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Should people own animals?

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Maisiepaisie

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

I am curious to hear what some of you think would happen if all domestic Cavy breeding were cease?

What would happen is that people wouldn't be able to buy pigs as pets anymore. The burden on rescues would ease until eventually there would be no need for rescues as there would be no domestic pigs. They would exist only in their natural environment. Would that be a bad thing? I know some people will think so but from the pigs perspective it is not. There would be no more abused and neglected pigs. What doesn't exist cannot suffer and breeding is always done for selfish reasons. Why should humans have the right to own another living creature? Can anyone give me an answer that isn't a selfish reason for the benefit of humans who enjoy having cute little furry animals to care for?
 

Coopdog

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Why should humans have the right to own another living creature? Can anyone give me an answer that isn't a selfish reason for the benefit of humans who enjoy having cute little furry animals to care for?

I don't know that humans have a "right" to own animals, but we are unique among animals in that we enjoy other species company just for the sake of their company, not for any particular gain on our part.

As far as a benefit to the animals, they are many. If kept properly, all domesticated animals live signifigantly longer, healthier lives in captivity, free from disease, predators, and starvation.

A wild guinea pig spend it's short life in fear almost every minute, constantly searching for enough food, fending off parasites, diseases and looking over it's shoulder for fear it will be killed at any moment.

Pet guinea pigs spend their long lives without a care in the world, in the lap of luxury, waiting for that next yummy or snuggle (at least mine do!). I would call that a benefit, wouldn't you?
 

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Coopdog said:
Pet guinea pigs spend their long lives without a care in the world, in the lap of luxury, waiting for that next yummy or snuggle (at least mine do!). I would call that a benefit, wouldn't you?

I would argue against that, quite frankly. Most people have no clue how to take care of a guinea pig. They put them in too small cages, feed them an inappropriate diet, and they die from common ailments like upper respiratory infections or tooth problems, slowly and painfully, when vet care is not sought. They have mites and go bald, scratch themselves until they bleed, live alone and isolated instead of in their 'herd'.

There are many great owners here, but I sadly feel that they're not the majority, and it's going to take a lot of work before they will be.
 

Maisiepaisie

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Thanks Jennicat I was going say the same thing
 

Coopdog

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

If kept properly, all domesticated animals live signifigantly longer, healthier lives in captivity, free from disease, predators, and starvation.

Why do I always have to repeat myself on this forum???
 

Jennicat

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Why do I always have to repeat myself on this forum?

I stated that most of these animals are NOT kept properly. Yes, they're better off in domestication if they're being kept properly, but when probably 80-90% of them are not, that becomes an invalid point.

A wild guinea pig spend it's short life in fear almost every minute, constantly searching for enough food, fending off parasites, diseases and looking over it's shoulder for fear it will be killed at any moment.

The fact of the matter is that a huge portion of domestic guinea pigs ALSO live this way, fighting off parasites, terrified of the shrilling creatures which sometimes yank them from their cages, with the added bonus of being completely alone to deal with these terrors.
 

Coopdog

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

The original question was whether humans should be allowed to own animals. My answer was yes, if they are cared for properly, because it guarantees them a better quality of life than they would have in the wild. You chose to spin it into an argument about ignorant owners, thereby changing the subject. A common occurance on this forum.
 

Jennicat

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

I was always taught that you can't prove an argument with an assumption that is generally not true. My bad. That's like saying, "Yes, if they get to eat candy all day." They don't get to eat candy all day, therefore the answer is no.
 

C&K

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

I think at this time, it is not realistic to fight to remove animal ownership as a fundamental right of being human. I understand the arguement, but we have a hard enough time not abusing the animals in our care, on farms and as pets. With so much cruelty, I think it is better to focus our efforts on getting people on side with properly taking care of their pets, and if not becoming vegetarians, then working towards real improvments in the meat farming industry.

It is easier to sell "you should treat your animals well" then "you should not own any animals". In a way too, I worry that if we become as a race of beings, to far removed from all animals, then will we care about what is happening to them in the wild? Most people who are engaged in wildlife protection, learned to have a passion for animals from exposure to pets long ago.

What we don't know, we usually don't care much about. It is a fault / condition of being human.
 

Weatherlight

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

C&K said:
It is easier to sell "you should treat your animals well" then "you should not own any animals".

