Animals must be free!

This is a video about a horse but the message is about animals. That is the message for me. We might think it is natural for us to pen-up animals like this. In fact we have to for their own safety and welfare I suppose. Or do we? Aren’t there better ways?

I don’t want to stir up a hostile debate but when I watched this super horse (I love this wise horse) my mind wandered to the world of cats and then to what some people might argue is mass cat imprisonment: full-time indoor cats.

OK the cage is nice, comfortable and secure etc. but a full-time indoor cat is effectively in a cage, a gilded cage (to live in luxury but without freedom).

There are better ways which are just as secure and safe for the cat but which takes more effort on behalf of the cat caretaker.

Obviously where it is impractical or impossible to give a cat some freedom then the caged life has to be accepted by cat and person but for me too many cat owners don’t take the time to explore safe alternatives to full-time indoor cat life.

I know an American couple who have the space in their garden to build a beautiful enclosure with grass and the smells and sound of nature etc. but what happens? Nothing. All four cats are full-time indoors and even when the patio door is slid open the cats peer through it but don’t walk through it, except one who wants to go out and I think he has stress related health symptoms. I think it is crazy.

Please don’t shout at me. I know people will think I’m being mad and unfair on the full-time indoor cat supporters but I am not. I am simply making a simple point: Animals should be free.

Do you remember the Burmese (Myanmar) lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest for donkey’s years because she was in opposition to the military junta? She was being punished. Are we punishing full-time indoor cats?

See cat enclosure articles.

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Animals must be free! — 9 Comments

  1. Once upon a time all animals and birds were free and lived their lives as they were meant to be lived….but then….along came humans 🙁

  2. Did you watch the video of the moose? I pray that girl knows what is going to happen when that moose begins to feel rut – he will be extremely dangerous.

  3. A gorgeous horse.
    But, see, this is the sort of training that I can live with and appreciate.
    I would want every animal in experimental labs to be trained to free themselves and their friends.
    That cat acrobatic trainer needs to set her goals higher and do something worthwhile with her skill.

    Aside from that, I am always saddenrd that cats can’t be free because they will be abused and/or killed.

    I don’t know if it would be an easier adjustment for a cat who has never experienced the outdoors to be happy indoors. I don’t have any strictly indoor cats that are like that. Most inside, descended to semiferal and were brought inside here. Even Damon, who came in as a tiny thing, remembers what outside life was like and, like your friend, he will stand at an opened door but not go out even though he wants to. It’s heartbreaking and hard.

  4. Comment on two posts:

    Are feral and domestic cats bunging away at the wildlife in Florida? Why else the USFWS poster? (Which was, even so, nastily hyperbolic and a shifty denial of voters’ rights.)

    Are cats causing more damage to wildlife than we are? To even touch upon all we’ve achieved in demolishing wildlife and the wilderness would run into volumes.

    Conversely, are people vile because their numbers keep expanding? Further,in curtailing the birthrate, is there reason to wonder what will happen if it decreases until the old outnumber the young? The U.S. Soc. Sec. Admin. already predicts that retirees will be pushing or slightly exceeding thirty percent of the population by 2035.

    As for our solicitude for other living beings, hunters plume themselves on refusing to eat store-bought meat. So far from lessening the plight of commercial livestock, the pain hunters cause their prey only adds to the magnitude of suffering animals are forced to endure on our behalf. Substantial as it is, cats cause only a percentage of the deaths we ourselves inflict.

    Which still doesn’t prove the human race is malevolent in its need for more square footage. But how does its grip on the moral rights it has granted itself give it the right to demonize cats in USFWS cartoons? Unlike human hunters and agri-biz farmers who know and are at peace with the suffering they impose, domestic cats and wolves who have eaten their fill – and both also hunt for sport: both are wanton killers – know nothing of the kind.

    How to reduce cat depredations? If we entombed our children indoors as we do our cats, we’d be imprisoned for child abuse. It’s a sad reality that not everyone has the motivation, the space and funds to provide an ample – at least 20 x 20 ft. – five-sides-enclosed yard for their cats, where they could enjoy a small fraction of what we’d fade away to have to go without. Even ‘lifers’ have a yard.

  5. I know a horse who did exactly the part in the beginning and let all the other horses out except one. Didn’t she miss one in this video as well? Very smart animals. And very beautiful.

    You all covered it really well and I too do not want to strike up any arguments, but I feel that a cat should be given as much freedom as it is safe to give them. Anything less is unacceptable.

      • I was conversing with a Canadian anti declaw contact on a facebook group yesterday and she wrote ‘Don’t yell at me, but I have to confess my cat goes outside’
        Like us in England often are by the ‘strictly indoor cat brigade’ she’s been vilified for letting her cat have his freedom.
        It was nice to be able to have my say on there. Some people are so judgemental, instead of seeing the other side they think they are always so right!
        Surely most people could make the effort to give their cats some sort of outdoor space. But it’s the same old story, it’s more convenient not to bother. Like declawing is convenient for those who can’t be bothered to teach their cat to use a scratching post.

  6. If I let Monty out during mid day hours in the summer he will find a bee and try to eat it. His freedom is often curtailed for this reason. If he could leave the bees alone he could be out there all day long every day, so long as I am home. I feel so badly about keeping him in that sometimes I let him out when there is a risk to him. My being out there with him is not a guarantee. He is quick to pounce on a bee. He won’t wear his leash anymore, so that’s where we are at. I have a cat who is bound and determined to play with bees. They must just be big buzzing cat toys, aren’t they? If Monty spends his time in a gilded cage it is his own fault. Perhaps he is just not that smart. This morning he couldn’t remember how to get down from a tree he has climbed down multiple times. He had to jump onto my shoulder to get down and come in for his morning tuna. Would he be smarter left to his own devices? Or would he just be dead now had I not taken him in? Freedom is important, but how much freedom would he have sleeping in his grave?

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