Love or Ownership: Is it ethical to have pets?

Pet ownership has been going through an increasing trend, especially after the world-altering pandemic. However, with the happiness of caring for pets comes a great deal of responsibility, and moral considerations. Love should be at the center of every choice about our beloved friend’s well-being!

After the worldwide shift that has been catalyzed by a virus outbreak, months – and years of isolation crept up on the whole world. We realized our need for companionship and comfort, and what better way to seek it out than to welcome a new furry friend into our homes? They provide boundless loyalty, love, tail wags, and melodic purs. For us to simply exist, it is more than enough for our pets – because they love us without any conditions (that is if treats and daily cuddles are provided).

But the question still remains, are we keeping our furry friends by our side to simply distract ourselves from solitude? Is it really then ethical to keep their cute faces to light up our gloomy days? Or is it the route we should take to provide a better life for a friend that might experience life’s adversity if we didn’t lend a hand?

MyFriend is here to explore the importance of ethical issues, and why we have to take responsibility for our actions as pet parents. We will also offer some guidance and suggestions on how to make sure that your trusted and beloved companions are treated with the utmost respect and tenderness they deserve!

The Benefits of Having a Pet! 

Having a furry friend by your side can help you immensely whether they would provide you with unconditional love, and emotional support, and be the smiling faces that greet you home after the end of a long day. It’s been scientifically proven that our little friends improve not only our mental health but also our physical health as well!

They help children with autism learn practical and useful things that can help aid them in their everyday life. They help them get accustomed to an everyday routine, provide them with companionship, and aid them in their mental development.

When you’re a pet parent, you realize that you’ve taken on the responsibility of caring for another life. The sense of responsibility and empathy now strikes you as a duty of a pet parent – not a choice. Providing them with a roof over their head, snacks and food in their belly, and attention to fuel their heart and mental space are the basic things you need to do for your furry friend to live a long, happy, and healthy life. So they can be by your side, helping you on the adventures of life for years to come!

The moral dilemma 

Just for one second, let’s take off our shoes as pet parents and pet lovers, and view this from an objective perspective. We keep a little companion of a different species to have, for us, a mutual exchange. They give us love, attention, and affection, – we give them the same, and as we need to care for their livelihood, humans also provide them with sustenance, shelter, and all they need to survive and flourish. Some argue that humans see themselves as separate from the animal kingdom.

“Humans have developed moral systems as well as a wide range of other valuable practices, and by creating these systems, we separate the human from the rest of the animal kingdom.”

Followed with “According to this line of thought, speciesism isn’t focused on discrimination or prejudice but is a central tool for creating human supremacy or exceptionalism.” If we look at it from this perspective, humans have separated themselves from pets – so pets are not seen as equal counterparts to humans, but they are kept for other purposes instead. Whether that would be functional, like herding dogs or guarding dogs, or simply for their companionship. There is an unequal balance between the power of the two parties.

Dogs and cats have been domesticated and by our side for thousands of years. At this point in civilization, they need us. Left in the wild, the reminisce of their natural instincts are merely traces. So, is it really ethical to let them fend for themselves if we’ve been by each other’s side for this long?

MyFriend would like to argue that the relationship between pets and humans is still constantly evolving. With declining birth rates that are correlated with an increase in pet ownership, people are starting to treat their pets as if they were their own children. MyFriend understands and sees this (that’s why we’re working so hard to make it easier for you to love your furry friends)! Although we acknowledge that correlation does not imply causation, our furry friends are slowly becoming more accepted into our society – from pet-friendly parks opening up, to different services, venues, and products that are catered specifically for our trusted friends, the world is changing its view on human and animal friendship.

Seeing them as equal and providing the right love, attention, and making sure their basic needs are met, pawrents go above and beyond to provide for their furry friends. Pet Insurance, vet appointments, daily walkies, and cuddles are now crucial elements for a pet parent’s routine. Is this really an unequal dynamic between species? On one hand, they provide stable relationships, unconditional love, and joy for us, and we do the same for them as well. One can argue that not all pet parents are like that – and that is the sad fact of truth, but if you are reading this, there’s a good chance that your pet is well-fed in a happy home that cares for them deeply.

Where do we draw the line? 🤔

In an ideal world, all of our furry friends will get their needs met. There will be no strays, and everyone lives happily ever after! But unfortunately, real life isn’t as simple as that. The reality remains that some furry friends don’t get all their basic needs met, let alone the love and attention they need from their pet parents.

Mistreatment and neglect can result in physical and mental harm to our beloved companions. Pets that are left alone for extended periods of time without food or water, suitable housing, or exercise can become malnourished, dehydrated, or infected. Similarly, pets who are subjected to maltreatment or aggressive behavior can suffer from emotional distress, which can lead to anxiety, fear, and despair.

Pet breeding and purchasing have ethical considerations too. Some breeders concentrate appearance over the pet’s health and well-being, leading to genetic diseases and health concerns. Selective breeding can be done in a way to prioritize the pet’s health, although most breeders are aiming for a certain “look” from breeds. Pets that don’t reach the level of aesthetic that the market demands either get given away, neglected, or even sold at a discounted price – just because they don’t look as “aesthetically ideal” to the breed. Also, profiting from selling animals without proper regulations can contribute to the neglect and abuse of pets.

With our filled-out schedule, it can be hard to make time for our pets. But it’s a pet parent’s duty to provide proper care and attention to pets. Providing them with nutritious food, clean water, shelter, and medical care when necessary. That’s not all though! Pets need socialization, mental stimulation, and exercise to stay healthy and happy. Giving them the lessons they need in order to understand and know how to act in social situations is crucial and responsible pet parents should uphold this. That way, they can peacefully make new friends when you go to the park, or know when to sit and be a good boy when you’re having dinner with your friends at a pet-friendly restaurant. You both get to enjoy time together this way! It works out for the best, for both the pawrents and their pets.

If you are thinking about breeding your pet, you must do so properly, making sure the animals are healthy and well-cared for. Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization, on the other hand, is an amazing opportunity to provide a loving home for a friend in need.

But worry not, seeking out information and articles on how to be a good pet parent is a great indication that you’re already on the right track to being the best pawrent your furry friend can ask for! What is your take on pet ownership? Do you have any opinions or comments on it? Let MyFriend know! We’d all love to hear your take on this topic.

📰 MyFriend’s Paw Report is a segment for all news and upcoming trends that are spicy, trending, and sometimes controversial! Our reports are factual and unbiased so all pawrents can stay in the know.

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