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Is it cruel to keep pets? Watch

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    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?
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    What's crueller?

    Keeping them with us or allowing them to run free where thousands of them would be killed by humans? You don't think we'd allow packs of wild dogs to run through the streets do you?

    And what's crueller?

    Keeping lots of breeds as pets or releasing them all and watching the weaker breeds hunted down and murdered by the bigger breeds?
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    Animals don't really have the same concepts of freedom as we do. Cats especially have a very luxurious life as pets. Dam cats.
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    (Original post by Genocidal)
    What's crueller?

    Keeping them with us or allowing them to run free where thousands of them would be killed by humans? You don't think we'd allow packs of wild dogs to run through the streets do you?

    And what's crueller?

    Keeping lots of breeds as pets or releasing them all and watching the weaker breeds hunted down and murdered by the bigger breeds?
    1) Those aren't the only options. We could just leave them alone except for self-defence (but properly build security around farms and things before any kind of hunt!)

    2) Let's be accurate here, we kept all the weak breeds and killed the wolves that we deemed threatening. Secondly, dogs don't usually kill each other afaik, they kill their prey. I don't see an animal killing prey as evil in the same way that I don't seeing prey escaping a predator as evil.
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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 cannot remember where I read it, but I do remember hearing about the case of how small dogs, especially ones like Yorkshire Terriers and Chi's, would simply NOT be alive today if it weren't for human care. They would die in the wild, if it were the case.
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    (Original post by ellarae)

    I cannot remember where I read it, but I do remember hearing about the case of how small dogs, especially ones like Yorkshire Terriers and Chi's, would simply NOT be alive today if it weren't for human care. They would die in the wild, if it were the case.
    Even if that's true...so what?

    Also looking at pictures of them they don't seem like they would by default be unable to survive in the wild. There'd be plenty of rats and squirrels and things. Also it's the pack that has the power not the individual. A small dog with keen hearing and smell is more useful to a pack than a big dumb dog.
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    They'd just **** all over the place. Not that they don't already....
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    People and animals have lived side by side for millenia for working or for the pleasure of company; the instinct isn't wild now.

    My cats have been with us for 19 years, they are happy, healthy and content. I know it's cheesy but keeping pets forms bonds for both the animal and for the human that is anything but cruel.
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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?
    They would also be hunted by larger animals, have to fight other packs for food, territory and mates, face illnesses without the help of vets... Animals in the wild are in constant threat.

    The only reason animals in the wild have such large territories and cover such distances is because what they need - water, food, shelter - is spread out. Whereas when they live with humans, everything they need is close by. As a result, they feel safer and more secure - there is no need to watch their back for predators, run large distances to hunt down dinner, fight with other packs. As long as they have water, food, shelter, are exercised, stimulated through play and training, and have a good relationship with their family, then they will be happy, secure, well-adjusted dogs. As are the majority of dogs. They don't yearn to break free from the house and run across the country - why would they?

    Dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years - starting as wild, wolf-like dogs and gradually evolving and breeding to create the vast range of breeds we have today. It wasn't a case of "kill the threatening dogs and keep the cute small ones" as you seem to suggest - the first domesticated dog was the wolf. And over the years, breeding slowly resulted in dogs adapted to life with humans, resulting in "less threatening breeds". They weren't there to begin with.

    Life with humans is, evoluntionarily speaking, good for dogs. More food, more security, better shelter, less disease, ETC.

    We're not "kidnapping" dogs from the wild - they are raised to live with us, they are happy to live with us. Their family or owner are, in their mind, their pack. To suggest that we they able to choose, they'd want to live in the wild, with no security or guarantee of food, is silly - IMO.


    EDIT: Just to add that this...

    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    Let's be accurate here, we kept all the weak breeds and killed the wolves that we deemed threatening. Secondly, dogs don't usually kill each other afaik, they kill their prey. I don't see an animal killing prey as evil in the same way that I don't seeing prey escaping a predator as evil.
    ... is not correct, as I touched on before. We didn't kill off wolves and keep all the weak breeds. The first dog to be domesticated was the wolf. All dog breeds can be traced back to wolves. The fact that there are "weaker breeds" are the result of the breeding that's taken place over thousands of years since we first domesticated the wolf. The breeds we have today did not exist when we first domesticated the wolf, so it wasn't a case of choosing between them.
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    Dogs are way too domesticated to put into the wild now. They do still have instincts, but they are very weak. They would not last very long.
    My dog is big and strong, but he's terrified of water and is as stupid as hell.
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    Domestication is usually a far cosier option than the wild. Humans haven't just domesticated pets, we've actually domesticated ourselves as well.

    Why do you think a dog would be "happier" in the wild constantly facing the threats of disease, predation and/or starvation - if you yourself wouldn't choose that option?

    The majority of pets are no "prisoners" either. They choose domestication every time they return to their family/ food bowl.
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    (Original post by beccagood95)
    Dogs are way too domesticated to put into the wild now. They do still have instincts, but they are very weak. They would not last very long.
    My dog is big and strong, but he's terrified of water and is as stupid as hell.
    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.

