Pets aren’t people… are they?

When I was growing up, I never understood why people would get so upset when their pets died. Of course, I never really cared for the pets I had—starved my hermit crabs to death; fed my guinea pigs but didn’t love them. I wasn’t sad when they died.

Then, years later, my then-girlfriend (now-wife) and I got a cat. We’ve had him seven years, and I can’t imagine life without him. Now, just thinking that we probably have only another seven to ten years left with him makes me sad. I know I’ll be shaken with grief when he dies. Cats and dogs are special pets. They really form a bond with you and you with them.

They aren’t people, though. I’ve noticed that. People seem to have very little problem neutering/spaying, microchipping, or euthanizing pets. (Apparently, though, it’s cruel to declaw a cat?) And, apparently, neutering/spaying, microchipping, and euthanizing humans are unethical acts, at least for most people.

It’s just one of those things, I guess. We’ll eat animals. We’ll befriend animals. We’ll spoil animals, but we won’t quite treat them as human. I think I’ll stop writing now… go have a conversation with my cat instead.


  1. Well, yeah. My cat is about 2 years old, and she can be pretty annoying when she wants affection. She just gets in the way of my desktop, leaves hairs all over my laptop keyboard, and meows until you pet her. I do like her, but she likes us just a little to much.

  2. Animals aren’t people, but they are living, breathing, intelligent, sentient creatures capable of emotion, complexity, and many of the things you feel yourself.

    Spaying and neutering are done for the good of the animal (a quick surgery will save them years of painful childbirth and the frustrations of mating, as well as sparing the unborn puppies and kittens the misery of going homeless or dying), and euthanasia is necessary in some cases. As for declawing, that’s a completely different ball game. I would never declaw my cat because he stands to gain nothing and it’s quite painful even after the surgery.

    Of course people are held to a different standard than animals. For example, we aren’t going to spay and neuter our kids. But that goes without saying. I don’t think that because animals are different than people diminishes their ability to befriend us, or our responsibility to them as compassionate and decent human beings.

    Give your cat a hug for me. Take good care of him and enjoy your time together.

  3. I seriously think it relates to our barbaric minds, which to stay alive can in some cases force us to create a relationship with mother nature around us. Which in turn causes us to domesticate and befriend us.

    Its all human nature, perfectly normal for a person to have emotions for an animal.

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