Cats Should Be Treated With The Same Respect As Humans

Why should cats be treated with the same respect as humans? Why should all animals be treated with the same respect as humans? It almost seems that the world is divided into two equal parts on this debate: whether to treat animals as creatures to be used by humans or whether to treat them as if we would treat humans, equally1.

Cats Should Be Treated With The Same Respect As Humans
I have always believed that humans are animals. We are human-animals. Animals are non-human animals. If you believe in a God then you would have to believe that he would create all living creatures as equals and therefore each animal is deserving of the same respect as another.

I have a strong belief that we are all equal. I also have a strong belief that as nonhuman animals feel pain, have emotions, can feel contentment and unhappiness it is impossible to treat them other than with respect because if we don’t we can hurt them and it is impossible for an intelligent human to allow himself to hurt a living creature because of a disrespect for that creature.

A major reason why I respect all animals is because I know that they feel pain and have emotions and I feel a strong obligation to ensure that they are as content and free of pain as possible. If an animal is in pain, I feel the emotional pain. I’m absolutely sure that many, many millions of people and particularly people who like and love cats feel the same way. They cannot stand the idea of an animal being in pain especially if the pain was caused by a person or people. It hurts us and we like to avoid emotional hurt. Being respectful towards animals improves the life of a thinking person.

It is a common belief that humans are superior to other animals due to his or her intelligence. But there are different kinds of intelligence and when we refer to “intelligence” we usually refer to the ability to do sums and work out problems etc. but animals have other types of intelligence and we should have open minds to, and respect, other types of intelligence. Also, being more intelligent does not mean that we should disrespect people or other creatures who are less intelligent. In a civilised society people who are more able to cope with life and who are more intelligent are called upon to help those who are less able and less intelligent. So it is a mark of intelligence to respect others who are less intelligent. That argument should extend to the relationship between humans and animals.

In well-developed countries with decent law, animal welfare laws are firmly based upon a respect for all animals. The more highly refined a country’s animal welfare law, the more civilised is the country. Across the planet there are wide variations in the quality of animal welfare laws. The quality of animal welfare laws runs parallel to the quality of the culture of the people of that country and the laws that they create for their own protection. The welfare of people and the welfare of animals are part and parcel of the same cultural attitudes.

If people treat nonhuman animals with respect and as equals, how far does that go? Even people who disagree with me, might agree that they should treat a primate (i.e apes) with respect and as an equal. But what about animals that humans would treat as pests? How can a human treat a pest with respect? Pests are to kill because they are pests. Well, to many people foxes are pests. It is just a label that people like to put on an animal that they wish to abuse for their own pleasure, which certainly applies to the fox in countries where there is foxhunting.

There is no longer any need for the human to eat the flesh of other animals because we are intelligent enough, and our digestive system is able to allow us, to survive perfectly adequately without killing and eating animals. I believe it is impossible, even with the best processes and practices, to kill animals for consumption without causing some pain, distress, discomfort etc.. Therefore in a highly refined society we should expect to see everyone being vegetarians.

The bottom line is this: I have a very strong gut feeling that we are all equal and that gut feeling is based upon a lifetime’s experience and it is in my DNA. There is nothing to suggest to me that we are unequal. If there is nothing that suggests to me that other animals are less important and less valuable than me then they are equal to me.

It is my belief that people who see animals as lesser creatures to hunt and to use or abuse for the benefit of themselves they are less well developed, less refined and less intelligent than people who respect all animals and treat them kindly. It is really a question of personal development and thoughtfulness. Different parts of the world have developed at different rates and that applies also to individual people. The more refined the thinking of an individual person the more likely he or she is to respect animals and of course the domestic cat. Conversely, the more ignorant and less refined the person the more likely the person is to disrespect animals and the domestic cat. If I am right in that assessment then it is another reason why cats should be treated with the same respect as humans.

  1. [Note: it is common knowledge that in many places many people treat other people as lesser creatures. We are well aware that this attitude is incorrect and lacks refinement and decency.]
  2. These are just some ideas about respecting the cat. It is far from a complete argument. Feel free to add yours.

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Cats Should Be Treated With The Same Respect As Humans — 49 Comments

  1. Though my current ban from being on the internet (don’t tell, please!) doesn’t permit me to read your article in its entirety, it goes without saying that I agree 100% with the main thought, and I love the photo 😉

      • Nothing as complicated as that, Michael. I neglected to get some care I needed and ended up having to have emergency surgery. The post-op recovery period is 2-3 months. I’m at 1 1/2 months now. 😉

    • Are you ill, jmuhj?
      I think I read a comment by you yesterday that made mention of illness. I don’t want to pry. I just hope you will be OK.

      • its so lovely to read this after my article has been posted. Its great that it was so well received. sometimes its hard to know when one write an article how it will go. Yes all animals need to be respected and loved as they are all family . even if they are in a shelter i still think they are all viewed as companions. Its nice to see that photo of that boy with the cat its like he caring for it. im reading a book i got from the library. on dalai lama’s cat really interesting story how the cat came to be loved it was a ragdoll cat. very interesting its written by david Michele if anyone was interested.

