Should vegans abstain from… owning pets?

I had so much fun writing my should vegans and vegetarians abstain from drugs post that it’s inspired me to write about if vegans should own pets. Now, please hear me out before you judge, I’m not saying they shouldn’t own pets, I am just discussing reasons why some people may think they shouldn’t…

Vegans and vegetarians believe no cruelty should come to animals, which is why many of them do not support zoo’s because they believe it is cruel to keep them out of their natural habitat. Yet, you’ll find a lot of vegans own pets, such as cats, birds and even recently there has been a rise in people owning hedgehogs as pets.

First, let’s look at cats. Cats as a species are able to survive on their own, they know how to hunt, they are very independent creatures and are also very smart. In many countries such as Cyprus and Madeira you’ll find cats are mainly outdoors animals rather than pets. So why do we in countries like the UK and USA do we keep them at pets? Surely this can be considered the same as keeping animals in as zoo? You keep an animal perfectly okay of looking after themselves into your home, you are keeping them confined to your rules and making them live off what you say. They eat what you give them, a lot of them are indoors cats so they’re not even allowed the freedom to go outside and properly explore and exercise like the rest of their species? They survived for years outside just like animals in a zoo, yet here they are being submissive to a humans rule.

Now, you can counter this by saying that people can give these animals better lives than they have on the outside. They have guaranteed food, shelter and (most of the time) love. But with the increase in breeding a lot more animals are being handed in to shelters and losing the quality of life they could have had if they’d been left to their own species and evolution.

Hedgehogs. Now, that’s one pet I don’t understand. When I think of Hedgehogs I always think of those road safety clips as they are outdoors animals that have learnt the keys to survival. Surely, trapping them in cages in a living room is the same as having lets say a monkey in a cage at a zoo?

What do other people think? Should vegans and vegetarians have pets at home like cats and hedgehogs and many more that are perfectly capable of surviving alone in their natural habitats, or is it okay as there is the potential of them maybe having a better life? (


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