Are Pets Happy?

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Are Pets Happy?

In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Do people think pets are happy living domesticated lives, or do you think they don't really care either way?

Personally, I think if they had the chance to live "naturally" without interference, they'd probably prefer it, as they're much more in tune with instinct than humans allow themselves to be. But we've created this framework that basically forbids "wild" animals roaming around; we have Animal Control come scoop 'em up and cage them. Of course, there are public safety concerns, but it's a big step from allowing safe living of "free" animals and having them as pets, riding in cars, wearing Halloween costumes, not being allowed to enter and leave the house as they please.

I have pets and one is pretty comfortable in our home, but one just wants to be outside all dang day and hunt chipmunks until they become extinct. Both have been with us since shortly after birth, so they haven't had radical lifestyle changes.

Thoughts?
(note: I was a Philosophy minor, so I might be overthinking the plight of the "non-human animal" more than people tend to do)
01/08/2012
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Rossie Rossie
My poodle definitely prefer living a domesticated life, he often behaves more like a human than a dog. He loves to roam the open space, only if it's on a good dry day. He likes to sniff around in the yard, if the grass is not wet and soggy. He hates stormy weather, and he'll pick a room where there's no opened window, so he doesn't have to listen to the howling wind. While some dogs love to pick up and munch on a lot of inedible stuff, mine doesn't even bother to sniff at them. I can go on and on about how human-like he is!
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
An animal that's used to living in the wild will want to stay there because that's what's familiar and comfortable, and making the shift can be extremely stressful. But really, animals don't romanticize the idea of "freedom" the way humans do.

An animal's primary concerns in life are food and shelter (including enough space and a sense that their territory is secure), followed by mating and playing (as well as whatever species-specific behaviors might contribute to overall health). Animals don't prefer to "live naturally" so much as know that they can get what they need, in a way that's familiar to them. A domestic pet whose needs are met (or curbed, as mating is with neutering) is generally perfectly fine.

Some of the other things you mentioned require more detailed answers that are going to be affected by species, the individual animal, and that animal's upbringing, and there's no "one size fits all" answer for many of these issues. Also, there's differences between wild, tame, domestic, and feral animals that shouldn't be trivialized, but I'll go on all night if you let me.

But basically, a pet that's used to living as a pet, has what it needs to stay healthy and entertained, is allowed personal space, is free from abuse, and doesn't suffer dramatic shifts from the norm, will be happy.
01/08/2012
Princess-Kayla ♥ Princess-Kayla ♥
I actually watched a show about the science of dogs and how they're so dependent on people. They had a cage with meat in it, and a wolf sniffed it and tried for like 30 minutes to get it out before they took it away. The dog sniffed the cage, then waited for the person to help him out.

I believe they are happy with people because of the way their eyes light up when you come home, but really they don't know differently.

But think about dogs that do things like wait for their owner that's been dead for a long time.

I can't say if it's because they're happy or because they don't know what else to do, but I know when I see they're face light up as they charge at me when I come home, it makes me think they're pretty freaking happy.
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Princess-Kayla ♥
I actually watched a show about the science of dogs and how they're so dependent on people. They had a cage with meat in it, and a wolf sniffed it and tried for like 30 minutes to get it out before they took it away. The dog sniffed the cage, ...
Ah, indeed. In my little scientific analysis up there, I forgot about emotional displays. Yes, most pets definitely love their people.

Now that I've kicked myself out of zoology mode: My cat purrs a lot and walks around with her tail held high - a definitely sign of confidence and contentment. And she sleeps with me pretty much every night. About the only thing that I know frustrates her is that I don't play with her as often as I should. I need to get better with that.
01/08/2012
Rossie Rossie
Quote:
Originally posted by Princess-Kayla ♥
I actually watched a show about the science of dogs and how they're so dependent on people. They had a cage with meat in it, and a wolf sniffed it and tried for like 30 minutes to get it out before they took it away. The dog sniffed the cage, ...
Oh yeah, we love the "welcome home" dance my pooch does! He greets us one by one at the door, making sure nobody's being neglected.
01/08/2012
Moein Moein
Good question.
No, pets are not happy living inside 4 walls or in cages like birds. These animals are born to live free. They have their own world and habits. I think the most crime against animals is to treat them like criminals. Birds are the most victim of our human moods. Birds have wings to fly in all sky, but some people like to get them jailed for what? For passion !!!!

