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Should vegans have pets?


Cristian
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I had an interesting conversation with a non vegan friend last week. He said that a vegan shouldn't have pets if he really cares about animal welfare. Most pets are bred for human enjoyment, even if a vegan finds a stray cat or dog he/she is supporting in some way the breeding industry. Technically, a non vegan person may want a pet but he's unable to find a stray one because a vegan found it first. The same applys to a vegan giving another vegan a pet because his cat just gave birth to few kittens. The mother and father are possibly related to a breeding farm of some sort. If our vegan cat is related to a breeding farm and goes hunting, aren't we indirectly responsible for the death of innocent birds? They would still be alive if it wasn't for pet breeding. Possibly different rules aplly to different pets but cats will probably hunt even if we feed them meat.

 

Does this make any sense? I can see where my friend was going with that even though I suspect he was playing the devil's advocate, but he made me think. I don't have a pet but I'd like to one day, would that be ethically vegan? Or would I just have a pet for my selfish enjoment? Then if we don't feed our pet a vegan diet, aren't we supporting the companies that produce food for pets by killing other animals?

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Technically, a non vegan person may want a pet but he's unable to find a stray one because a vegan found it first.

There's no way that there would ever be a lack of animals that need a home in these times.

 

If a time ever does come when there are more homes than pets who need them, then maybe it would make sense for vegans not to house them. But when so many animals are killed because there aren't homes for them, I see nothing incompatible about veganism and giving strays a home.

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I had an interesting conversation with a non vegan friend last week. He said that a vegan shouldn't have pets if he really cares about animal welfare. Most pets are bred for human enjoyment, even if a vegan finds a stray cat or dog he/she is supporting in some way the breeding industry.

Then by the same token, if one really cares about human welfare one would not adopt a human baby as they are made by humans enjoying themselves (ie human enjoyment). Also, by your friend's reasoning if one does adopt this human baby, it could be said that one would be supporting the sex/porn industry in some way, because well - there's still only 1 way to make babies.... Sorry, but your friend is waaay off ( directed at your friend)... and at a guess, I'd say he was trying to "yank your chain."

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I had The same applys to a vegan giving another vegan a pet because his cat just gave birth to few kittens.

 

All responsible pet caretakers should spay and neuter their pets (because there are so many homeless ones that are euthanized--over 100 cats a month at my local shelter that never even see the 'cat rooms' where they are for adoption) that bringing any more into the world is irresponsible.

 

I have a hard time with this: vegans and pets. It's something I've wrestled with personally. I do feel that having non-vegan animal companions and providiing food for them is in conflict with a vegan lifestyle and beliefs.

 

But I have pets: cats. Cats aren't vegan or even vegetarian (even some companies who promoted vegan diets for cats in the past are now recanting, after numerous cases of cats not only not thriving, but becoming ill. I once tried a vegan diet with the supplement you are supposed to add to your own lentils or whatever---they give recipes--on one cat once, and she violenty refused to eat it, and ended up with a very bad case of feline uroligical syndrome from it).

 

Ideally, vegans could have non-exotic, vegan pets (like rabbits) that are not bred for them. Dogs can be veg*n without problems, so they are perhaps the best companion animal (but I'm just not a dog person...can't live with them).

 

I would find it hard to live without my animal companions (and I see I'm not the only one!), they keep me in touch with other species, and ironically, though they are carnivores, it's my first relationships with cats that lead me to veganism, and helped me see the bond between humans and animals.

 

As for not 'owning pets' as a vegan: I think if one thinks in terms of 'buying' and animal, or 'owning' an animal, or having them simply as a decorative object, that is completely in conflict with being veg*n.

 

But cats and dogs in particular were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago, and they can no longer survive 'in the wild' (heck, nowdays, there isn't even enough 'wild' left for non-domesticated animals to be able to survive. Perhaps ideally, animals would all live in a natural environment (impossible unless the human population--and the crap we've replaced nature with, like golf courses and cement---would suddenly be reduced by at least 1/2).

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In the perfect world nobody would have pets...but the animals are already here...so long as you don't pay someone to produce them for us. Otherwise we'd just euthanize them...my only qualm with rescuing animals that are already here is the idea of feeding them other animals to keep them alive...dogs are easy to make vegan...cats are a bit tough but not that tough(I've seen cats that have lived well over 10 years on a vegan diet and have thrived)...and snakes are impossible but what do you do with all of them(big dilemma)...its very hard to say but is one cat really worth a lifetime supply if fish, or whatever else you may feed it...same with snakes and rats...I don't believe so

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In the perfect world nobody would have pets...but the animals are already here...

If by "nobody would have pets," you mean people not "owning" and seeing animals as toys or only existing for their entertainment, I agree with you. However, no animals in our lives at all is a different thing altogether. I have no problem being a vegan and/or another vegan having an animal roommate or adopting one, or 2 or 3 or however many they can support. Maybe instead of thinking all animals living in a household are pets, we could think of animals as being friends that live with us or adopted members of the family ?

 

Again, I agree that the people that view animals as toys or only existing for their entertainment should not have or should not be allowed to have animals living with them - the same as some people should not be allowed to have children living with them. But what about a person that sees an animal as an independent being that has its own needs and feelings ?

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Thats pretty much the same thing I believe...its just that if all animals that we have created were spayed and neutered there would eventually only be wild animals left and we would not longer have any of them unless we caught them in the wild. It wouldn't really be adopting them in that case unless of course a wolf wouldn't leave you alone and always tried getting into your house.

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If my cats a slave, I wish I were enslaved in such a manner.

 

Free house, medicine, food, etc.

No care in the world other than scrapping, sleeping etc.

Alright I did take away his nuts but his genes are being continued.

