if you do not..." because if someone thought it was immoral then they wouldn't do it, taking the argument to the logical extreme it would be like having to kill someone to have a valid opinion on murder.

Back to your point of view (assumed from the video and your first argument): You seem to fall on the side of pet keeping being immoral. But would releasing our pets into the wild, or euthanising them, be a better alternative? I don't think so. Dogs have evolved alongside, and been bred by, humans. They are as such, not able to survive on their own. As pets dogs are well-fed, sheltered and cared for both medically and socially. In the wild they would most likely be malnourished and poorly sheltered, though they might be cared for socially they would not be be cared for medically.
Now you might say that they do not understand the concept of love, and I agree with that in the sense that they do not understand the concept of love in a human capacity. However, they do bond with the members of their pack, which in the case of dogs is the family that keeps them, they will be attatched to us in some way.

This issue is not black and white to me so I don't say its moral or immoral, (and to give a definitive answer to a morality question is technically wrong because morality is subjective), in my first post I actually described it as "necessary evil".
I view animals and humans as equals and so I don't like the idea of a human using an animal for any purpose whether it be as pets or mounts, the image of some one riding a horse to me is just as degrading as slaves carrying a thrown. I don't like the fact that animals evolution has been manipulated by humans to suit their needs, but I am not saying they should all be thrown back into the ecosystem and I would raise hell if someone decided to just kill them all. I think the best action for the situation we are currently in is to give this handicapped (that's what they are if they are dependent on humans) creatures the best possible life, and to start giving them a lot more credit. if an animal needs to survive in the wiled it will, just like humans when given the right push they can do what is needed of them.

Also, as a final note: The V for Vendetta clip is just irrelevant. It's about freedom, and freedom is also a human concept. Which dogs or pets by your argument do not have the capacity to understand.

Again morality is subjective, so it is not irrelevant. If a dog is in a cage, even if they are fed and watered they try to get out, but to me whether or not they understand the concept is irrelevant because I understand it and I value freedom highly enough to care when it is taken away from other creatures (not saying you don't) whether that creature is a genetic relative or not.
My point with the video was that I see a parallel with the one line and keeping pets. Again, morality=subjective.

Now my opinion on the matter might be biased, but the OP's initial argument is flawed. If humans were to be the pets of aliens who were much more advanced than us we would still have our current mental capacity. That means that, regardless of the gap between our intellect and that of our "owners", we would still understand the concepts of freedom, captivity, love etc. Dogs, on the other hand, do not. It would be immoral to keep a being that is aware of those concepts captive, but dogs are not advanced enough for that. I still belive that they bond to us though, and that that is very similar to the human concept of love, without dogs being aware of that of course.

Well because I'm a complete geek I'm guna say, Cthulhu. Lets say for fun the alien was Cthulhu, now we are nothing compared to him he wouldn't even register use as intelligent life forms, he may take over the world and keep us as pets and he wouldn't even consider that we might find this objectionable, from his stand point we wouldn't have to capacity to understand. I can't be sure what the OP meant but that is what I take away from it, he's trying to make us aware of the gap and relationship between animals and humans.
I personally think animals need to be shown a lot more respect than they are currently shown, no one can really know if an animal is capable of higher thought or reason, and I don't see any reason why just because ones mental capacity is grater or lower they should be treated than anything other than a equal.

Well that took longer than I thought, Like I say all my opinion and I don't think you are wrong for thinking differently. also my spell check is acting up so apologies for any violations of the English language.

Spartan1362:
I find it amusing the numerous anthropomorphising that is being done in this thread.

If a dog comes up to you when your sad, its not because it knows you're sad and it is trying to cheer you up, or some sentimental bullshit, its because it is because you are acting weird and is worried about its food supply.

Same kind of thing can be applied to many other percieved 'animal emotions'.

You are half right.

Dogs are pack animals. They are instinctively drawn to living communally, and they 'know', inasmuch as they 'know' anything, that their survival depends on the strength of the pack.

While they lack the ability to comprehend human emotional states, they can determine that something is wrong. They have a very good sense of happiness and sadness, because it's important to know these things in a pack. If a pack member is 'sad' about something, it could be over something that could effect everyone and ruin the pack. So they will express concern, in an attempt to bring about normalcy.

