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Keeping Pets Is Reprehensible


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#1 Turtle

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:03 PM

pet 1. An animal kept for amusement or companionship.

I find keeping pets reprehensible in a world where people are starving to death every minute. Not only the direct loss of human food to pets, but the energy used to produce, package, distribute, and sell it, as well as the same waste in resources for pet products other than food. Add to that the billions of tons of animal waste disposed in the environment, and I find no moral or economic justification for the keeping of pets. :phones: :) :turtle:

Discuss. :phones: :cup:
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#2 Buffy

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:18 PM

Should all existing pets be euthanized?

If not, what should we do about the black market that will inevitably ensue?

If non-human pets are to be prohibited due to the unfairness to starving humans, will humans be allowed as pets?

Can it be considered cruel to take pets away from those people who have no human family or partners?

Is the bias against pets in favor of humans an example of speciesism?

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I've mostly always had dogs, and I've always considered them "family" rather than "pets." In my house they get treated like royalty: they get their own stockings at xmas and eat food as good as the rest of us. They sleep on the furniture, and they're required to do chores like fetching the paper just like my kid is.

Conversely, I think the people who raise pit bulls and presa carnarios and teach them to attack other dogs and people should be lined up and shot.

Is it a waste of resources? Maybe. Probably no worse than most of our other wastes of resources, and arguably the one we consider the worst these days--their carbon footprint--is minor compared to our Hummers.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man, :phones:
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#3 Theory5

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:44 PM

No matter what it is someone is always willing to take part in it. People buy clothes with very little practical use in the name of "Fashion". people stop eating meat because it was once living. Most SUV's are purchased to show that you have money, not to off road, or carry stuff in them. people grow one type of plant in their yards and tend to them carefully while destroying other useful plants, and insects.
I however am partial to keeping animals for companions. Why can't there be cross species friends? Someone for who sexual and other psychological boundaries don't exist.

#4 Thunderbird

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:52 PM

Posted Image Please help me help this dog, please send money. Americans send a avalanch of millions of dollars.


http://sp1.yt-thm-a0...5/m7/3876884133

Please help me find housing, drug treatment, job training and employment for this Man when he gets out. Crickets chirping.

#5 freeztar

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:18 PM

"Pet" is one of those strange words where a verb has transformed into a noun...

I choose not to keep any pets/animals in my house, or otherwise through ownership. In this sense I completely agree with Turtle. Pets/mammalian-family-members are expensive and do have an impact.

'Reprehensible' is a bit strong in my book. People have lots of reasons for owning pets and I think that is fine. What really makes pet ownership a problem, imho, is irresponsible pet owners who do not properly take care of their pets by getting them spayed or neutered, etc.

Turtle, when you say "pets", do you mean *all types of pets*? (eg fish, scorpions, rhinos, etc.)


On the other hand, I also agree with Buffy. Domesticated animals can make great companions. Having grown up with a couple "family dogs" in my youth, I do understand the mutual joy that can exist (not implying you don't Turtle).

#6 Buffy

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:19 PM

Posted Image

Cute. Probably would get run over or used in a dog fight if it hadn't gotten picked up.

http://re3.yt-thm-a01.yimg.com/image/25/m4/2861891315

Look at him. Probably hiding a Kafiyeh under that Argyle sweater disguise. Drug addict: gets what he deserves, and he's probably a Democrat, gay, pedophile to boot. You know what Reagan said about teaching a man to fish. Give him a handout and since he's gay he'll just end up a Welfare Queen...

Americans send a avalanch of millions of dollars.

The American Humane Society would beg to differ of course...

Don't worry T-Bird, I'm *agreeing* with you...

He who feels no compassion will become insane, :phones:
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#7 Theory5

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:24 PM

Posted Image Please help me help this dog, please send money. Americans send a avalanch of millions of dollars.


http://re3.yt-thm-a0...5/m4/2861891315

Please help me find housing, drug treatment, job training and employment for this Man when he gets out. Crickets chirping.


There are less dogs behind bars than humans. As Stalin said

One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic

People look at a dog in a cage and view him as one dog in trouble. People look at one guy in prison and view him as a Representation of everyone who is in jail. Also dogs aren't responsible for their actions. Unlike most humans.

#8 sanctus

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:04 AM

Turtle, I think it is negligible, as many other said this is not even a drop in the sea. Compared to use mais (and other eatable crop) for biofuel (additionally thinking to do something good!!!!), or the habit of many people in western world to not finish their plate and throw the rest in the bin (not even compost!), taking the car for 200m and then whining for petrol prices...just a few examples and I could give many more.