        • You are very brave to write your article. Sometimes it can be difficult to write a certain sort of article because we’re not sure how other people will take it or whether they will understand it or even disagree with you strongly and criticise you. So authors on the Internet have to be brave sometimes and some people don’t have this confidence. You have and you deserve a big pat on the back for that. Well done.

          • thanks Michael, ive always been an open and honest person. Also i got great encouragement from reading ruths interview and thought i can do that. Also i feel really supported here. I know that alot of people have similar probs. Poc really is a family for me. 🙂

      • Yes, thank you. I stupidly neglected something that needed attention, to avoid having to spend $$, and it ended up getting much worse and I needed emergency surgery — $$$$$. Post-op recovery time is 2-3 months. I’m at 1 1/2 months now. 😉

        • Why, jmuhj, mate, are you mentioning dollar signs? Let that go. Are you asking for money? None of us do that. Be careful with your words, if you are worried about money then you need to reestablish ties with your family. I do not believe that that is what you needed. <3

    • You little shit! <3 I hope that is not from your SO. but from some stupid government O. 😉

      Good to see you here. Didn't know why.

      • TY 😉 No, it’s doctor’s orders ;( following emergency surgery I never should have had but was too stupid to avoid, wanting to save money initially. It ended up getting a lot worse and costing far more than it would have if I had gone in right away. Life Lesson #??? ;(

        • Do whatever it takes. Be positive and hang in there, friend. I’ll tell you this much, it’s a relief to have you back here! <3 My cats are rooting for you, and there are many more besides mine caring… 🙂

          • TYSM to you all 😉 Yes, I’m following doctor’s orders, for the most part, which is why I shouldn’t be here now. But TY!

  2. Well, from the title alone, Michael, I can only say this. Cats, as well as other animal species (like ourselves), deserve more respect than our own species. I say this, as many of you understand, because we have a tendency to use other animal species as our possessions , rather than as being as significant to this world as we are.

    That may seem like an oversimplification to some, but not to those of us who are truly concerned with moral and ethical dilemmas. Even more importantly, those of us who have come to understand, after living caringly with, these “pets,” now understand that they are really not pets at all. They are fellow beings. They are at least as valuable as we are.

  3. To define this better, this idea that “they are at least as valuable as we are,” allow me to add, have they ever damaged our planet? 😉 Furthermore, as we cannot -as ‘intelligent’ as we are- understand them fully, yet we use them to give us that unconditional love we seem unable to get nor give to our fellow humans, should we not give back to them than what we receive? thanks. <3

  4. From Michael’s article above, In well-developed countries with decent law, animal welfare laws are firmly based upon a respect for all animals.” This does not include the United States of Americans, I can tell you with certainty. It got me to thinking about the British government, or more precisely, the people, the Brits. Why is it that the folks “over there” seem to have the voice of the country, and we do not, over here in the US of A? [that does not stand for A******* 😉 Thoughts? [jmuhj, perhaps you should fill us in on your status. Believe me, we care. 🙁 ]

    • Cal, I can remember an article in The Times about 2 or 3 months ago, the gist of it was that America is no longer a democracy. You remember all the spying on people through the Internet and their text messages by the government was in example of an undemocratic process. I’m sure there are many other examples. Britain is also becoming less democratic judging by the behaviour of the police force who stifle demonstrations with what I would consider to be illegal behaviour.

      I am a firm believer that the more advanced a country is the more refined and civilised the laws of the country are. The more civilised people are the more they take care of every aspect of their society which necessarily means the vulnerable in society which includes of course companion animals. This should be extended to wild animals who should be allowed to express themselves in the wild. For me it’s about an intelligent and civilised approach to life and when one does this, it is difficult to escape the view that we should treat animals equally.

  5. I agree that cats should be treated with respect, in fact I think all animals from the smallest to the largest should be treated with respect. But that will never happen while humans continue to use them, abuse them, eat them and experiment on them and these all happen because we humans think we OWN animals.
    This is where it has all gone wrong, instead of living alongside all other species and allowing Nature to do her work we have taken her over and decided we know best…but we don’t! That’s the problem, we have interfered so much that everything is now out of balance.
    We forget we ourselves are descended from animals, we gradually arose to walk on our back legs and now look down on all other species. We have speech and reason, they have instinct.
    No other species is as selfish, arrogant and cruel as the human species 🙁

    • Vegetarianism can not be ridiculed nor criticized by anybody, not any group nor any individual. Was programmed back into the animal [MEAT] cooking/eating world by the social media, and cooking in restaurants. I love to cook! I still am trying to get my head out of the bible of my prepubescent days, choosing to only cannibalize once a week. for me, it is the best I can do right now. Once upon a time in my youth, I was happily, healthily, a vegetarian. And now? I shy away from eating those fellow animal sources of protein, as it eases my mind so much. By paying attention to complementary protein aka, getting all of the essential amino acids into my digestive tract via plant sources, which is so easy to do, I can once again live at peace with myself. I am not intending to ever become vegan, because my body loves organic, locally raised eggs from our hens, and greek-style yogurt made from locally obtained, lovingly raised milkcows. I wish that I had a farm! <3

      Thanks, Ruth! 🙂

      • I did not know that you were vegetarian in the past. Caroline, you seem to struggle with the way we treat animals and it seems to hurt you. Am I right in that assessment?