Other people remove pets claws , because cats may destroy the furniture!! It is just another crime. But the most extreme and terror crime against pets is that when some people sterilize them .

After all that, I dont think pets become happy.
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
Good question.
No, pets are not happy living inside 4 walls or in cages like birds. These animals are born to live free. They have their own world and habits. I think the most crime against animals is to treat them like criminals. Birds are the ...
Did you say in this thread that you have cats?
01/08/2012
EvilHomer EvilHomer
I think it entirely depends on the pet.

For example, a dog that is bred (by human control) for hunting might very well be happier outside and "wild"so might a bird that while hand raised parents were wild. But when you get to some breeds that have a major disadvantages in the wild, (think Pug, Boston Terrier, Papillon, ect) who would likely suffer and die in the wild I am not so sure about.

Also I doubt working dogs would like being a strict "pet".
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
Did you say in this thread that you have cats?
Ack, wrong link. this thread.
01/08/2012
Moein Moein
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
Did you say in this thread that you have cats?
Cats at garden not inside home, I mentioned that clearly in other post. they are free to go any where, and come again to stay and eat. they are free to breed and select partners. I and my wife never keeps them jailed inside home.
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
Cats at garden not inside home, I mentioned that clearly in other post. they are free to go any where, and come again to stay and eat. they are free to breed and select partners. I and my wife never keeps them jailed inside home.
Allowing them to breed freely leads to pet overpopulation, which will hurt wildlife in the long run. Domestic cats (and other domestic animals) are what might be considered an "invasive species" when allowed to roam at will, and can damage the ecosystem over time. It's a real problem all around the world.
01/08/2012
Moein Moein
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
Ack, wrong link. this thread.
Here is what I said:

link
01/08/2012
Moein Moein
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
Allowing them to breed freely leads to pet overpopulation, which will hurt wildlife in the long run. Domestic cats (and other domestic animals) are what might be considered an "invasive species" when allowed to roam at will, and can ...
sory,
We guess it is a problem, but in fact there are no problem in the wild life. We are the problem to wild life.
01/08/2012
Moein Moein
Announcement:
I am sory I some one feels angry about my post, believe me there are no personel issues here. I just describe my feelings about animals.
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
sory,
We guess it is a problem, but in fact there are no problem in the wild life. We are the problem to wild life.
Er, I'm not sure what you mean by "there is no problem in the wildlife." But I agree: Yes, humans are the big problem. Pet overpopulation and invasive species are a kind of sub-problem that we as a race have created and continue to perpetuate by not spaying/neutering our animals, and by allowing them to roam unchecked.
01/08/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
Announcement:
I am sory I some one feels angry about my post, believe me there are no personel issues here. I just describe my feelings about animals.
You're entitled to your feelings, absolutely. And I'm sorry if I came off as "angry," because I'm not. I feel this is an issue that many people have misconceptions about, though, and sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. (Doesn't help that I have to deal with similar issues everyday working in a pet store.)
01/08/2012
Chirple Chirple
You're asking the wrong questions.

First, you need to define if animals can even be "happy" or not at all. You never will, so I guess I questions like this have to, by nature, make large assumptions.

Is happiness having their needs met ? Is happiness not facing adversity ? Is happiness being safe and warm ?

Keeping a domesticated animal indoors keeps it safe, fed, and free of much disease. Is that happiness ?


Is it happiness to freeze to death in the winter ? Overheat in summer ?

Is it happiness that your paws bleed and crack ? To have your hair so matted that it hurts to move, matted with dirt and blood and fecal matter ?

Is it happiness to have parasites ?

Is it happiness to go hungry so that your body turns on itself ?

Is it happiness to become prey, to be injured and disfigured ?

