Will we ever live in a world without pets?


#1

[Read the post]


#2

If that came to pass our best bet would be to breed intelligent apes to replace them


#3

And soon afterward WE become the pets. Poetic.


#4

So are we assuming cats and dogs go extinct here? Or do the Vegans take over and force the rest of us to turn them loose in the wild? Or maybe Jesus raptured them?


#5

Will we ever live in a world without pets?

Why would you want to?

As Will Rogers said, “If dogs don’t go to heaven, when I die I want to go where they went.”


#6

https://vimeo.com/64037924


#7

I am not going to listen to the podcast. I can’t understand even the premise of us not having pets, any more than not having kids. You are a steward. They (ALL!) have rights.


#8

Gah, I can get a little fighty about things like this.

It took a solid two years for me to bind with my dog. The cat Chuck took me almost a year. Isis took us 5+ years. The others have been different, but would take time to type.

There is a mutual connection. And it is profound. And effing hell it is worth the time.


#9

The podcast doesn’t try very hard to understand this premise. “We don’t want to take away anybody’s pet dog or cat, we just want the institution to fade away”- and they then spend the rest of the episode imagining how and why someone might want take away your family member. Ugh.

I rather wish they’d gone into some detail about how much animal suffering is caused from people’s careless choices about breeding or abandoning animals. That right there is the best reason I can think of, to make it harder to own pets. If you had to earn the right to own one, you’d be less likely to neglect or abandon your charge.

They might have gone into some of the psychological reasons why it’s easier to bond with animals than with other humans. Unlike children, pets never grow up. They don’t become suddenly rebellious as teenagers. (and if they do, they don’t suddenly acquire civil rights at 18) Are pets a harmless substitute for children? Are they practice? Are there ways that pet ownership sets people up to fail at parenthood?

And then to acknowlege the elephant in the room, (Happy Birthday!) If ti’s wrong for individual families to own exotic animals, is it somehow less wrong for Zoos to own them? The Anchorage zoo has an elephant. Can you imagine a worse place to keep a large tropical animal? If it’s a problem for SeaWorlad to keep orcas, it’s at least as much of a problem for zoos to keep elephants.

Finally, there is a direct comparison to be drawn between the ownership of humans, and the ownership of animals. Not all the arguments against slavery were about it being bad for the slaves, there were and are reasons that it’s bad for people to own humans, that are bad fro the owners. Ownining non-human animals can also be bad for the owner, and that’s worth a look.

TL:DR; you could make an entire series of podcasts about the problems of pet ownership. Too bad this is as far as most people seem williong to take it.


#10


#11

I saw some dog gravestones from the early 1800s, and was struck by how often the dogs were referred to as ‘servants’ -as in ‘our faithful servant’, ‘dutiful servant’, etc. I think our attitudes have been changing and will continue to do so in the future.


#12

Ha! Came here to post exactly that!


#13

Careful with that stuff!

Grandma is a rhino, my brother is a dog, I can tell it’s animal day, because my best friend just turned into a frog!


#14

I don’t know all that much about Doris Lin. I do know that her world is completely different from mine. She is an urban activist with a PHD-MD, living in Elizabeth, NJ., While I am pretty well educated, but still a rancher, living at the headwaters of the Canejos river, on land in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, that our family has kept pristine for more than a century. I am sure from the urban wasteland of Elizabeth, she has come up with many highly interesting theories for how we up here in the mountains should interact with our animals. But here are some observations from my perspective-
We have a few cats. They think they are pets, but they are employees. One patrols inside the house, she is named “Mrs.Cat”. her job is to kill anything that moves. She is very good at her job, and enjoys bringing a half-dead mouse onto our bed to show us. Other cats live outside, in barns and outbuildings, and have names like “barn cat #4”. We live in a big, old stone house, but the mice get in somehow. The cats are required. The Dogs have jobs as well. One herds cattle. If a couple of cows are wandering off, I only need to call the dogs name, point at the offending cows, and he goes out and brings them in.I also have a Brittany Spaniel bird dog, who is my companion at all times.He can sit happily on the back seat of a four wheeler for several hours with no complaints. and is an expert in tracking and pointing game. These animals love what they do, and their tasks here on the ranch are very close to the tasks that their ancestors were bred to do. And they are an essential part of the effective running of the ranch.
Dr. Lin has likely never seen domestic animals working at their full potential as they do on the ranch. I expect she has had more contact with those little rat dogs that old ladies carry around. I have an aunt who has kept a series of those. Mean, inbred little monsters, if you ask me. But if Dr. Lin is basing her theories on urban pets, without looking to a place like ours, where the animals have specific jobs that they enjoy, she is missing out on a big part of the story.


#15

It would be a sad world. But it’s the dream of PETA, who have the stated goal of making pet ownership illegal, and who equate having a pet with human slavery. Seriously. That’s why taking an animal to a PETA shelter is pretty much a death sentence, as they would rather see the animal put down, than adopted as a pet. Sick. Sick. Sick.


#16

Thank goodness the opinions of PETA don’t really matter. I have never met anybody who would seriously hold an opinion like that. I have to confess I’m a little baffled why we’re even having this conversation.


#17

PETA is an extremist org. But art is right. They would rather a pet be put down than “enslaved”, which makes no goddamn sense.

It is also counter productive to their goals. If you want people to be more empathetic towards animals, don’t remove the main way people have an honest, empathetic relation with animals.


#18

In the UK it was usual for letters from civil servants and other officials to end “Believe me to be, Sir, your humble and obedient servant”, which actually translated as “this is an order.”


#19

If PETA and the vegans get their way there will be fewer non-human mammals, not more. Veganism is enormously land-intensive since it relies on low yield crops.


#20

I’m trying to think of ways in which my dog “serves” us and my list is like:

  • Chaser of small birds and moving leaves
  • UPS Package-delivery-warner
  • Lap warmer
  • Yogurt-lid-cleaner