Keep Plants Instead of Pets

Get plant friendly.

Plants don’t destroy clothing or furniture, they don’t bite, drool or bark. You don’t need a bag to pick up their poop if you take them on a walk. You don’t need to take plants to the vet.

Plants can smell wonderful. You can eat some of them, if you choose. Plants are green, real living things, and stay right where you put them. You can take day trips, or longer, and not worry about what your plants have done while you were away. Plants recycle carbon dioxide into air you can breathe. Plants are easy to recycle. You can talk to plants in any language.

You don’t need a “green thumb” to be an indoor gardener. Some research into the plants that will grow well in your space, indoors, is important and will help a lot with your success rate. Usually, plants like a sunny, south facing window. If you don’t have a sunny spot look into shade plants, the ones that tend to grow under trees. But, most don’t want all day sun, which isn’t a problem as our planet revolves around the sun and no window I’ve seen has full sun glaring in all day. Some plants like extra water, some very little and watering will depend on the season. Some plants like rich soil and some thrive better in poor dirt (but not dirt from outside for indoor plants – an insect issue).

You can bring a wild (feral) plant home, they don’t bite.

You can start with a small herb garden in a window. Or, if there is a plant you really like, try it. Look for houseplants, indoor garden plants and container gardens online and see what other people are doing. You might find a local group of indoor gardeners and see what they grow. Even indoors, some plants work better than others depending on your location. Starting in Spring is generally better. Most plants are dormant over winter so don’t set yourself up for discouragement. Plan in winter, plant in spring.

If you want to spend money on your plants, look for pretty, unique, artsy pots to keep them in. Upgrade to something fancy each time you repot your plant or use something you find at the thrift store like an old teapot. Repotting doesn’t have to be messy or troublesome (garden gloves are a good idea for cactus plants) put down newspaper or a plastic bag to collect dirt and the odd bit of root or leaf that goes astray. There are plants which like being potbound/ rootbound (left in the same pot as they grow).

The proclivity humans have towards plants is certainly not unique to the millennial generation: Houseplants are a concept that is believed to have originated in ancient Greece and Rome as early as 500 BC and in China as early as 200 CE. After all, the first imagined paradise on Earth was the Garden of Eden.

A well-cultivated plant can far outlive even our beloved pets, and can propagate more plants and literally grow alongside you and your family. “I think about the plants that are in my childhood home, and most of them are actually older than I am,” Blank reflects. “Plants have a weird connection to time. There’s a plant in my parent’s home that was propagated from my grandparents’ home and that plant has given life to plants in my friends’ homes, and there’s something so magical about that. This is why I find plants so compelling.”

Source – Why are more millennials buying into plant parenthood?

On a side note, the parent thing bothers me. I am never going to be a parent to an animal (non-human) or a plant. I don’t even want to be. Animals are not children, they grow up to be adult animals and it seems really needy to call yourself the parent of an animal that should have the respect of being an adult, a creature capable of managing it’s own life. We make animals/pets dependent, which is not at all the role of a good parent. You could say the same about indoor plants, but, they don’t seem to suffer for it as much as the animals do.

Animals Are Not Pests, or Pets

I found this on a site about bats. I think this applies to all animals and plants too, people should be giving animals, plants and nature in general space. Why do people want to control everything?

Text version of the image:

BatsRule – just because you can’t touch it, cuddle it, control it, profit from it, doesn’t mean its useless, ugly or a pest.

Is It Ethical to Keep Pets?

People may feel sorry for farm animals contained in a small space without any natural environment but they seldom consider the life of the animals kept as pets. Pets, people want to believe, like the life with their owners. I don’t think they really do.

Not matter how many indoor conveniences made for a cat, they don’t get to hunt, wander over a large territory (especially at night) and choose when they want to give or receive affection. Dogs get taken for walks. But, dogs really want to run for miles, and walking or jogging with a human owner isn’t even close to the speed and distance a dog would enjoy if they were not someone’s pet. When pets attack, become unhealthy (fat) I feel sorry for them. Without freedom to be the animal they are, pets are slaves to human owners.

Lets talk about pet breeding and pet hoarding. Pets are not able to give consent to their ownership. They are unable to ask for different or better care and conditions. All of this becomes a bigger issue with exotic pets, animals not even natural to our part of the world and those who live in water, or fly in the air, hide underground, in long grass, etc. most of their lives. We take animals out of their natural lives and turn them into pets, without their consent.

The institution of pet-keeping is fundamentally unjust as it involves the manipulation of animals’ bodies, behaviours and emotional lives. For centuries, companion animal’s bodies (particularly dogs, horses and rabbits) have been shaped to suit human fashions and fancies. And this often causes these animals considerable physical harm.

Social workers further recognise the powerful link between pet abuse and the abuse of children and women in domestic settings. The idea that it is acceptable to manipulate the bodies and minds of a vulnerable group to suit the interests of more privileged groups is consistent with the cultural logic of oppression.

Through this forced dependency and domestication, the lives of companion animals are almost completely controlled by humans. They can be terminated at any time for the most trivial of reasons – including behavioural “problems”, for belonging to a stereotyped breed, or the owner’s inability (or unwillingness) to pay for veterinary treatment.

Sociologists typically study prisons, asylums and other physical spaces as examples. But I believe pet-keeping constitutes a sort of dispersed “total institution”. This is because nonhuman animals are unnaturally forced under human authority, restrained, and re-socialised. True consent is not possible under such conditions. Animals are groomed to participate and those who are unable to follow the rules of human social life are likely to be punished – sometimes fatally.

Quoted from The Conversation, a post by Corey Lee Wrenn, author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory.

I really agree with her post and her points. I wish people would stop thinking of pets along the lines of cute stuffed animals to play with.