Additionally, many animal food is made of things we would throw away otherwise. One could say those things we would throw away would be eaten by starving people, well...wouldn't the western world be even more disliked if we gave the poor the rests we are disgusted to eat?

In conclusion, I don't say that keeping pets has no impact, but so little compared to other things (another example: imaging to invest 10% of the money spent in worldwide armament in projects in the third world then the third world would cease to exist)...

#9 C1ay

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:45 AM

So where do I fit on the reprehensible scale from 1 to 10 with a 10 being totally reprehensible.

In the spider category I have a theraphosa leblondi, a eucratoscelus pachypus and a brachypelma baumgarteni. The first eats mice and the other two crickets. I keep them mainly for observation but there is some entertainment value in observing them. Their companionship value is zero.

In the reptile department I currently have a pogona vitticeps and a python regius. Both of these are adopted animals that would have been set loose by their previous owners and died in our local environment. I observe their natural habits and there is a minimal companionship value. The first eats mainly crickets and some greens from the yard and the second mice.

I frequently adopt a variety of reptiles and arachnids that were previously pets and their owners became disenchanted with them. You could call them pets since I enjoy them but I don't usually acquire them for that purpose, more often to preserve their life. This is one of the reasons I am against the industry marketing pets like iguanas and large snakes. People think they're neat until they realize how big they get and then they don't want them anymore :)

From time to time I am graced with endangered species, that come into the local pet store that I care for until I can find them a home since they cannot sell them. Such was the case with two recent flavomarginata, Chinese Box Turtles. Someone dropped them off at the pet store because they didn't want them anymore so I got to take care of them until I forwarded them to their new home at the Tennessee Aquarium.

All in all I have generally felt my keeping of such animals as pets is because of my morals, not in spite of them. Is their an error in my judgement?

#10 C1ay

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:52 AM

I would also like to point out that for some there are health benefits with pet ownership, particularly the elderly where they replace a lost companion. Is this amoral?

#11 Moontanman

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:06 AM

Besides the fact my dog saved my life, my dogs have given me lots of things through out my life. besides companionship they offer protection. my house was never broken into over a 32 year span even though the houses all around me were. (part of that could have been it was known a gun lived in my house and it would kill anyone who broke in) but even when i was gone my house was always passed over in favor of a house with no barking dogs. Cats i have no use for but other people do, as long as they aren't allowed to run loose to each his own. My dogs have over the years saved my youngest son from attack by a pit bull, killed countless rats, stopped a car jacking. dogs are more than just things, we have altered both their form and mental precesses over the millena. they not only see us as family they read our body language to see what it takes to please us. If we didn't keep pets dogs would have to be killed. It would be a crime to allow creatures we created to serve us and that have done so in such a complete and selfless manner to be disposed of like the trash from our homes.
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#12 CraigD

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 08:39 AM

In addition to direct benefits such as those Moontanman mentions above, it’s generally accepted that responsible pet keeping provides health benefits, too.

In short, the physical acts involved in having pets – feeding them, playing with them, and simply petting them – appears to be physically and mentally good for most people. Though I’ve not read a specific study supporting the claim, I think studies have shown that, even controlling for other causes (eg: perhaps healthy people are more likely to keep pets, so the correlation between pet keeping and heath does not indicate the first contributing the latter), pets significantly promote physical and mental health.

Delta Society - Health Benefits of Animals (via an archive.org link – the original Delta Society - Improving Human Health through Service and Therapy Animals page has gone missing) appears to have an extensive collection of references and links about the health benefits of pets.

It’s important to note that the benefits of pet keeping can be overmatched by negative effects of doing so improperly, such as keeping too many, abusing, or neglecting pets, and allowing them to breed unchecked. Like practically everything, pet keeping can be done well or poorly.

PS: I have 3 cats. They are kept always indoors, and have been sterilized. They serve no purpose but there own, and the amusement and aesthetic pleasure of humans (they’re really pretty kitties :eek2:)

I must write no more of my cats, or risk crossing the dreadful threshold of people who post about their cats on the internet! :)

#13 jab2

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:07 AM

A hugh portion of the hunger in the world is because of overpopulation is some regions. Humans can choose to have children or not. My financial situation is such that I cannot provide a decent education for children to earn a living, so me and my wife choose not to have a child, as we do not want to breed another beggar.

Why must responsible people thus feel ashamed if they choose to own a pet that provide them pleasure, and gets treated like a child , when half the worlds population breed like rabbits, with no regard where their next meal will come from?

Or maybe they are full aware that the always concerned West will supply them with grants and food aid and thus provide the proverbial parachute.

#14 Moontanman

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:46 AM

In addition to direct benefits such as those Moontanman mentions above, it’s generally accepted that responsible pet keeping provides health benefits, too.