          • This may seem mean, it is not intended to be. I have a male housemate who thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to take and consume all of the meat out of the stockpot. I do not know how to deal with this. I would certainly have given him all that, and actually have, many times over. In fact, I stopped allowing myself to eat. [don’t worry, my Shrimp, my cat, eats just fine!] It is strange, I suppose, that am individual should feel guilty about taking in nourishment, just because she watched some one else act like a barbarian and a glutton.

    • I am afraid that a large section of the world is still very ignorant with ideas that belong in an era hundreds of years ago. When people finally become civilised in hundreds years time if we are lucky there will be very few if any wild cat species left living in the wild. It’s about ignorance and stupidity coupled with lashings of arrogance as you rightly say.

      • You have just hit the nail on the head again, Michael. We, as a far inferior species, are going to be hit on the head when our fellow species are decimated by our arrogance and stupidity.

  6. Michael I agree with this entirely.

    Humans have ideals.

    Animals live up to many of those ideals better then the humans who invented them. Humans also invented nightmares and hell.

    Animals are on the moral high ground – according to our own bloody morals. Animals DONT NEED morals because they don’t do bad things so they don’t have to be careful to stick to a better conduct.

    • Yes, I agree. Everything that an animal does is correct because it is instinctive and natural. We seem to have the capacity to do a lot of unnatural things and therefore we need some sort of higher authority to guide us so that we do not participate in unnatural things. Of all of the animals only the human animal has the capacity to participate in distorted and deviant behaviour, it seems to me. Or, the human’s distorted and deviant behaviour might be called normal behaviour for a human. In which case there is no hope for him at all.

  7. If what you say is true, then all humans have to be sterilized, one of their ears cut off, and left out on the streets eating out of garbage bins to fend for themselves, just like you do to all those TNR cats that you’re all so proud of.

    • Well, firstly you’re referring to feral cats and not all feral cats are trapped and neutered. You’re also making a ridiculous statement because what you are saying is that we should lower our standards with respect to how we treat other people (a downgrading and negative process) rather than being more positive and stating that we should improve treatment of cats and other animals. You are simply highlighting how badly some people treat the domestic cat and stray cats. Thank you for that. I agree with that aspect of your statement. Other than that, it is a stupid comment. Sorry to say that but you stated nothing of any use.

  8. You are aware, aren’t you, that out of ALL types of pet-owners it is cat-advocates that are directly responsible for the suffering deaths of more billions of animals and more thousands of species of those billions of animals than any other pet-owners on the face of this planet. You are aware of this, aren’t you?

    If not having animals killed for their own consumption (non-vegans), then they are having animals killed for their cat’s consumption by paying others to kill animals for them and then cramming those animals’ dead and tortured bodies into cans and bags and having a “CAT-FOOD!” label slapped on them, and if they let those cats outside then they are senselessly torturing to death billions of thousands of species of native animals yearly just for their cats’ play-toys (no other purpose than that).


    How many more animals are you going to have senselessly killed today for your “oh, but cats make me feel good!” entertainment?

    A vegan cat-owner is a total hypocrite.

    • I would describe your comment as a rant. It has the classic characteristics of a rant. It is highly biased, there is no basis upon which your wild opinions are based. Clearly you are to simply a cat hater who wants to have a go at people who like animals and like cats.

      You talk about billions of animals suffering because of the domestic cat. Firstly, I’d like you to provide some science to back up that wild statement. Secondly, I’d like you to think about how many billions of animals the human has caused to suffer, killed, persecuted, enjoyed killing etc etc etc. Please wake up, look at yourself in a mirror and start thinking about what people do to the planet and to the animals living on it.

      Thirdly, stop being an idiotic troll and start using your head.

  9. So, Woody has changed sex now has he, or is it his sister who is as stupid and ignorant as he is? lol lol

    • Yes Woody has changed sex. Interesting isn’t it? We are bound to have one silly troll, commenting on an article like this because the article is about treating animals properly with respect and that is something that ignorant people simply can’t get their heads around.

      • What, Michael? Good. Jo is taking over. Good thing. I respect you and have been pretty fairly stupid as a female. ? You have always been kind, as has Ruth)Kattaddorra, and where were the two of you when I watched ALL HELL break LOOSE?

  10. All animals should be respected as equals. If there was a worst beast that have ever existed in our planet then with no doubt it’s the human species. Because they only see animals as properties and commodities.

    • All animals should be respected as equals

      About 2 hours ago I was speaking to Jo Singer (a writer on PoC) on Skype and I said I see all animals – all creatures – as equals and if we did that everything would fall into place. But a large section of society see humans above animals. Disaster.

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