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Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon
Comments by: Susan - 17 May 2006

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Once again, thank you for the information, and what you said was very reassuring and comforting to me. When my beloved cat, Leo, died of cancer last year, I grieved for him as if he were a person. Some people just donít understand what a bond we can form with animals, and how
broken-hearted we become when they become sick and die.

Because your love and concern for animals is quite obvious, I would like your opinion on another issue Ė regarding pets.

Lately, I have been feeling very uncomfortable with the thought of people keeping small animals as pets Ė when they are confined in cages and tanks. Iím referring to keeping birds and small rodents in cages and keeping reptiles and fish in tanks.

People have laughed at me for being what they consider too overly sensitive about it. But the thought of keeping these small creatures in what amounts to solitary confinement, really disturbs me, on some level.

I have 3 parakeets. They are sweet, adorable creatures, but now I feel
badly about the fact that they live in a cage. Now that I have the birds,
obviously I must keep them and care for them for the rest of their lives.
But after that, I would never again keep birds as pets. I cringe when I
see them living in a cage, when they should be free to fly outside in the
fresh air. Birds should not be kept imprisoned in cages!

I know people who keep small rodents such as hamsters and gerbils in what amounts to imprisonment, also.

My friendís husband keeps a snake for a pet. Itís kept in the basement.
Of course, its basic physical needs are met. Now, I must admit, snakes are definitely not my favorite animals. But when I really think about that
snake being kept in a tank in a basement by itself, I feel very sorry for
it. What kind of life is that for the snake??? That snake should be
outside in the fresh air and sunshine, not in a tank in a basement!

Also, there seems to be such an utter ruthlessness in some people, and I
canít understand it. How anyone could feed LIVE mice to a snake is
completely beyond me. I do realize that the snake must eat, but how any person could voluntarily participate in that process is something that I find totally revolting and incomprehensible. Some people are quite
ruthless, in this regard. They can watch this process take place, and not
feel anything Ė no repulsion or sadness. When I see such jadedness in a
person it disturbs and saddens me very deeply.

I had been considering getting a small fish tank, but now also wonder about keeping fish as pets. They are small and donít need much room, but still, the question nags at me Ė would it basically amount to solitary confinement for these creatures?

I keep cats and dogs as pets, and feel OK with that, as they have the run of the entire house. I do not allow them outside unsupervised, for safety reasons. However, I know that some people believe that even keeping cats and dogs as pets is wrong. I believe PETA takes this stance.

Sorry this email turned out so long, but these things have been weighing on my mind, and I have not gotten any satisfactory responses from anyone else Iíve discussed them with. Sometimes, I feel that there is something wrong with ME, for being so overly concerned and disturbed about these things, while other people donít seem to give them a second thought!

At your convenience, I would really be interested to hear your opinions on these matters.

Thank you!

Susan

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