In short, the physical acts involved in having pets – feeding them, playing with them, and simply petting them – appears to be physically and mentally good for most people. Though I’ve not read a specific study supporting the claim, I think studies have shown that, even controlling for other causes (eg: perhaps healthy people are more likely to keep pets, so the correlation between pet keeping and heath does not indicate the first contributing the latter), pets significantly promote physical and mental health.

Delta Society - Health Benefits of Animals (via an archive.org link – the original Delta Society - Improving Human Health through Service and Therapy Animals page has gone missing) appears to have an extensive collection of references and links about the health benefits of pets.

It’s important to note that the benefits of pet keeping can be overmatched by negative effects of doing so improperly, such as keeping too many, abusing, or neglecting pets, and allowing them to breed unchecked. Like practically everything, pet keeping can be done well or poorly.

PS: I have 3 cats. They are kept always indoors, and have been sterilized. They serve no purpose but there own, and the amusement and aesthetic pleasure of humans (they’re really pretty kitties :eek2:)

I must write no more of my cats, or risk crossing the dreadful threshold of people who post about their cats on the internet! :)


Check out my post in quality jokes and humor about dogs and cats! Post #589

#15 Cedars

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:49 AM

Add to that the billions of tons of animal waste disposed in the environment, and I find no moral or economic justification for the keeping of pets. :) :) :P

Discuss. :eek2: :cup:


hmmm... Two words. Dung beetles:

Dung beetle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

:hyper:

I think there are too many irresponsible pet owners, some of which qualify as reprehensible. We've seen some terrible things on the news, such as abandoned pets, the ever famous cat houses where things get out of control, and the Michael Vicks of the world. The list can be broadened into the Yard ornament dogs, chained or kenneled with food tossed to them once or twice a day. Dogs who have no name, its just The dog. Unspayed cats roaming neighborhoods and people claiming, you cant keep cats confined.

Two of my cats are leash trained, the third wont go outside. Two of the three cats are rescue animals. All three are spayed or neutered. They do keep the mice population out doors rather than in my house. Trespassers to this rule will be violated, so not only do they provide me with entertainment and companionship, they serve a purpose. They have a job they do.

Clay brings up good points with his rescue animals. I also have 4 birds who are rescued. The two parakeets former owners lost their jobs. The two cockatiels owner died and the first home they went to lasted one year. I've had them 2 1/2 years now. Ones around 12 and the other around 15.

If I did not have pets, I still wouldnt donate the extra money to starving people. I would buy other things I enjoy. Like more wild bird food. :)

The educational value for my kid cannot have a dollar value placed upon it. Its real world experience with pet responsibility, training, and all the other factors that are involved including medical and end of life decisions, that can (and were) used as examples for other occurances in real life. She recently purchased some gerbils and hamsters. She spent much time online learning about what the various requirements are, disease issues, life expectancy, and how to keep them happy in their closed environment.

And I took up fish two years ago. I have learned so much about water chemistry, nutrients, light, balance, etc that just wouldnt be the same reading it out of a book.

And then there is the example I have set for others who have seen what a pet is capable of and took their dog(s) through obedience school, and/or who's cats are now leashed in the yard and opinion on declawing has been reversed.
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#16 Turtle

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:24 AM

:) Morning all. Good stuff! I meant to get back last night to reply to the first few posts, but I got tired and then the modem went kaflewey. :( Carpe diem now boy. :D Onward in no particular order from first to last.

'Reprehensible' is a bit strong in my book. People have lots of reasons for owning pets and I think that is fine. What really makes pet ownership a problem, imho, is irresponsible pet owners who do not properly take care of their pets by getting them spayed or neutered, etc.

Turtle, when you say "pets", do you mean *all types of pets*? (eg fish, scorpions, rhinos, etc.)


On the other hand, I also agree with Buffy. Domesticated animals can make great companions. Having grown up with a couple "family dogs" in my youth, I do understand the mutual joy that can exist (not implying you don't Turtle).


You bring a good point on choosing 'reprehensible', as I spent an hour choosing it from dozens of contenders. :eek: A possible response here then might go to a fill-in-the-blank-with-your-favorite-negative-connotation-word kind: "Keeping pets is _________________."

In the interest of staying with the definition of 'pet' in the observation post, pets of all kinds yes, as the definition does not quibble.

I do understand, and have personally enjoyed over the years, the companionship of several dogs and numerous cats, but I currently keep no pets.

I still have sleep in my eyes, so I gotta get some coffee in me before continuing. :cup: Feeeeed meeeee. :hyper: :turtle:

#17 REASON

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:29 AM

It isn't keeping pets that is reprehensible.

What's reprehensible is poorly keeping pets.
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