Is watching your offspring starve or be picked off by predators happiness ?


I have to say, I really doubt it.

I support spaying and neutering because these are NOT natural and wild animals. If you want to look at it like that, these are invasive species we've created, and letting them populate and wipe out other creatures is just as bad as doing it ourselves.
01/09/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Chirple
You're asking the wrong questions.

First, you need to define if animals can even be "happy" or not at all. You never will, so I guess I questions like this have to, by nature, make large assumptions.

Is happiness having ...
I think I love you.
01/09/2012
Rossie Rossie
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
Cats at garden not inside home, I mentioned that clearly in other post. they are free to go any where, and come again to stay and eat. they are free to breed and select partners. I and my wife never keeps them jailed inside home.
I agreed 100% with Rin and Chirple, the facts they've listed are SO true.

Humans know how to use birth control on ourselves while animals don't. Do you like to see even more feral cats running all over the earth, if humans don't take control and sterilize them? Do you think they can actually find enough food on the street to feed themselves? And sickness, who's responsible for curing them, do you want to see them dying allover the place? I know you love cats, but you need to be realistic and face the truth.

My groomer started a small cat adoption thing in her shop, you know what kind of cats people find and bring to her? 80% of those homeless cats are sick with infections, and/or pregnant. She pays out of her own pocket to nurse them back to health, and also rely on people's donation to keep her adoption service running. Her local vet also volunteers to sterilize all those cats before allowing people to adopt them.
01/09/2012
Moein Moein
Quote:
Originally posted by Rossie
I agreed 100% with Rin and Chirple, the facts they've listed are SO true.

Humans know how to use birth control on ourselves while animals don't. Do you like to see even more feral cats running all over the earth, if humans don't ...
For mellions of years animals like birds and cats have lived on earth without any protection from human, do they extinct? No, but when people take care of some animal -in the name of humanity- they extinct. Do you have any idea about how many species extinct by human civilizations?
People are the most dangerous thing for wild life. We destroy animal nests to build ours, we destroy their food to have ours. So, human ethics are not a relief for animals little problems.

Let us look at the human mercy: A wife bring 2 little beautiful Canary birds (in cage) to home, for what? Not to cooks them actually, but to add a (love) passion to her (nest) . How can she feels (love) if she has no mercy about these two cute canary? She locked them inside a 30cm cage and prevents them use their wings to fly, and build their own nest. She stopped them enjoy their own instinct, but otherwise allows her self enjoys (love) passion of two little poor jailed birds.
This is the conflict in our ethics toward bets (mainly: birds and cats)

Pets will not be happy if (jailed) inside homes. Do you think cat will be happy after getting a warm shower!! No, the happiness of cats is by their freedom. I saw 2 cats at my Aunt house they are very sad, all time just setting behind the window watching the street. I felt by them and tried to convince her to release them, but she refused.

Bed, Wiskas, and aircondition mean nothing to cats and birds, the only thing they care about is their free life. these animals living on earth before us, they don't need our help.

Please I beg you to feel this: If these pets have the superiority, do you feel happy if they locked you inside 4 walls and they give you just a food with no hope to get out for all your life?
01/09/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
For mellions of years animals like birds and cats have lived on earth without any protection from human, do they extinct? No, but when people take care of some animal -in the name of humanity- they extinct. Do you have any idea about how many species ...
You're thinking too much like a human.

Like I said in my first post, only humans feel so strongly about freedom as a goal in and of itself. Most animals don't think so abstractly. Birds, in particular, see flight as what it is: a method of travel. It doesn't hold the same whimsy for them as it does for us.

You're also ignoring other things we've said: things like proper space being allotted (a canary in a more specious enclosure will fare much better), and physical and mental needs being met. It's true that many pet owners don't meet these requirements, but those that do have perfectly happy, healthy animals. (Incidentally, just looking outside at the street is not an indication of sadness. It's enjoying the view.) This is not just me talking - it's vets and animal behaviorists as well, people who spend their whole lives studying the topic.

