All Dogs Go to Heaven

Animals at the end of life

Is Pet Ownership a Basic Human Right?

Does every person, everywhere, have a basic right to enjoy and benefit from the presence of animals in their lives? And if so, does this entail a right to pet ownership? Read More

Great subject

Hi Jess, great article. IMHO, pet guardianship/ownership is a privilege not a right. While I agree that most people benefit greatly from animals and nature (not just companion animals) it is another situation entirely to take care of an animal in a responsible, reliable, compassionate, humane, intelligent way. That is a privilege that should be earned. On a side note, the Canine Good Citizen Test(CGC) which I am an evaluator for, tests the owners level of competence, responsibility and care as much as the pets ability. Russell Hartstein CPDT dog trainer Miami

interesting to think about

While I agree that there should be some limits set on animal ownership, such as not allowing people to hoard or to keep animals in terrible conditions or mistreat them, I think that we can go too far in setting limits. Do we want the Nanny State deciding who should have pets and yet it's fine for anyone to have as many kids as they want? That doesn't make sense, does it. Well, then, if we follow that line of thinking, maybe we should have tests before people can have children, too? But who makes those tests? What if they decide that you have to have certain IQ? A certain educational level? A certain race? No? Well, then where do you draw the line?

Haha

"Part of me believes that our interactions with animals should be confined to those that are mutually beneficial"

Uhh...why? Apparently humans are the only species on Earth that shouldn't be 'allowed' to benefit from animals if that doesn't directly and equally benefit the animals back. Is that based on the Bible of Jessica Pierce? I'm reading animal rights extremism from your views. And what does that even mean? What do animals 'want' aside from a home, food, and other essentials? Ownership can and should provide that.

I just can't see how you'd have that view without being affiliated with that 'movement'. I strongly suggest sticking with the side of you that sees the benefits of pet ownership. Unless you are saying that people who aren't caring for animals well by not providing them the '5 freedoms', shouldn't have the right to have them, then I would agree with you. If a well-cared for pet is living reasonably then no one should get in the way of the owner who chooses to own it. This also goes for exotic pets.

Interesting point!

Interesting point. I hadn't thought about it. Hawks have the right to kill and eat birds, but I shouldn't have one as a pet? Even ants have the rights to "own" aphids! They keep aphids to milk them for food! So we should have less rights than ants?

Melissa S wrote:
"Part of me believes that our interactions with animals should be confined to those that are mutually beneficial"

Uhh...why? Apparently humans are the only species on Earth that shouldn't be 'allowed' to benefit from animals if that doesn't directly and equally benefit the animals back. Is that based on the Bible of Jessica Pierce? I'm reading animal rights extremism from your views. And what does that even mean? What do animals 'want' aside from a home, food, and other essentials? Ownership can and should provide that.

Interesting point!

Interesting point. I hadn't thought about it. Hawks have the right to kill and eat birds, but I shouldn't have one as a pet? Even ants have the rights to "own" aphids! They keep aphids to milk them for food! So we should have less rights than ants?

Melissa S wrote:
"Part of me believes that our interactions with animals should be confined to those that are mutually beneficial"

Uhh...why? Apparently humans are the only species on Earth that shouldn't be 'allowed' to benefit from animals if that doesn't directly and equally benefit the animals back. Is that based on the Bible of Jessica Pierce? I'm reading animal rights extremism from your views. And what does that even mean? What do animals 'want' aside from a home, food, and other essentials? Ownership can and should provide that.

Human/animal interaction and basic human rights

Keep in mind that there is clearly a dedicated animal rights agenda to eliminate all pets from our lives, along with meat for the table, animals in entertainment, and in research. These powerful well-funded organizations are working tirelessly to introduce laws and regulations which will work towards that goal. While the message of the article is not directly related to animal ownership, there is a "teaser connection" between the human right to own an animal and the animal rights agenda. IMO it should be the right of all individuals who follow responsible animal management practices to keep and own an animal if they so choose. It is clear that those who abuse or cruelly treat animals should not be allowed to have those animals. At the same time, the majority of individuals in the public do treat their animals well.

We save what we love.

Humans save that which they love and they do not learn to love animals from afar. Television shows, documentaries, books and articles are a passing curiosity, without lasting commitment on human dedication. Experiencing animals and knowing them first hand is what creates the desire to save them. Pets open up a part of the human heart to other species and they teach us to love a being that is far different then humans. Their presence in our life teaches us empathy, acceptance, tolerance, communication and appreciation for the wonders of the world around us. For our pets we go the extra mile to be responsible. We try to educate ourselves in their proper care and we try to provide them with whatever they need. Because of our pets we become interested in conservation and we try to save the wild parts of our planet, rather than use it up just for the short term benefit of man. The love and commitment from the humans in their lives is beneficial for the individual animal and ultimately for all animals, human and nonhuman.

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Bioethicist and writer Jessica Pierce, Ph.D., is the author of the forthcoming book The Last Walk: Reflecting On Our Pets at Life's End. more...

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