I just wanted to say that this is the fundamental difference between animal rights and animal welfare. It MAY have been easier to tell slave owners "you should provide clean food and water, stop beating your slaves, and set limits on how you can work them" than to tell them "free all your slaves who can live well independently, take unconditional care for the rest of their lives of the ones who can't, and never get any more." The thing is, so long as they are viewed as property, their sole reason for existence the whim of a "superior" being, their welfare will lose when it conflicts with desires the "superior" being has. This disregard of their welfare will be rationalized, then accepted...then more disregard follows. Think some can resist that slippery slope and own other beings while giving them the utmost consideration? Then those people wouldn't be breeding, risking the health and lives of those they claim to respect.

In a way too, I worry that if we become as a race of beings, to far removed from all animals...

Who says we'll be removed? We ARE animals, and at least now and for a long time to come, where we exist, so will other species, so long as we don't wipe them out. There will be insects and rodents and birds even in very urban areas, as well as plenty of wildlife that we may watch from a distance or, if they are agreeable without our coercion, come close to and interact with in ways that don't compromise their safety and independence.

What we don't know, we usually don't care much about. It is a fault / condition of being human.

It might be human nature, but human nature can be overcome by human nurture. It may be that the tendency is towards "out of sight, out of mind," but we don't have to fulfill that tendency. It may be more difficult to care about others without some strong selfish motivator (whether it's "I'll scratch your back because you'll scratch mine," an emotional attachment to animals stemming from petting "cute" ones as a child, or whatever), but certainly not impossible. Reason can extend consideration, empathy, and compassion to places otherwise impossible.
 

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

I was always taught that you can't prove an argument with an assumption that is generally not true. My bad. That's like saying, "Yes, if they get to eat candy all day." They don't get to eat candy all day, therefore the answer is no.

Using that logic, nobody should own animals. So, my question is...do you own any animals?
 

Sabriel

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Edit: Sorry Cavy Spirit. You posted while I was writting. (I try to take my time to make as few mistakes as possible)

Not everyone views the animals they live with as property. The animals I share my home with are my family and thus are treated as such. They get the best food and care I can provide, the same as my husband and any future children I may have.

I would rather see humans as a whole learn to live with animals better, not to remove ourselves from the animals lives. No other animal lives in a bubble alone. They share homes and food and water sources. They form ecosystems and food chains and symbiotic relationships. They live together.

We need to learn to live in harmony with the animals. It's easier to just go away, but it's better to learn how to form relationships and partnerships with them.
 
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Jennicat

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Coopdog said:
Using that logic, nobody should own animals. So, my question is...do you own any animals?

*sigh* That was an analogy, used to prove a point. No one would realistically say that animals should eat candy all day.
 

C&K

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Re: If all Breeding were to be Halted?

Sorry T... I did not see your post either. I think this is definately one topic that needs to be split off.

Who says we'll be removed? We ARE animals, and at least now and for a long time to come, where we exist, so will other species, so long as we don't wipe them out.

That is just my point.

We will wipe them out. You present a very idyllic world, but if you live in a world where there is no "value" to an animal for a human, then who is going to care about the animals out in the wild?

Last time I checked, my community tries to kill more animals that try to co exist with us then help, the mice and rodents that get into our homes, the bugs and insects that are all around us, the raccoons that eat our garbage, the squirrels that get into our attics. My city, just last year, carved into a piece of property, that is protected as a United Nations World recognized Biosphere, and is known to contain very rare species of flora and fauna, to build a road!

Maybe your goals are obtainable in 1000 years, but the first step has to be humanely treating animals first.

I know it is going to be a hard sell to most people to try and protect a wild animal, (it already is) if they cannot identify with it, having no experience with anything like it. Outside of my pets, my children may get an occasional sighting of a "wild animal" but most of the "animal encounters" we have are ones we need to evict from our house! So, if you take a person, growing up, and they view animals as having no benefit to their life, are something to get rid of and keep away from themselves, and may actually be a little afraid to them, what is going to happen? Lets just say, person A knows that by building a home in a certain area, they will negatively impact a population of animals, they only vaguely know what an animal is, are they going to care about said animals any more then the grass and plants that are dug up in the process to build the house? Many people already don't! If you remove animals completely from our lives, I can only think, more won't.

Sure, people are "animals" but we are perhaps the most destructive force on this planet, and 90% of us refuse to be labeled an "animal". If you wanted to save all the animals, then perhaps we need to wipe out humanity, otherwise, our best defense is to educate on the humane treatment of our furry friends, presently, you have a choice, you can look a person in the eye, and tell them "you have no right owning an animal", or you can tell them, "you really should take care of that animal properly, and not support breeding more of them, as too many of them are already dying being deemed "unwanted used plaything".

