Is it morally right to keep animals as pets?

Is it morally right to keep animals as pets?

by Michael
(London, UK)

I just saw this question on the internet but didn’t read the answer because I wanted to provide my own brief thoughts unencumbered by internet chat.

First up, I don’t like the word, “pet”. It is too human focused. It suggests that we are better and the superior partner in a human/animal relationship. I think we should be equal partners so prefer “companion animal”. We should remember too that we are a species of animal in a strict scientific sense. Although that will upset some people – it shouldn’t.

Where the animal agreed to be domesticated then it is morally right to keep animals as pets. The wild cat and dog agreed to be domesticated many thousands of years go. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The cat gets a degree of protection, comfort and care from us and during the early stages of domestication the cat performed the useful task of keeping rodents etc. down. It was and still is a symbiotic arrangement. The domestic cat now provides us with companionship and comfort in return. It must therefore be a moral arrangement.

However, in respect of wild animals that are not naturally inclined to be domesticated and where due to the animals needs domestication is unsuitable, it is not moral in my opinion to keep them as pets or to try and domestic them.

I am thinking for example of the large wildcats. These cats need lots of space. Their natural drives are to roam widely as their territory (range) can extend to many square miles sometimes hundreds of square miles. To confine such an animal to small areas for our convenience is morally wrong.

For an animal to be content the animal’s natural drives and instincts need to be expressed and satisfied. If the relationship between human and animal can’t accommodate that it becomes unnatural, unfair, possibly cruel and morally wrong.

The relationship has to be equally beneficial to both parties to be morally right in my opinion. That I think is the criteria upon which we can measure if it is morally right to keep animals as pets.

What do you think!?

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Is it morally right to keep animals as pets?

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Jul 08, 2011 Sorry but..
by: Michael

Hi Nicki..I am sorry you are getting emails that are irritating. I don’t have control over those or I don’t think that I have control over those. They are automated. I’ll ask the experts about that. Please email me to tell me in detail what you believe is wrong.

I am pleased that you like the site. Many of the visitors are Americans. And it is Americans who regularly make comments. They are almost always good comments.

In the meantime please don’t criticise other countries. Please keep your comments on the subject only.

None of us have the right to say one country is worse than another. We can say that we don’t like one aspect of a country and argue why but not generalise, please. In short we can give our polite opinion but be open to counter argument and criticism ourselves.

We are all the same at the end of the day.

Any comments that are off the subject will be moderated – sorry.

Michael Avatar

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Jul 08, 2011 To michael:)
by: Nicki Fox

Hi michael l wanted to ask u why do l get around 10 e-mails telling me that my letter has been posted they are all the same and sometimes l get e-mails for nothing as the letter is not there yet? ls it a mistake obviously it is and its annoying mate cause when l click on to the letter it sends me straight to ur sight to the same posts over and over l was just wondering thats all l checked other cat sites out and they are rubbish compared to urs mate u have done well mate l love ur site its always an english or an aussie that makes an awsome site isnt this true like l was explaining to u before that there are beautiful places to visit here but please dont be fooled by fake commercials and brochures ect about rubbish parts of my country the Queensland and northern territory and perth locations are very BEAUTIFUL mate to visit even N.S.W as well but as for melbourne adelaide tassie canberra dont waste ur time mate lm not saying that vic bush is not beautiful cause it is but the people there are REVOLTING mate so sarcastic rude arrogant drive bye shootings occur heaps in melb these days as melb copy americans in everything they even try and copy the american accent and its so funny to hear cause it just doesnt sound right mate it sounds stupid and the weather the winter is the PITS mate it is FREEZING cold and it never shines here in perth winter is beautiful and lm not a winter person but l love winter here today was nice and warm and sunny and how weird there is a town called albany 5 hours down south from perth and it is heaven there and the winter is the same as here as l spent 8 months there some winter days l was wearing singlet tops and shorts and its right down the bottom of australia now melb is at the bottom of australia yet the weather is revolting and albany is on the other side of australia at the bottom but yet the weather is perfect strange isnt it anyway well done mate to such a great site:)

Jul 08, 2011 Tired of Nicki’s Rants
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

Nicki, when you 1st posted, I was very gracious because the USA is guilty of a lot of things; however, so is your country as well as other countries. To abuse this CAT FORUM for your nonsense is inexcuseable and I hope Michael has something to say about it. (I will be sending him this url to moderate.)

Americans did NOT steal your wildlife. They purchased kangaroos, etc. from DISHONEST AUSSIES (POACHERS); otherwise, they’d never be able to get said animals out of your country! Ever think of that? BTW, we were not the 1st country to take wild animals. Up until England passed the Wild Species Protection Act, Harrod’s used to sell and display wild animals in their STORE WINDOW! Those were dark days in British history, but you don’t hear us screaming about that now, do you? Every country has something terible they’ve done to animals – the point is what has been done to correct the issue since that time.

How we pronounce certain names is also not up for approval by you. The word ‘fag’ may mean cigarette in some countries – in the USA, it means a gay (queer) person. Quit being so judgmental.

We may have Brittany Spears but you’ve got Mel Gibson – one of the most violent, hypocritical and racist celebs known to humankind. I could go on and on, but what’s the point? Every society has their shameful side, but to have to read your daily rants against Americans is totally out of line. At least WE know how to construct proper sentences and use punctuation. What happened to you? All we see of your comments is words words words…not a cohesive thought in this mishmash.