It's a very rudimentary and instinctual response to emotional states that we demonstrate all the time in human society, although in considerably more complex terms.

The dog isn't worried about its food supply; not directly. It's ironic that you decry the anthropomorphism being displayed in this thread while inadvertently displaying your own. The thought of 'human = food supply' is fairly cynical and isn't really how dogs think. The dog is concerned about its *pack member*. I'll help you if you help me... that's the entire point of the pack; that's how it functions and stays strong. Evolution has seen to it that dogs can display concern for a suffering pack member.

It's not virtuous, but it's also not as cynical as you've made it out to be.

I know thats some peoples opinion but this is one of those times when their opinion is just wrong. Beside all the obvious things we do for pets they are a very successful species because of us. There are about half a billion dogs in the world making them an extremely successful species that are hugely genetically diverse and probably as far as you can be from an endangered species. The way a human thinks cant be applied to animals and dogs (as an example) don't see themselves as captives. It is not a good idea to keep some animals as pets which are inherently wild and dangerous but your standard dog or cat is a domesticated species and may not survive at all in the wild.

ShaqLevick:

Vegan_Doodler:

ShaqLevick:
.....
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.

Not that I wan't to start anything but why cant vegans talk to you about there pets? I'm vegan I have the exact same idea as you, I think it's fucked up when pets get neutered or have their wings clipped.

Actually I'm sorry, I didn't really mean it as such. I guess I've just been in too many arguments with people who seem to care a great deal about their pets but turn around and get in a heated discussion regarding what I would call genital mutilation. Not that I didn't consider a Vegan could possibly share your beliefs, but I guess I did kind of phrase it as Vegan "pussy"... yet again a poor choice of words, but if you don't take up hypocritical viewpoints and stand strong to your beliefs then you're not much of a "pussy" at all.

No worries man, I get what you mean about talking to hypocrites, it can be really frustrating talking to someone like that.
Sorry for the late reply by the way, it's apparently harder than you think to play DE:HR and comment on threads.

itsthesheppy:

Spartan1362:
I find it amusing the numerous anthropomorphising that is being done in this thread.

If a dog comes up to you when your sad, its not because it knows you're sad and it is trying to cheer you up, or some sentimental bullshit, its because it is because you are acting weird and is worried about its food supply.

Same kind of thing can be applied to many other percieved 'animal emotions'.

The dog isn't worried about its food supply; not directly. It's ironic that you decry the anthropomorphism being displayed in this thread while inadvertently displaying your own.

My mistake was not anthropomorphism, it was merely oversimplification.
I was refering to the human as the food supply because if you weren't supplying it food, it would not give a single shit about you.

itsthesheppy:

The thought of 'human = food supply' is fairly cynical and isn't really how dogs think. The dog is concerned about its *pack member*. I'll help you if you help me... that's the entire point of the pack; that's how it functions and stays strong. Evolution has seen to it that dogs can display concern for a suffering pack member.

It's not virtuous, but it's also not as cynical as you've made it out to be.

It is entirely as cynical as I made it out to be.
As are all emotions, in humans or animals, the products of survival.
Pro-social behaviour is inherently selfserving.

Schadrach:

Hero in a half shell:

EDIT: As far as how the animals feel about it look at this cat:

image

Does this cat look sad to you?

He doesn't look particularly happy to me. While the face suggests smiling, cats don't do that. He looks like he was caught at one end of a meow, with the partially open mouth. He's not angry, since the posture and the ears don't suggest it, so he's probably trying to ask for something. He definitely expects the camera holder (or someone behind them) to respond.

This goes back to the whole body language thing -- while animal body language =/= human body language, they aren't that hard to understand if you are paying attention to their more expressive parts.

he's obviously asking for a "cheez burger"

Spartan1362:

itsthesheppy:

Spartan1362:
I find it amusing the numerous anthropomorphising that is being done in this thread.

If a dog comes up to you when your sad, its not because it knows you're sad and it is trying to cheer you up, or some sentimental bullshit, its because it is because you are acting weird and is worried about its food supply.

Same kind of thing can be applied to many other percieved 'animal emotions'.

The dog isn't worried about its food supply; not directly. It's ironic that you decry the anthropomorphism being displayed in this thread while inadvertently displaying your own.

