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Is it cruel to keep pets? Watch

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    I feed my cat, give it water, give it a roof to live under, brush it, stroke it and play with it. I'm such a cruel, unrelenting ******** and I should just release him into the wild, surely he'll be much happier that way.
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    No. Adoption is taking what is fair for you to take, like a baby whose parents died who has no other relatives. Kidnapping is taking it out of its natural environment.

    Well since most pets were born in captivity, they weren't taken out of their natural environment. It's just taking the pet from one house (breeder or dog home) to another.

    Like taking a child from an orphanage to a new home. Not really very different.
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    Not cruel at all, we give them food on a regular basis, a warm comfortable place to stay and medical care when needed, it's everything they could ask for, in the wild they wouldn't get medical care and the purpose of their whole life would be to search for food (with difficulty) and find somewhere safe to sleep every night....with humans things are provided for them right then and there whenever they want.
    If you walk them regularly then that's enough to fulfil their natural instincts to be outside and 'free'. I take my dogs to a large field and let them roam free and run to their hearts content..but at the end of the day they come running straight back to me...because they want to stay with me and have the life we've provided for them...if they felt 'imprisoned' they would have had plenty of chances to run away into the wilderness but they chose not to.


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    My cats can run off into the wild any time they want. Oddlly enough they keep coming back and eating our food.
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    I think now because of how they've adapted, domestic dogs and cats, especially dogs wouldn't be able to live without us.


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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    Most dogs would be running across continents and looking after their own litters, not running around gardens and fields looking after their plastic toys. Don't you think it's cruel to confine animals to such small living environments?

    We're essentially kidnapping them (and often castrating/spaying them) and abusing their natural instinct to seek security in the creature that feeds them, which should (in nature) be their mother or the pack.

    How would we feel if an alien race came down, killed all of the humans they deemed threatening, took the weak ones and bred them for their own needs, then much later using their existences as emotional crutches and denying them the freedom to choose outside of an environment they can't comprehend?
    I'll try answer this.

    Your title "Is it cruel to keep pets?" I'd say no it is not. Actually I believe the exact opposite, I believe it's a virtue to keep a domestic pet and cruel to not adopt a pet because dogs, cats and other animals have been domesticated so much now by human beings that they could not possibly survive in the wild; whilst some animals which are domesticated (pigs I'm thinking) could return to wildlife, I doubt very much pet animals could.

    I'd say more animals need homes, not less. The RSPCA would agree with me fully with this.
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    i think its more patronising to them than cruel
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    Can i make the point - most cats are free to come and go if they please. It's their choice to stay - it's not a bad life for them As well, these dogs that you are suggesting would otherwise be roaming the continent - probably riddled with disease (something most of pets are treated against).

    If you can provide a suitable environment for the animal, it is not cruel. ie wanting a chimpanzee as a pet and then keeping it in a 5ft square cage is cruelty..
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    (Original post by RemiMarcelle)
    I think now because of how they've adapted, domestic dogs and cats, especially dogs wouldn't be able to live without us.


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    both animals would do relatively well if we weren't around. According to the laws of evolution weak breeds like chiwawa would die out, Only the most adaptable breeds would survive
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    Cats (and dogs when they're on a walk off the lead) are free to leave whenever they want. If they really felt trapped and unhappy I don't think they would stick around very long. I don't know about you but I certainly wouldn't mind getting free food, a cosy bed and lots of love and attention in return for turning up in the family kitchen once a day
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    I don't think they'd have a problem. At first they would be forced to form huge packs because of the diversity, you'd have packs full of endurance dogs like hounds and also terriers with awesome smell and hearing. But eventually their specific traits would be chiselled out through cross-breeding and the offspring would be fine.
    Dogs have been domesticated for thousands and thousands of years. If they were all released into the wild now, the small dogs would struggle and die out, some of the bigger species would adapt but they would really, really struggle.

    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    You have clearly never owned a Husky :P
    Meaning what exactly? I'm not sure what a Husky could do to support your argument... I know people who own Huskies, and have spent some time with Huskies in the past as a kid.

    :confused:

    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    So why aren't there wolfs in the UK anymore? And where are the bears too?
    ... Because they were over-hunted.

    Dogs were domesticated between 40,000 and 15,000 years ago. The last wolf to be killed in England was between 200 and 300 years ago. Clearly, this doesn't fit in with your argument that we "killed all the wolves and kept the small dogs". Wolves were domesticated, through breeding more types of dogs emerged, and then LATER on, wolves gradually disappeared from the UK. They lost habitat due to deforestation (numbers fell a lot because of this) and were hunted, mainly due to the fur market, the impact they were having on farm animals (killing sheep etc).
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    Whether it's taking them out of their "natural" environment and blah blah nature argument, is irrelevant.

    What's relevant is whether our acts make the pet happy or unhappy and limit their freedom.

    For cases like birds, I think it is unethical in a way. Because you're locking its entire life in a cage against its wish just to make yourself happy. And it would most likely fly away if you let it out of the cage.