    (Original post by emilie18)
    They would also be hunted by larger animals, have to fight other packs for food, territory and mates, face illnesses without the help of vets... Animals in the wild are in constant threat.

    The only reason animals in the wild have such large territories and cover such distances is because what they need - water, food, shelter - is spread out. Whereas when they live with humans, everything they need is close by. As a result, they feel safer and more secure - there is no need to watch their back for predators, run large distances to hunt down dinner, fight with other packs. As long as they have water, food, shelter, are exercised, stimulated through play and training, and have a good relationship with their family, then they will be happy, secure, well-adjusted dogs. As are the majority of dogs. They don't yearn to break free from the house and run across the country - why would they?
    You have clearly never owned a Husky :P

    Dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years - starting as wild, wolf-like dogs and gradually evolving and breeding to create the vast range of breeds we have today. It wasn't a case of "kill the threatening dogs and keep the cute small ones" as you seem to suggest - the first domesticated dog was the wolf. And over the years, breeding slowly resulted in dogs adapted to life with humans, resulting in "less threatening breeds". They weren't there to begin with.

    Life with humans is, evoluntionarily speaking, good for dogs. More food, more security, better shelter, less disease, ETC.

    We're not "kidnapping" dogs from the wild - they are raised to live with us, they are happy to live with us. Their family or owner are, in their mind, their pack. To suggest that we they able to choose, they'd want to live in the wild, with no security or guarantee of food, is silly - IMO.


    EDIT: Just to add that this...



    ... is not correct, as I touched on before. We didn't kill off wolves and keep all the weak breeds. The first dog to be domesticated was the wolf. All dog breeds can be traced back to wolves. The fact that there are "weaker breeds" are the result of the breeding that's taken place over thousands of years since we first domesticated the wolf. The breeds we have today did not exist when we first domesticated the wolf, so it wasn't a case of choosing between them.
    So why aren't there wolfs in the UK anymore? And where are the bears too?
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    1) Those aren't the only options. We could just leave them alone except for self-defence (but properly build security around farms and things before any kind of hunt!)

    2) Let's be accurate here, we kept all the weak breeds and killed the wolves that we deemed threatening. Secondly, dogs don't usually kill each other afaik, they kill their prey. I don't see an animal killing prey as evil in the same way that I don't seeing prey escaping a predator as evil.
    1) But what about the people who couldn't defend themselves against a dog attack? And that would cost billions of pounds to ever implement. Any attempt to dictate where a dog can or can't go is essentially imprisoning them just like now, which is also why we couldn't create anything like a dog sanctuary.

    2) Wrong. We kept the breeds which we can train to obey us. It just so happens wolves don't like to play ball.

    Dogs will fight and kill each other if unrestrained. They're territorial creatures. The big dogs will kill the smaller dogs. I see a similar thing with cats. There's this huge cat on our street and it regularly attacks the smaller cats for no apparent reason.

    3) And another point. Do you really think the dogs see what we do as cruelty? You don't see all the dogs attempting to jump over the fence and escape into the wild. If they don't then how can it be cruel really? Will those dogs really be better off in the wild?
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    Well if they weren't happy being pets, they'd just run away.
    My dog has had many opportunities to run away when he's been off lead.
    But he loves us and doesn't want to be away from us, so I wouldn't say it's cruel at all.
    If I hide behind a tree, he panics because he can't find me. He just wouldn't know what to do, and I'd say it would be the same for a lot of dogs.
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    As long as an animal is free to express natural behaviour, then the relationship between you and the animal is mutually beneficial.
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    (Original post by beccagood95)
    Well if they weren't happy being pets, they'd just run away.
    My dog has had many opportunities to run away when he's been off lead.
    But he loves us and doesn't want to be away from us, so I wouldn't say it's cruel at all.
    If I hide behind a tree, he panics because he can't find me. He just wouldn't know what to do, and I'd say it would be the same for a lot of dogs.
    Kidnapping is fine then right? As long as the kidnapper can make its victim completely dependant on him? (/sarc)
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    Kidnapping is fine then right? As long as the kidnapper can make its victim completely dependant on him? (/sarc)
    So adoption is also kidnapping then, right?
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    Is there any evidence that being kept as a pet makes animals live unhappy lives (or otherwise less happy than they would be if left to fend for themselves)?

    That is all that matters here. Giving an animal a comfortable enjoyable life can hardly be construed as cruel.
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    Nature isn't a fluffy happy place. The dog wouldn't have a vet to go to when it broke its foot. The dog wouldn't have anyone to defend it when another predator strikes, or kills its litter.

    This is especially true when looking at pets that aren't at the top of the food chain. Animals are expendable - most will die painfully and cruelly. Humans are in a position of luxury that we've forgotten what it actually means to live in nature.

    It's not cruel to keep an animal as a pet, any more than its cruel to leave one wild. It's just how it is. One way they get freedom, the other way they get provided for and medical care.
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    (Original post by beccagood95)
    So adoption is also kidnapping then, right?
    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.
 
 
 
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