My mistake was not anthropomorphism, it was merely oversimplification.
I was refering to the human as the food supply because if you weren't supplying it food, it would not give a single shit about you.

itsthesheppy:

The thought of 'human = food supply' is fairly cynical and isn't really how dogs think. The dog is concerned about its *pack member*. I'll help you if you help me... that's the entire point of the pack; that's how it functions and stays strong. Evolution has seen to it that dogs can display concern for a suffering pack member.

It's not virtuous, but it's also not as cynical as you've made it out to be.

It is entirely as cynical as I made it out to be.
As are all emotions, in humans or animals, the products of survival.
Pro-social behaviour is inherently selfserving.

Well if what you're saying is that they are just as cynical as we are (the only reason I'm nice to people is so they will be nice to me) then that is the same as saying they operate under the same motivations that we do, which is again anthropomorphous.

It really is as simple as them recognizing a pack member that is upset, and expressing concern. While yes, this does go towards its food supply, so does everything in one way or another and so making that distinction is lacking in value. After all, a pack supplies more than just food; it also provides safety.

I once had a dog and he and I were playing in the backyard. A strange dog neither of us knew wandered into my yard and barked at my dog, who ran to me and literally jumped into my arms for protection. This had nothing to do with food acquisition. I was the pack leader and clearly the better equipped to safeguard my dog's wellbeing. This is how the pack works. You and I will be chummy if we look after each other. Cynical perhaps, but that's where literally all altruism stems from in every species, humans included, and pointing out the evolutionary benefits thereof in no way cheapens its value.

I keep ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). They have been domesticated for 2,500 years. In fact, they have been domesticated for so long, they can't survive in the wild and need people to take care of them. So if we didn't keep them as pets, they would die.

My first question is are you a member of peta? no realy because I have had the same word for word argument given to me from a peta member. befor I just hit them for their accusations of animal abuse I desided to just say to them

"My cat lives like a queen, Shes feed when she needs it, She is groomed when shes maulting, And when I'm not there my wife tells me she will wait at the door for usaly an hour and if i haven't gone to the corner store too come back in that hour she will sit im MY computer chair curl up and watch the door for my return. So tell me how all thoughs animals the you have murdered lived any fucking better than my cat who comes and goes at HER own whim and come to me when she wants attention"

Also if i go on a bussiness trip its my side of the bed she sleeps on, She will also sleep on me if I'm in bed aswell and I did not get her at any farm any pet store, she was found in the back yard I was sitting at my computer enjoying a day offwhen I got called to the back yard my wife and too friends where trying pick her up I walked out saw her pointed at her and as i was just watching addams family said "kitty" she not only came up to me she tryed clawing her way up my legg and into my ams that was 5 years ago and she is still my baby the only thing I don't like her doing and no she doesnt get yelled at / smacked for it is she sleeps with her eyes open and I don't like it as she is a shallow breather when she sleeps so I almost have a heart attack because I think shes dead.

sorry for the wall of text but I get realy pissed off when it is implide that I am doing any harm to my fucking pet that gets treated like she my daughter and should I actualy have children one day she will NOT be moved out of the way just because shes not human

I keep my animals in a cage with shards of glass around the edge and feed them dust from my hover.

Honestly... i love my dog last i checked he gets fucked off if i were to leave him outside or not give him something nice to sleep on.

If anything we are slaves to our pets.

Mortai Gravesend:

JoJo:

Pet owners tend to give way too much human emotion to animals which only "care" about their owners because they provide food. It's just an extension really of how ducks in parks will swim up to those who feed them bread, and now we humans use that to our advantage.

You mean like the way you're trying to make an argument about how a human would feel about slavery and how a pet would?

/end thread.

You win.I wish I had thought of that argument first. Good job.

I don't see it as immoral at all. I treat my cat well and he loves me. I think he's living a better life with me than he did when he was a stray, because he has now become social and sleeps at the foot of my bed every night.

Both of my cats are outdoor cats, they can leave whenever the hell they want. They always come back because, to them, our house and yard is their territory, and because we feed them.

My kingsnake definitely doesn't know the difference between being a pet or not. She would also be dead in the wild, because she is an almost totally incompetent predator.

And that's not even a domesticated species.

FelixG:

I snickered at this a bit

"Hey he works for me, but I cloth him feed him and keep him safe. And at least its not Compton!"