Enough is enough. If you cannot control yourself and contribute to this forum about CATS in a constructive manner, then please go somewhere else. Thank you.

Jul 08, 2011 Sorry michael
by: Nicki Fox

lm sorry mate but l cant stand the fact that yanks think there always right when there not and when we say anything they call us BITTER and that african americans are so CRUEL to animals aswell cause the american R.S.P.C.A shows so many african americans torturing innocent animals one show actually showed a bloke using a hammer to make a sausage dog vicious he hammered the poor dogs head in and other shows show african americans starving horses dogs ect to death they are evil monsters and HIGHLY RACIEST aswell as north africa tunisia turned maltese people into slaves centuries ago and they also destroyed the maltese language opera winfrey wouldnt dare bring this up she seems to think that all WHITE PEOPLE turned africans in to slaves when half of maltese people are actually white the americans that live in perth actually hate america and the people there and are very HAPPY that they are living in australia and are now aussies just like us and are very ashamed of there mother land poor things l always tell them that they are the good kind hearted americans that there not the raciest evil monsters that still live in that horrid country yes its not just OHIO that has a problem with killing animals its all around america but the shows l watch are live and lm sorry but they cant be fake ok as they show the real deal the animal half dead the monster person being told that they are under arrest and taken away and l also feel so sorry for the beautiful moon bears in asia asians can also be revolting monsters as well towards animals but u know something michael l do believe in BAD KARMA and what comes around goes around l also thought how wonderful would it be if we found out that monsters that are cruel towards animals come back as say a cockroach ect that gets stepped on or a stinky fly that dies from being sprayed by mortein or a dirty rat that gets tortured by a beautiful clever cat one can only hope but u know something if u ever come to my country mate and actually look into the eyes of a RED roo u would swear it was human in its last life and also aboriginals believe this to and the CURLEW bird is AWSOME mate this bird will come running right up close to u and look u straight into ur eyes if u do come to aussie land one day u will find these beautiful birds in the town CAIRNS north queensland and its gorgeous there mate and the red roo well any where mate actually aboriginal people do not eat the red roo only other roos dont waste ur time and go to melb or tasmania expecially tassy as they are highly bogan there and raciest mate come to perth Queensland the northern territory and darwin mate when u walk down the street lizards come out and run down the footpath we have the goanna and the ta ta lizard and the frilled neck lizard that runs on two legs its awsome there and l miss that so much.

Jul 08, 2011 Hi all:) SORRY MICHAEL but lm angry with americans again!
by: Nicki Fox

l agree it is wrong to keep a wild animal as a pet and lm disgusted that americans are allowed to keep tigers ect and even more than ever so ANGRY that americans are also STEALING our WILDLIDE like kangaroos emus ect they cant even pronounce the word emu when they say it it is wrong they actually say it as emoo well thats wrong it has a U at the end if it was said the other way it would have been spelt emoo so please get it right and also dont come to my country and use the word FANNY as this word means VAGINA in australia l cant believe that fanny means bum in ur country also the word BLOKE meaning man is not aussie it comes from ur country then it got introduced to england then came to australia and stayed here if u dont believe this go look it up why are so many yanks so ignorant stupid like britany spears what did she say back when she was 17 OH I DONT KNOW IF lM A WOMAN OR ACTUALLY A GIRL YET (HOW DUMB)and bad karma has come to her and lm very happy as she called us aussie dumb and l will never go to australia and do a concert well we dont really want saggy baggy old over used girls or is she a woman yet here anyway and know heaps say she has mental illness how sad as america discriminates against the mentally ill ur own people have told me this by the way and that goes for harry conick junior what a HYPOCRITE he calls us aussies raciest when he was caught with a pic dressed as an african american preacher with black makeup on and the pic was on the net and he said oh l was only joking and those guys that did that michael jackson act on hey hey its saturday were black they were actually from india they may be asian but they had black skin so next time u BAG us aussies america go take a look at ur selves as we are sick of u bagging us all the time ur only jealous as us aussies are far more better athletes than any of u and we are far more intelligent as we dont have to breed 300 million waste of space humans on the planet thats how many of u are in america looks like thats all u do day in day out is breed like rats and we all know that george bush knew osama bin laden very well by the way to and neil armstrong and his loser crew didnt even go to the moon cause that rocket looked like a bunch of 4 year olds got together and made it and there is no way that back in 1969 any country had that sort of technology to go there in the first place!

Jun 27, 2011 Morals ????
by: Ruth

I believe we are on this earth to be caretakers to animals, they are not ours to ‘own’ or to use or abuse and that should apply to ALL animals.

There is such hypocrisy in that some people have a ‘pet’ for example a cat, yet condone other cats being used for experiments in laboratories.

Some say they love animals yet they eat the ‘food’ ones even though they know they suffer fear and pain on their deaths, many having suffered during their short lives too !

Yes Michael we are just as much animals as other living beings but we are supposed to be more intelligent merely because we are the only ones who can talk.

Talking about morals, I’m afraid most people don’t have any !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 27, 2011 Keeping animals
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

Like you, Michael, I agree that it is immoral to keep a wild animal as a pet. They belong in the wild and should remain there, unemcumered by humankind.

The word ‘pet’ also has a distasteful ring to it. Reading another cat-related website, they refer to us as a cats’ “guardian” which I think is a much better description of who we are. It also rings true to the children. Here is the link referred to – the story is the 3rd one down.

I believe this says it all. Thank you to The Guardian Campaign Mission for its sensitivity toward our animal friends.

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