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Korn
Feb 25th, 2007, 05:30 PM
Hi,
I've been in contact with Fekkler, who started this (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13838) thread about the rights and wrongs regarding keeping pets. We plan to have a poll in this section soon about this topic, and here are a few reply options so far:

Is it right for a vegan to keep a 'pet'?



No. I don't have the right to own and train a 'pet' even I personally would enjoyed having one around me.
No. I don't want to take the responsibility for or execute any power over the life and death of another sentient being.
No. Veganism means choosing to live without using animals for food, clothing, entertainment or any other purpose.
No. I can't be against keeping cows and sheep in captivity, but defend keeping dogs and cats captivated.

No, but... I don't think keeping pets (other than rescued animals) is ethically acceptable, but my love for / desire to be around animals is stronger then my principles.

Yes. These animals are highly domesticated, and unless we exterminate all of them - which I don't think we have the right to do - someone needs to take care of them.
Yes. I already had a 'pet' before I became vegan, and plan keep it as long as it's alive.
Yes. I think having cats and dogs among humans will help humans to see and understand that animals have feelings and deserve respect, and maybe help more people go vegan.



Yes/No. I'm all for keeping rescued animals or animals that otherwise would have been homeless, but against keeping other pets.




Comments and suggestions for additional reply options (or changes in the suggested ones) are welcome...

Barley
Feb 25th, 2007, 07:35 PM
I would choose the last option - I would gladly forsake having rescue animals if the pet trade would just disappear, even though I love my companion animals to bits.

RedWellies
Feb 25th, 2007, 07:50 PM
I think it does somewhat depend on the animal. Personally, I think the relationship between man and dog can be a mutual one. I believe that originally man didn't domesticate wolves; they had a mutually agreeable alliance. Of course, things have gone a little haywire since!

harpy
Feb 26th, 2007, 02:42 AM
Could you perhaps modify the last option, or add an extra one to read something like

"Yes/No. I'm all for keeping rescued animals or animals that otherwise would have been homeless, but against the pet trade"

Along the lines of what RW said I believe it's likely that dogs (and cats) originally "self-domesticated". If we could return to a state of nature and a dog or cat wanted to move in with me I wouldn't kick it out :D

You might want to review the reference to captivity too as a lot of domestic cats are free to leave (even though obviously they can't return to their natural habitat).

twinkle
Feb 26th, 2007, 02:49 AM
Well, I personally subscribe to " I don't want to take the responsibility for or execute any power over the life and death of another sentient being.", however, that's my personal preference, I would not presume to say that someone who had rescued an animal which would otherwise be in a shelter was not vegan, on the other hand I can see the point that keeping "pets" might be a bad example, as it makes it look like we have the right to control the destinies of non-human animals.

Can we have a "sittin' on the fence" option?

Tigerlily
Feb 26th, 2007, 04:43 AM
Could we mention how we might be okay with cats/dogs/bunnies but not exotic pets like lizards/snakes.

Korn
Feb 26th, 2007, 06:50 AM
Could we mention how we might be okay with cats/dogs/bunnies but not exotic pets like lizards/snakes. Maybe...? Can you suggest a reply option - a sentence that contains a short explanation (re. why it would be OK to keep dogs/cats etc)? IMO, the reason people have the opinion they have is a lot more interesting than what opinion they have...

Can we have a "sittin' on the fence" option?
Yes!

triona.d.
Feb 26th, 2007, 08:09 AM
oh, this is SUCH a difficult one. personally, i feel like my dog is one of my best friends and i truly believe that he ENJOYS living with us. unlike cows, who i'm sure do NOT enjoy being milked/slaughtered. but i don't like the thought of the pet trade and all the breeding just for our enjoyment. oh, i don't know! however, they ARE domesticated and have been for so long but then that's not really an argument because cows have been milked for so long. mmmmm, tricky.....

sjne01487
Feb 26th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Ask the anmimals I have rescued from death, they will give you a better answer.
Stan Johnson, England

Nicola.T
Feb 26th, 2007, 04:30 PM
Yes. I already had a 'pet' before I became vegan, and plan keep it as long as it's alive.
Both my cats were just kitten when i got them but i do believe that they are better off with me than they were with there previous owners who had them living in a shoe box under there bed.

To each vegan itís a personal choice i donít think you can really say it's a yes or no situation.