Throw in a bit about how happy they are singing in the fields, and that pretty much WAS the argument.

Buretsu:

To be fair, you're comparing dogs to negroes, so it's worth being mindful of your analogies.

I'm actually not. This nuance seems to escape a lot of people, but whatever.

So some aliens take me from my current life, then spend an immense portion of THEIRS feeding me, washing me, taking me out on walks, playing with me, doting over me, keeping me healthy, taking me to parks where I get to make friends other humans, and giving me a massage because I've decided to lie on their lap?

Yeah, that sounds like a bad life. *rolls eyes*

In all seriousness, animals don't have the complex cognitive functions that humans do. On the whole, they're thick. This isn't to say they don't have any emotion, but they process it in a different way to humans. You can't 'upset' a dog, for instance.

For evidence, watch the dog whisperer. It's an entertaining enough show, and the animal psychology they talk about is quite interesting. To summarise it: "Dogs are happiest when they are being dominated by a pack leader".

Also, as mentioned in my sarcastic hypothetical, animals live in freakin' luxury. In the wild, there are only two real sensations that an animal will feel - fear and hunger.

MasochisticAvenger:

Picture this scene. You are a human minding your own business when suddenly, without warning, a gigantic super-intelligent alien steps on you and crushes you beneath its foot. Or alternatively, the super-intelligent alien uses some kind of spray specifically designed to kill you. All you were trying to do is go about your daily routine, but because what you were doing was deemed unacceptable to the super-intelligent alien's arbitrary rules. You have little chance surviving a day or two, and no one will give a stuff about you when you're dead. That is your life.

This may sound like a horror story but in fact it's the grim reality of the millions of bugs killed by humans without so much as a second thought. So, is it immoral to kill bugs?

See, it's very easy to make anything sound ungodly immoral if you put the right spin on it. You could make love sound immoral if you described it in that tone.

:ChallengeAccepted.jpg:

Picture this scene. You are a human, minding your own business, when suddenly the entirety of your biological and psychological processes suddenly shift in focus. This happens without your consent, without warning and often without any method of dealing with the problem. This innate switch then turns you into a near-literal slave, allowing your to debase and humiliate yourself in a way that you would never have considered previously. This all happens without the problem of a solution, and may eventually bring untold emotional strain should your attempts to solve the problem fail.

Vegan_Doodler:

Fair points well made, although I did only say that "To me it just seams that people arn't actually thinking about the question..." not saying it is 'cuse I don't know peoples back grounds on the matter, also I have to disagree with you say "...if you have a pet you'll have more of an insight into the morality of pet-keeping than if you do not..." because if someone thought it was immoral then they wouldn't do it, taking the argument to the logical extreme it would be like having to kill someone to have a valid opinion on murder.

Wow, I don't even know how to respond to this paragraph because it starts out telling people that their stance on this morality subject was poorly thought out and ends with comparing an act of compassion and companionship to murder. You even pointed out that it's a logical extreme which means you should also know that it's a logical fallacy that should never be used to support your argument.

JoJo:
snip

Well I don't know what I can say that hasn't been said in this thread before, but animals are not like us. They don't have our cognitive ability, and for all intents and purposes (and in very inaccurate non-biological terms) are stupider than we are. While your argument might hold some limited ground for some species (non of which come to memory at the moment unfortunately), it certainly does not apply to common house pets. That said (and this is coming as another university level student of biology), if you are really interested in what they are feeling there are ways to figure that out. There are a variety of experiments that you can run to figure out what exactly is going on, but I'm almost positive (like 99%) that your results wouldn't be contradictory to what people have been saying here.

It's only immoral if you don't provide all the love and care they deserve. I'm talking about you, people who neglect their pets.

Firstly, given the quality of TV dinners on average I'd say pets eat better than humans. Secondly, I don't know about you, but I've never seen the point in demanding that one's pet act eager and happy on sight. I don't ask any of my cats to do that.

I just ask them to shit in the litterbox instead of on the fucking sink handles...

And no, it isn't immoral to own a pet.

Look at my avatar. Do you think he would do very well in the wilderness? No. We keep our pets safe, some of them keep us safe (not mine, obviously). We keep each other company. It's a win-win situation.

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