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Is pet ownership selfish?

  • I love animals, having pets around a home brings me sheer joy, 
  • I love the way they play, fight, eat, sleep, and everything about them. However, I sometimes worry that our decision to take these animals, shape them to what we think is right, and then confine them to our homes and cities maybe a little selfish. The issue widens too way beyond that and into things like the environment.

I’m not for a second saying that many pets are not happy. If treated right a dog, cat, bird, lizard, {insert other pet here}, can be extremely content and maybe considerably happier than their wild counterparts. Of course, often they could do with a little more time and the concrete block may not be as nice as a never-ending open field or an ancient forest of giant trees but life for wild animals is far from perfect.

So why is it selfish?

First off, animals are often forced to live in our world. They are made to feel bad for doing animal things, made to wear stupid collars and sometimes clothing for our amusement. Made to eat sub-standard food and more. Making them do all that is selfish.

Secondly in a world where people are dying from lack of food breeding an animal for the pure sense of entertainment and company and then feeding it daily could be considered a massive waste. We pump millions of dollars into the pet industry, just think of the good that money could do for humanity.

The environment suffers too. Domestic animal waste is not good for the sewers and our green spaces and we often don’t dispose of it correctly. All the disposable products we waste on them end up in landfills. Think cheap toys, plastic poop bags, and more.

Then our wallets themselves. Many people scrape by living paycheck to paycheck with kids but still have animals in the home and it’s rarely questioned. Sadly you can’t dump the animals on the street but maybe it is time they found a more affluent home?

I don’t want to stop animal ownership because they are simply an excellent addition to our lives. They improve us as people with their warmth and love and keep us happy in times of sadness and loneliness but I do think we should all consider our motivations and maybe adjust some of our behaviors.

What do you think?

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