Owning an animal, really?

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It’s very surprising that in the second decade of 21st century we still think we can own animals.

Owing in general has been a big issue for humanity and has reached gigantic proportions due to our consumer society. I can understand owning things. Ok, that makes sense, although even there we could be a bit more flexible for the benefit of all, though our egos would not like that. That I am sure of.

But lets look at owning animals or as we sometimes refer to them, pets. I don’t like that expression. It implies the animals is there for our entertainment, rather than companionship.  We get a dog and we are called – dog owners. As if we just bought a plastic toy that we will be playing with until we are done or it breaks. We somehow forget that a dog is a living being and thus, just like us, has the right to choose. They love humans too much to negate anything to them. But from our standpoint what gives us the right to own a living sentient being?

We generously take our dog out on a leash. We generally want our dogs to go where we want them to go and for as long as we want them to. Some people like keeping their dogs outside, in their yards, on a leash, for protection. Those people probably reason that animals aren’t as smart as humans, thus won’t mind being limited to the length of their leash. If dogs rebel and run away, we’ll search high and low to get them back. They are ours, aren’t they?!

We love our kitties so much, that some of us don’t let them out at all. They might run away or get hurt, we reason, so we’ll keep them inside. Some apartment complexes are so ‘helpful’ that they even forbid us to let our kitties out, just as precaution. Some kitty lovers even went so far that they kindly rid their kitties of their claws. Luckily this type of human kindness is now forbidden in most places.

What if humans lived in bear world. Imagine you were free and are walking around minding your own business, while bears are busy in their cities going to and from work. Suddenly, you are rescued and put into a human shelter, for your own protection, of course. A bear family comes in, because a little bear cub wants a pet. They see you, they think you are really cute, not too smart, but that’s OK, that’s why you won’t run away.

The bear family gets a leash for you, but decides to not let you out of their bear cave. It’s much better for you that way. They’ll feed you when they see fit and clean your toilette whenever they get a chance. Some bear studies show that human skin is too sensitive to be washed. Unlike bears, we are not as hairy, so washing can be hazardous for us, bears seem to think. So sorry, no baths, again for your own good. I wonder what we’d think of owning a pet then?

Animals are great companions. Loving and forgiving beyond human comprehension. They are fully present in the here and now and instinctively know how to survive. They are one with nature and contribute greatly to its fine balance.

I wonder how long before we can say this for human beings? Seems like we’ve been waiting for a long time now.

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