I know for a fact, it is going to be much easier to sell "you need to treat that animal properly" then "you should not own said animal".

In this world, you have to pick your battles. You may think of animals in captivity as akin to human slaves, but understand, the majority of the human population would not agree.



It might be human nature, but human nature can be overcome by human nurture. It may be that the tendency is towards "out of sight, out of mind," but we don't have to fulfill that tendency.
No, we don't, but let me ask this, how many people do you think, on your street, or on this forum, donated money last year to orphans or low income families or the AIDs epidemic, vs. Hurricane Katrina relief? It is a fact, if something is out of sight, out of mind, in TODAYS world, it is put on a back burner.

Most people who have a deep love and respect for wild populations of animals, developed that love early on, under the care and guidance of responsible animal loving adults. If you take that out of the loop, less people will care. I firmly believe, you remove animals from children's lives, you will see a dramatic reduction in the number of people who care.


Anyway, this argument is not the core issue of this thread, maybe it should be carried over to another new one?
 
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Coopdog

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*sigh* That was an analogy, used to prove a point. No one would realistically say that animals should eat candy all day

*sigh* back atcha. I know it was an analogy. Once again, that wasn't the question. Your argument seems to be that because so many people mistreat animals, nobody should be allowed to keep them as pets. If you really believe this, then how can you justify owning animals yourself? Nobody means nobody, even the most well intentioned and concientious owner.

Am I misunderstanding you?
 

Weatherlight

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Sabriel,

Children are also iffy. They are usually in a family (and in the world) because their parents want them to be; they obviously had no say in the matter before they were born. Their dependence breeds vulnerability to lack of respect and abuse.

Does learning to live with someone entail capturing them, controlling their environments, exploiting knowledge of their hormones to manipulate them into manufacturing more of them for our enjoyment? I would argue that it doesn't; it's a completely different thing from sharing with an independent being who is not coerced. Breeding cavies to stuff into cages in our apartments and filling their bottles from our tap is far from sharing a stream.

C&K,

People with morals are going to care about wildlife. I must admit I personally value the neighbors who live to my right because they have a cute lab I like to pet and the father chats with me occasionally, but I have no use whatsoever for the ones across the hall. I still don't rampage into their homes, massacre them, and help myself to their rooms. Whether or not I have an emotional attachment or selfish investment in them does not affect my knowledge that they are people who wish to not be killed or driven out of their home.

I think "your community" needs to learn new values for the animals that live in the same area. For that, I strongly doubt that wiping out those animals and then bringing in new domesticated species into cages in their homes is going to work.

The position is that focusing exclusively on animal welfare will lead to eventual liberation is called neowelfarism or new welfarism, and used to be mine also until quite recently. If you're interested, read section A in Animal Rights and Animal Welfare: Assumptions and see if that makes sense to you. It did to me.

Person A should understand that they are an animal, and being able to list differences between those they are used to and those they are capable of harming should not be justification for harming anyone. Even if person A grew up with gpigs, how would that affect their decisions about wild animals more than growing up with humans? What makes you think someone won't generalize wildlife as "being like those people I know," but will generalize wildlife as "being like those cavies I know"?

I have a third choice: I tell them both. Yes, sometimes I know the first won't go over well at all, so I just stick to the second, especially in cases of companion animals, but whenever I think they're reasonable and ready to look at their animals differently, I go with the third. If people don't speak out because they think "the majority" disagrees, then no one will learn about newer, better ways of thinking, and since it's unlikely that "the majority" will come to such conclusions through personal relevation when the cultural status quo is the opposite, "the majority" will always disagree.

I'm also wondering where you got the 90% figure. Maybe my sample is just way off, but the vast majority of people I know acknowledge that they are taxonomically classified in the kingdom Animalia. There are few nuts, usually extremely religious and closeminded, who argue about it, but they certainly aren't the norm.

Maybe we should campaign to change our selfishness, instead of indulging it. To save the planet, let's get people to wake up and see that out of sight is not out of existence, instead of sticking caged animals in all the apartments.

At this point, there's no need to remove captive animals from people's lives, anyway--quite the opposite. There are animals who are already enslaved, and for their own wellbeing they cannot be "freed" (actually abandoned to die). I encourage people to adopt animal "refugees," but not breed or buy.
 

Jennicat

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y ap
Coopdog said:
*sigh* back atcha. I know it was an analogy. Once again, that wasn't the question. Your argument seems to be that because so many people mistreat animals, nobody should be allowed to keep them as pets. If you really believe this, then how can you justify owning animals yourself? Nobody means nobody, even the most well intentioned and concientious owner.