    For cases like dogs, they are actually happier and more comfortable when they have an "owner". They look for "pack leaders". It does not have to be someone of its own race. In many cases, a dog is free to go. And yet, it doesn't. Did you hear about Hachiko? A dog that waited for his owner for 10 years and eventually died? :'(

    Cats are also free to roam in their natural environment and most of them come back. Indoor cats like staying indoors - they are also free to go, but they don't.

    So for most domestic pets, we're not being unethical at all.
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    Most dogs would be running across continents and looking after their own litters, not running around gardens and fields looking after their plastic toys. Don't you think it's cruel to confine animals to such small living environments?
    No,I do not think it is cruel. As an earlier post have said, if you provide food, water & shelter, the majority of animals would be very happy with a smaller territory. Outdoor cats can have as wide a territory as they like, though I realise dogs are more confined. If you have ever seen street dogs in other countries, they are often riddled with parasites and/or disease (which can kill them slowly/painfully) - something we can treat them in they are our pets at home. Having litters is dangerous in itself and a strain on resources if they are not plentiful. They are in danger of starving to death if they cannot find food. Domestication has resulting in dogs losing some of their wolf instincts and would hence not be suitable to be released into the wild. You need to think about how you can non-subjectively assess a pet's happiness before you say it is cruel. Most people would say dogs are happy so long as they are well cared for (e.g. research suggests that stoking a dog releases oxytocin - the bonding hormone - and reduces stress in dogs and in people).

    We're essentially kidnapping them (and often castrating/spaying them) and abusing their natural instinct to seek security in the creature that feeds them, which should (in nature) be their mother or the pack.
    Neutering is a good thing: it massively reduces the risk of uterine infection (can be fatal), cancer (can also be fatal) and unwanted litters to an ever increasing population of dogs.

    How would we feel if an alien race came down, killed all of the humans they deemed threatening, took the weak ones and bred them for their own needs, then much later using their existences as emotional crutches and denying them the freedom to choose outside of an environment they can't comprehend?
    You assume pets are not happy to be with people - how do you know? You are putting your own human values into what you think a pet will prefer. but I would argue that most pets are very happy living in home environment, unless of course their owners abuse them etc. Pets benefit from: not being predated, medical care, a constant supply of water/food/shelter, human companionship. In return they give us companionship or a trained to work for us (which they enjoy). It is a mutual benefit.
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    Hey my cats have it good! They have a cat flap and are free to roam wherever they want, they could run away and never return if they felt imprisoned and that being feral was a better way to live. But realistically mine wouldn't survive, one brings in mice fairly often, but he carries them in his mouth in such a way that he doesn't pierce them. Then he drops them and chases them inside like a toy, when they stop moving or hide, he sits their for a few minutes then walks off. He's never killed one and I don't think he actually realises they are a prey item and not something to entertain himself with.

    Anyway he always comes in meowing until he finds someone to sit on and get his head scratched by. That is very unnatural, cats are solitary and we bring them up with other cats for the most part and if not they grow up with us.

    I don't think its cruel to keep animals which have had bonds with humans for millennia, realistically our relationship with cats and dogs are mutually beneficial.

    I think it is cruel to keep animals which are wild and highly intelligent. For example caged monkeys and personally, caged birds, as I feel it is unfair that they cannot fly. I don't think it is cruel to keep "wild" species with lower requirements and who lack the capacity to appreciative their circumstances, so say snakes, lizards, scorpions, tarantulas etc.

    Generally animals kept in captivity, assuming husbandry knowledge is good, will outlive their wild counterparts significantly and when compared to their life's in-situ, you could say their quality of life is better, though it's hard to form a judgement on that as you're anthropomorphising them when you decide they're "sad, bored, happy etc".
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    The fact is that actually adopting a pet is not bad because they'd die in the wild, but we should never have taken them out of the wild in the first place! It's an example of how a bunch of seemingly good acts (adopting) can be altogether a bad act (making an entire species dependant on your existence).
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    It's cruel to neglect them. It's not cruel to look after them properly.
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    The fact is that actually adopting a pet is not bad because they'd die in the wild, but we should never have taken them out of the wild in the first place! It's an example of how a bunch of seemingly good acts (adopting) can be altogether a bad act (making an entire species dependant on your existence).
    Well what's done is done. Humans have done a lot of bad things in the past that they wish they could take back, but they can't.

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    (Original post by beccagood95)
    Well what's done is done. Humans have done a lot of bad things in the past that they wish they could take back, but they can't.

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    Hey it wasn't me it was my ancestors!
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    (Original post by sevchenko)
    both animals would do relatively well if we weren't around. According to the laws of evolution weak breeds like chiwawa would die out, Only the most adaptable breeds would survive
    Yeah, I know what you mean, but what would dogs eat? They get their food cause we're able to provide them with it
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    The fact is that actually adopting a pet is not bad because they'd die in the wild, but we should never have taken them out of the wild in the first place! It's an example of how a bunch of seemingly good acts (adopting) can be altogether a bad act (making an entire species dependant on your existence).
    Exactly!
 
 
 
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