 

By human standards cats do well by people. If were not using human standards well, surviaval of the fittest/smartest.

 

Frankly if anyone said how could I have a cat I'd tell them they're a smug, self rightious hypocrite who judges me by irrelevent morales they do not begin to approach themselves.

 

Animal rights are important, as are enviromental concerns, but people dont exist in a vacuum. The question 'how do I help the enviroment and animal kind' does not lead to the answer, 'don't have a pet' it leads to the answer 'minimise the impact people have'. Ways to achieve this include, helping to reduce the population, human technological relience, and unsafe technology.

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I respect everyones views on this subject and I can see where everyones coming from....me personaly I have no problem living/sharing my life with animals.

 

Yes I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine...

 

Also you can't complain about animals in shelters and bad breeders....and then say it's wrong for vegans to keep animals, to me that's just adding to the problem instead of being a part of the solution.

 

I think the relationship between humans and nimals goes further back than backyard breeders, etc...and not everyone that has a pet is just out to satisfy their own needs.

 

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I respect everyones views on this subject and I can see where everyones coming from....me personaly I have no problem living/sharing my life with animals.

 

Yes I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine...

 

Also you can't complain about animals in shelters and bad breeders....and then say it's wrong for vegans to keep animals, to me that's just adding to the problem instead of being a part of the solution.

 

I think the relationship between humans and nimals goes further back than backyard breeders, etc...and not everyone that has a pet is just out to satisfy their own needs.

 

 

Ditto.

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I agree...in this present world I don't see anything wrong with vegans keeping animals but if you mention the past and people keeping animals for themselves...people also kept sex slaves for themselves...its not really a good excuse

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I had an interesting conversation with a non vegan friend last week. He said that a vegan shouldn't have pets if he really cares about animal welfare. Most pets are bred for human enjoyment, even if a vegan finds a stray cat or dog he/she is supporting in some way the breeding industry.

Then by the same token, if one really cares about human welfare one would not adopt a human baby as they are made by humans enjoying themselves (ie human enjoyment). Also, by your friend's reasoning if one does adopt this human baby, it could be said that one would be supporting the sex/porn industry in some way, because well - there's still only 1 way to make babies.... Sorry, but your friend is waaay off ( directed at your friend)... and at a guess, I'd say he was trying to "yank your chain."

 

haha I really should remember this argumentation! It's genius!

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If my cats a slave, I wish I were enslaved in such a manner.

 

Free house, medicine, food, etc.

No care in the world other than scrapping, sleeping etc.

Alright I did take away his nuts but his genes are being continued.

 

By human standards cats do well by people. If were not using human standards well, surviaval of the fittest/smartest.

 

Frankly if anyone said how could I have a cat I'd tell them they're a smug, self rightious hypocrite who judges me by irrelevent morales they do not begin to approach themselves.

 

Animal rights are important, as are enviromental concerns, but people dont exist in a vacuum. The question 'how do I help the enviroment and animal kind' does not lead to the answer, 'don't have a pet' it leads to the answer 'minimise the impact people have'. Ways to achieve this include, helping to reduce the population, human technological relience, and unsafe technology.

 

First of all I think there is no such thing as a "pet"! Secondly I think that you shouldn't think about the situation your "pet" lives in but rather about the situations in which thousands of "pets" have to live because there is a breeding industry. A good point to start is by watching "Earthlings". There you'll find everything well explained!

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Although the term used is "pet ownership" I think more accurately, in my case at least, is sharing our lives, co-habitation...something along these lines. Of course I enjoy my puppies but that's not why they exist and that's not why I brought them home. They both needed homes and arguably they needed love and I knew I could give them that. I see absolutley nothing wrong with providing food, shelter and guidance to an animal who needed it out of the bottom of your heart. Dogs are incredibly social animals. They want to be friends with us. I believe this is a natural relationship. You could argue that they were bred to be companions over the years etc but there are many documented cases of wild dogs befriending humans all on their own and becoming friends. Perfect world or not, vegans having canine companions is not a bad thing or a philosophical dilema. My pups have enriched my life beyond description and I know they have had a great life with me compared to the alternative. There's absolutly nothing wrong with that in fact we have a beautiful relationship. Just my humble opinion.

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I personally don't mind calling a pet mine...in the sense that if I had kids and someone asked me if I had kids I'd say yes...I wouldn't say no but I there are little children living in my home that my partner gave birth too. In a sense your kids are yours until there out of your care and even after that you say they're your kids...having ownership doesn't really mean complete control or anything

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I personally don't mind calling a pet mine...in the sense that if I had kids and someone asked me if I had kids I'd say yes...I wouldn't say no but I there are little children living in my home that my partner gave birth too. In a sense your kids are yours until there out of your care and even after that you say they're your kids...having ownership doesn't really mean complete control or anything

 

We use the word 'have'' in a non-dominating, non-possessive way in other contexts as well (ie: "I have a friend/a sister/an uncle") to indicate a relationship.

 

I was in a feed store the other day, and someone who was promoting some new cat/dog food asked me "Do you own any pets?" I replied "I have cats, but I wouldn't say I own them." He looked very puzzled, then asked me what I meant, and I told him that I don't think you can 'own' a living being, but that I considered them to be companions and part of the family.

 

(I HATE when people use the words 'own' or--even moreso--'buy' when refering to animals. And at the shelter I volunteer at, a couple of the workers tell people about the animals that are up for adoption by saying ËveryTHING in this room is ready for adoption." I'd say "everyONE".)

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I tihnk that since "we" domesticated them, well now it's our responsibility to care for them. There is no surplus of good homes for pets in need. But I can't imagine my life without my pets... they and my husband are my family! And I suspect they might like me, too!

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