Well thatís just my 2 cents

Barley
Feb 26th, 2007, 06:59 PM
Ask the anmimals I have rescued from death, they will give you a better answer.
Stan Johnson, England
What an excellent post! :)

Mahk
Feb 26th, 2007, 07:36 PM
The poll question is a complex, multi-faceted one that I for one cannot give an answer too (because it boggles my mind). Several aspects have already been brought up: is the species an already "domesticated" one?...is the animal a rescued "orphan"? For me, one of the main stumbling blocks is living with an animal that is dependent on me buying dead animal flesh products to feed it. A dog that I feed a vegan diet to seems entirely different to me from a cat, which I feel must be fed meat, in order for it to be healthy. I'm no expert in this field and I mean no offense to anyone who buys meat for their animals. As a response to the poll, I guess I'd word it:

"Yes, as long as the animal itself is kept as a vegan and is not fed meat."

Holly78
Feb 26th, 2007, 08:14 PM
This is something I have given much thought to. I believe that it is wrong to use animals for any purpose, including companionship and therefore I am against the pet trade and 'hobby' breeding.

However, it breaks my heart that hundreds of thousands of animals are put to sleep every year in rescues for lack of homes. They didn't ask to be born and are the innocent victims of a pet owning society. I do not believe that it goes against my vegan principles to have companion animals that would otherwise live out their lives in a rescue/be put to sleep.

I love my companion animals (four rats) dearly and I do enjoy having them around. However, I can honestly say that if there were no animals in rescues, I would not keep them because breeding for companionship is no different to breeding for food/clothing etc.

veganlinda
Feb 26th, 2007, 08:59 PM
A difficult one. For me I am my cats pet. She has freedom to come and go and chooses to stay with me. I do agree there has to be respect for animals who cohabit and it should not be an industry. It's not the sharing my house space I have a problem with it is buying cat food as cats can't be veggie unlike dogs so although I keep her on fish that is not ideal. But she did not grow up as a mouser and although I have tried using the additive you can use to make veggie cat food I have not been too successful.

Charlotte
Feb 27th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Cats refuse to be owned!

I'm of mixed opinion, some creatures have been domesticated for so long that they cannot feasibly returned to the wild. When I next chose to live with a non human animal I want to rescue it.

Klutz
Feb 28th, 2007, 09:19 AM
I would have to pick all three yes options.

I also do not think of my dogs as "pets". They are my companions. We live together. We sleep together, we eat together, we play together, we walk together, we have wild tickle fights together.

I've been slowly introducing the concept of animal companions to my kindy kids instead of "pet". I also try to avoid all activities that divide animals into four groups: farm, zoo, and pet. I hate that.

Korn
Feb 28th, 2007, 09:36 AM
I would have to pick all three yes options.Do these three options cover all your reasons for having the viewpoints you have?

I also do not think of my dogs as "pets".
Lots of people don't like the word pet, which is why I wrote 'pet' instead. :)
Some people don't like the word companion animals either, because it sounds like it's made up as an excuse for owning animals or for the 'pet' trade.

Do we need more reply options before we start the poll?

fiamma
Feb 28th, 2007, 10:19 AM
Call me picky :D but I would prefer the poll to be entitled "As a vegan, what is your opinion about keeping pets?" I know it's not as "catchy" or succinct, but the wording "is it right for a vegan" makes me feel that a law is being imposed on me from outside :) And we all know as vegans that veganism isn't a "law" or set of rules. I don't think I'd vote in the poll with the wording as it stands currently.

Korn
Feb 28th, 2007, 10:24 AM
That definitely makes sense to me, and since this is a forum for vegans only, maybe we don't need the words 'As a vegan' either?

RedWellies
Feb 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM
Sounds better to me:)

fiamma
Feb 28th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Agreed :)

Klutz
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Do these three options cover all your reasons for having the viewpoints you have?
Well, I also have to say this: if being vegan meant that I had to give up my dogs, I would not be vegan. That doesn't mean that I would suddenly start chomping on a chunk of cow, but I would not call myself vegan. I would much rather have my heart ripped out of my chest by someone with very dirty fingernails than give up my dogs.
Also, it's not looking like I'm ever going to find a human companion. Does being vegan mean I then have to live my life alone? No thanks. I prefer to have companions and right now, dogs are the best kind of companions for me as they do not have any nasty or disagreeable habits (eat meat, drink alcohol, smoke, do drugs, be cruel to animals, go to church, etc.) Hard to find a human that fits all that. Don't see why being vegan should mean I deprive myself of animal companionship.
I don't really see a way of incorporating all that into a poll option though. :) But, I've just stated my piece, so it's easy for me to bow out of a poll.

fiamma
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:19 AM
Klutz, one possibility might be to have a poll option that says "I feel that keeping animals is compatible with veganism." What do you think?

Klutz
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:20 AM
fiamma, :D And here I thought I was difficult to sum up! I love your poll option! Korn, can we have that, too?

Korn
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:41 AM
"I feel that keeping animals is compatible with veganism."
... which should cover animals bought from the 'pet trade', puppy farms etc. as well? A yes to commercial breeding?