What’s wrong with pets? The problem is that, you know, we bring these creatures into existence that are perpetually dependent on us. They’re dependent on us for when they eat, when they drink, when they go out, they’re really not animals, in the sense that they cannot take care of themselves, but they’re certainly, obviously, not human, so they’re just basically subject to our whims. Now, understand something: our pets, my pets, your pets, everybody’s pets, are property, whether it’s in the United States, or Canada, or any place else, they’re property. They have no intrinsic value, they only have the extrinsic or external value that we accord to them. So, I love my dogs, and I choose to value them highly, I choose to value those pieces of property that I own highly. But the law doesn’t require me to do so. The law allows me to value my animal property very low, and so as long as I give my dogs food, water, and shelter, I’m not violating the law. I don’t have to show them affection, I don’t have to have them living in the house, I don’t have to treat them as members of my family. And indeed, if I want, I can drive them to a kill shelter today. and say: “Here: I don’t want my dogs anymore, if you can’t find a home for them, you can kill them.” Or I can take them to a veterinarian who is willing to kill them, or I can basically kill them myself, as long as I do it humanely.
So they are property. And I object to that. I don’t think we can justify treating non-humans, whether for food, or for clothing, or as pets, I don’t think we can justify treating them as property. So, I’m just trying to be clear on what you’re suggesting here. I don’t believe you’re arguing that we should be treating cattle and codfish more like dogs and cats, and I’m sure you’re not arguing that we treat dogs and cats more like cattle and codfish, so what are you arguing? I’m arguing that we ought to get rid of domestication altogether. I’m arguing that, if animals matter morally, we ought to stop bringing them into existence and using them as resources. That we ought to take care of the animals that exist here now, but we ought to stop bringing domesticated animals into existence, and you know what, it would not only be a good moral thing to do, it would be good for our health, because I think the evidence that animal products are detrimental to health is increasing, and the reality is animal agriculture is an ecological disaster.
There are more points about not keeping animals domesticated, from the vegan point of view, on the site – Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
I don’t agree with not eating animals or animal products. But, I do think we have misplaced ourselves on the food chain. Actually, we have pretty much entirely removed ourselves from the food chain and eliminated most of the predatory animals which could have kept us as part of that chain. Our population has exploded due to putting ourselves on the top of the food chain. Our demands on the food sources of the planet have increased due to increased population. This is the real problem with domesticated animals and animal agriculture. We have warped the food chain to suit ourselves. Ironic that the very agriculture we created to make ourselves head of the food chain is now harming us.
Then there is the issue of pet food.
I don’t think pet owners consider the fact that animals have been killed to make pet food. So, how can they be animal lovers knowing other animals were possibly mistreated (often kept restrained in small spaces, etc.) and then killed and butchered in order to make the food they feed their pet? How is all of that okay with them. Most likely it is just something easier to ignore than consider at all. Do vegetarians, animal rights people, and even the vegans, consider what comes out of that can of pet food.