Am I misunderstanding you?

My apologies for coming off not as I intended. :)

I didn't mean that nobody should own animals, since there are many of us that do give good care. However, I think that when the majority of the population doesn't, it's hard to factor in the "they're better off domestic than wild" argument, since so many aren't. If that makes sense?
 

Coopdog

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Gotcha. While I don't think I could ever live in a home without some furry critter to spoil, I must admit that I feel sorry for my captive bred finches, and I don't know that I would ever get them again. Even though they live in an enormous cage (there's a picture in my gallery) and get the best possible care, they are still captive, and that bothers me...especially for birds. That being said, I have one old, old finch that would have died years ago in the wild. He has no equilibrium, and hasn't been able to fly for over a year. He just eats, sleeps, and sits under a heat lamp all day. So I guess he's better off with me. But I still feel a twinge of guilt when the wild finches fly by his window.
 

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Although that argument assumes that for every domestic animal, there's one spared the agony of living in the wild, that's not necessarily true. Unless you capture enough to make the wild population go down, whether there are billions of domestic animals or none at all makes no direct difference to the wild ones. (There are indirect influences, of course, as domestic animals must be fed and they produce waste, both of which affect the environments of wild animals.)
 

C&K

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It just seems so silly to persue this type of "mission" when in this world, we can't even get parents to stop beating their kids, pigs and chickens out of cruel boxes where they are being grown to suit our purposes, or people from blowing up other people, simply because their beliefs ar e a little different.

We have children dying, every three seconds, due to hunger and poverty, and our forests are being leveled at an unpresidented rate, not due just to deforestation, but also with the spread of alien insects.

You want to see animals as human slaves that need to be liberated, then fine, but the plain fact is, in my community, the road being built was a huge public debate tied up by protests for nearly 10 years. The last municiple election was its main issue. Do we prohibit a road from causing massive distruction to the environment or not, it was very very close, unfortunately, the ones on side of the road won, but, I can assure you, as a community we where much closer to saying no to it then we would have been in the 1950's. Back then our harbour was a black pool of goo, where you would actually be able to see bubbles of gas rising up to the surface, and all the area marsh land being filled in.

Will putting a C&C cage into a non animal lovers home make them an environmentalist? No, but I know my parents where both very ignorant to the enviornment, but kept animals in fairly reasonable conditions. From my love of my pets, I looked at nature shows, and then that led me to understand more about my environment. Now, my kids follow much the same path.

I firmly believe, that had I not been exposed to a cuddly furry friend, then I would not hold the same position or values I do today.

I remember, when I first arrived here, saying that it was wrong to eat a guinea pig or rabbit, but thinking it fine to eat a pig or cow. Why? Because one is cute? Deemed a pet? I now see it as one and the same. If you want a side of beef for dinner, I should be prepared to eat my pet, or at least not view it as "different". Had I not loved my pets, or built that bond with them, I don't see that arguement being translated as effectively to me.

In the end, I agree we do not have the right to treat animals badly, or house them in conditions that cause their untimely death. But, as for the ethics of keeping them at all, I think bigger issues are at hand.

Want to come to my neighbourhood and talk to the woman who is fleeing her abusive spouse with 6 kids in tow? Want to talk to the people who are here after having fled death squads in their native country? The person who saw his family brutally murdered? The child who just had the crap kicked out of him by a parent? The kids that go to bed hungry every day in my neighbourhood? The kids all around the world who are killed like they are vermin? The children who don't have parents due to AIDS?

Maybe the arguement in your "movement" is that animals matter no less then people". Well, last time I checked, I looked mighty tasty to a lion, and no guinea pigs are going to help me find food in the Andies should I get stranded there over winter. My loyalty is to my species first; provided that they are not torturing the animals in their care, I am ok with that!

As for the animals, all the animals in my care where homeless. I do not support the breeding of more, as they are all so overpopulated. What altrnative is there for the animals in my care? I have not asked them to be here, but they are, so I will take care of them as members of my family.

Would I support the breeding of more, in a perfect world where no homeless animals existed? Maybe, but the point is, to me, there are much bigger fish to fry (maybe not the best metaphore) then owning and keeping a pet as a cherished member of the family!

We have to get people to stop abusing their animals (and children) We have to stop seeing animals tortured in the farm industry, we have to end the suffering children in poverty endure, and maybe, perhaps, it is more important to try and restore world peace, before some nutjob gets their hands on some nuclear warheads and blows everything sky high!
 
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