As for animals existing forever on this planet, that's true, but DOMESTIC animals have been created through human intervention, and do not fit into the natural scheme of things. Different considerations have to be taken for them. They are invasive species and no longer belong in the wild. Feral cats in particular have done irreparable damage to the natural ecosystem through overbreeding and overhunting.

I used to feel very similarly to you until I actually began studying animals and their behavior more closely. I know now that it's silly to assume that animals feel the same way about "freedom" that humans do.
01/09/2012
Rossie Rossie
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
For mellions of years animals like birds and cats have lived on earth without any protection from human, do they extinct? No, but when people take care of some animal -in the name of humanity- they extinct. Do you have any idea about how many species ...
I'm not a cat person, so I don't own cats. I do know a lot of people who have cats, they're all very contented to be with their human families. They're allowed to roam outdoors, but at the end of the day, they'll head home to be with their family.

Sorry, I'm against your logic completely, and I do not like to twist things around.
01/09/2012
Inker Inker
Quote:
Originally posted by Rossie
My poodle definitely prefer living a domesticated life, he often behaves more like a human than a dog. He loves to roam the open space, only if it's on a good dry day. He likes to sniff around in the yard, if the grass is not wet and soggy. He ...
my wife's poodle would go crazy if he was supposed to be wild! He doesnt even like going outside when he has to! He definietly lieks sleeping under the covers too, lol.
01/09/2012
In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Quote:
Originally posted by Princess-Kayla ♥
I actually watched a show about the science of dogs and how they're so dependent on people. They had a cage with meat in it, and a wolf sniffed it and tried for like 30 minutes to get it out before they took it away. The dog sniffed the cage, ...
But I think that has more to do with already-established bonds than it does with innate drives...
01/09/2012
In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Quote:
Originally posted by Rossie
Oh yeah, we love the "welcome home" dance my pooch does! He greets us one by one at the door, making sure nobody's being neglected.
Hah, that's adorable! Never let it be said that he plays favorites!
01/09/2012
In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
Good question.
No, pets are not happy living inside 4 walls or in cages like birds. These animals are born to live free. They have their own world and habits. I think the most crime against animals is to treat them like criminals. Birds are the ...
I agree about the importance of natural habitat (I dont understand how people could possibly cage birds--I think it's cruel).
01/09/2012
In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Quote:
Originally posted by EvilHomer
I think it entirely depends on the pet.

For example, a dog that is bred (by human control) for hunting might very well be happier outside and "wild"so might a bird that while hand raised parents were wild. But when you get to some ...
And you know, I hesitate to use the word "pet" because I find it a little condescending. Then again, that gets into a whole different discussion about worth and hierarchy, which often can get heated from what I've seen.
01/09/2012
In Between Soliloquies In Between Soliloquies
Quote:
Originally posted by Moein
sory,
We guess it is a problem, but in fact there are no problem in the wild life. We are the problem to wild life.

YES! I think that "overpopulation" is a manmade concept and that it is measured by our own standards of normalcy. It ignores the fact that humans themselves have created imbalanced ecosystems, which ultimately allow invasive species to thrive (like the snakehead fish).
01/09/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by In Between Soliloquies

YES! I think that "overpopulation" is a manmade concept and that it is measured by our own standards of normalcy. It ignores the fact that humans themselves have created imbalanced ecosystems, which ultimately allow invasive species to ...
It doesn't ignore the fact that it's a man-made problem. To the contrary, it embraces it. Domestic animals no longer fit into the natural world in the way that their ancestors did (they are invasive species by default anywhere but in human care), and can push out other species if humans don't take responsibility. It's one of the ways humans have caused an ecological problem, through our animals.

Furthermore, overpopulation is how so many animals end up homeless, starving, and dying in the streets because there are too many pets and not enough homes willing to take them in.

Pet overpopulation is a very real problem worldwide. To say it's not is to basically turn a blind eye to one of the biggest problems in the world of pets and pet care. Allowing domestic animals to breed indiscriminately is irresponsible of us, which is why spaying and neutering are so important.
01/09/2012
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