Is it ethical to keep a pet?

I got thinking about the whole treating animals as property thing, and the comparisons that are often made on this website to slavery.

Some people used to (some still do!) treat their slaves very well, and even had relationships with them. But it is commonly accepted that slavery is wrong.

So, is owning an animal wrong?

My thoughts: I grew up in a family that kept pets, and I think it is useful for a child to have a pet, so that they learn responsibility, compassion, and ultimately they will learn to cope with death. And I really miss having an animal in the house :cry: BUT at the same time I now feel a little uneasy with the concept - I mean, do animals want to live with us? We always had rescue pets, who seemed quite happy. I’m confused! :confused2:

I think it’s ok to have pets… but I personally don’t want to have one… too much responsibility… and one have to give up his freedom for his pet.
Can’t travel freely etc
The whole point of vegan ethics is to lessen the suffering of animals, so if you treat your pet with respect but not as a mere property then it’s ok to have an animal friend.

Do you think adapting homeless animals is slavery? Is there other solution to saving animals?

The animal would probably be killed if you didn’t take it home. My family always “adopted” animals from rescue shelters, and they seemed happy enough - they certainly became very distressed if they perceived you to be trying to abandon them (e.g. getting into a car, or putting them in boarding kennels). And you wouldn’t be directly supporting animal breeders/farmers. (I have heard some awful stories about farms that breed pedigree cats and dogs :cry: Or poachers that steal bird and lizard eggs to sell as exotic pets?)

A cat will just leave if it doesn’t like you :wink: I don’t know about dogs - it is more difficult for them to escape, and I think they instinctively want to be in a pack anyway? Caged animals and fish don’t have a choice.

This is true - I can’t have a cat or dog because I live in a small rented shared house, and I’m not always in it! :cry: that’s how I got thinking about buying a small pet like a fish or lizard.

It’s a tough one :frowning: They shouldn’t need saving! :angry: But if mankind has domesticated certain animals, or destroyed natural habitats, I suppose we also have an obligation to care for animals? I’m not sure how this is best done - maybe it depends on the animal.

A thought: Maybe in a vegan future, people will keep pet cows and pigs, in the same way that some people continue to keep horses nowadays? :smiley:

To have pets i think its normal ! as was sad its even good for devoloping responsability … other times they can “serve” as our best soul frieds :slight_smile: offcourse are diferent peoples with diferent idias about animals … some of them use them for diferent jobs … and i think that tipe of “friendship” must be regulated with some norms.
i had and i gwess in my home allways will be someone :slight_smile: i`m dependent of some unhuman noise :smiley:

If anybody has ever fed a stray cat you will definitely find that animals befriend humans.

The former tenants of the house I live in left behind their cat. Of course I had to keep feeding it.

When my visitors see the cat they ask, “Is that your cat.” and I say, “It’s more like. . . . I’m it’s human.”

Hmnn. . . . what you’re not seeing now are the paragraphs I just erased. The more I think about a moral guideline to having or owning pets the less it makes sense.

Arrggghhh. … well damnit! It seems wrong now but there’s no way I’m giving up my 3 cats.

Yes, I know that feeling well! My Dad’s cat expects to fed, and scowls at us if we don’t pay enough attention :astonished:

:laughing: I know that feeling too :smiley: After my dog died, I used to keep “hearing” barking when I was upstairs or in the bath… very creepy…

Anyway, I am told I cannot have a pet until I clean the house :imp: cheeky sods…

For me, having or owning pets will take a responsibility and as much as possible treat them properly.

I find nothing wrong with keeping a pet as long as you treat them with the same respect as you would any other family member. I have a dog and I treat her just like I would if I had a child. She is not viewed as property to me or anything like that.

I found my dog on the side of the road. Someone had dumped her after beating and starving her first. I took her in and gave her a happy and healthy home.

IF you think you adapting animals especially homeless be sure that the animals will not harmless just to be sure what are you doing ok…:wink:

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All of my babies have either been given to me or adopted. I have taken many animals under the guise of I can’t keep my baby anymore, please will you take her or him. I once, with the help of my ex, stole a cat that was being abused terribly. Took her 4 years to let anyone touch her or hold her when we finally found a way to get her. There are a lot of domesticated animals that would suffer if we didn’t open our hearts and homes to them. Is it wrong? No. Although I do feel it is wrong when a person/family takes in a wild animal and domesticates it. So many beautiful creatures get put down because we think they should be able to live with us. I will keep my parrot (rescued), my love bird (given up because its owner had died and willed it to a women who didn’t want it) and my cat (given to me as a kitten from an unwanted litter). I will love, feed and care for them til they leave me, and when they do I will cry like I always do. These pets aren’t just animals to me any more, they are a part of family. :slight_smile:

Technically it’s ‘wrong’ to ‘own’ a life. But unfortunately we’re stuck in a situation where certain animals cannot survive in the wild on their own due to domestication and there’s a ridiculous overpopulation problem due to human greed. In a perfect world, ‘pets’ would not exist but the world isn’t perfect.

I think the problem is domestication. Dogs are generally so domesticated at this point, to not take care of them means they would die in the wild…although we all know stray dogs end up in a kennel and usually end up being killed if not adopted.

What I believe is unethical is buying animals from a breeder or a “pet” shop. There are too many animals in kill shelters who need homes for it to even come close to making sense to buy from someone who is profiting off the sale of animals. Plus, there are too many horror stories about animals that are raised for sale…PETA just recently did a bust on a supplier and it was horrible how they were treating the animals.

I believe there are two ethical and good choices. One is not to have a pet (or companion animal) if you feel like you can’t take on the responsibility. The second is to rescue one and give them a wonderful, loving home.

I still struggle with that one. I “rescued” a mutt that I love from the humane society. I realize he’s better off now, but I often think that breeding pets (even if not in puppy mills) should not be done.

yes, i think some animals want to live with us if we are very responsible of taking care of them.
all we have to do is to treat them like us( people )because they also have heart… right?
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

My opinion is that owning a “pet” that is actually considered a pet…like dog or a cat is fine, but if you own a pet snake or a monkey, things that should live in the wild life…you should not keep it as a pet

I agree with you… Animals have their own environment. You can keep a dog or a cat but keeping them the whole day inside the house will not be good for them. How are they going to express their natural behavior if they will just stay at our houses? Birds can also be a good pet but not inside a small cage. We can share our love to them, they can be our companion but never ever deprive their rights to have a natural environment.

I believe it is ethical to have an animal companion as long as you can meet a few obligations. First it should be a rescue animal from a shelter. Buying an animal from a breeder or pet store supports the puppy mill industry. Next you have to have the means to take care of it. You should not leave it alone for long periods of time. If you travel a lot, it is probably not the best choice for you. But as long as it is a shelter animal and you have the means to take care of it I think it is very ethical as most cats and dogs have become so domesticated that they are unable to live a healthy fulfilling life out in the wild. Oh and you need to spay or neuter them, but I think most if not all shelters make you do that now if you adopt.

The only animal companion I believe it is ethical to have is a cat. My reason for this is that…I have cat! And I love him more than most of the humans in my life. He is free to come and go as he pleases, he could choose to leave me if he preferred some other way of living, but he has chosen me for7 years. He sleeps on my bed every night and I’ve had a longer relationship with him than my partner. I couldn’t keep an animal contained in my home and because cats are more free I think it’s ok. I hope. :blush:

that’s so nice of you redsunflower… I think you are right sixfingered, the best way to keep a pet is to adopt them or get them from shelter…