Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dippy Exotic Pet Rant of the Day- Sooke News Mirror

This will be my first entry to a hopefully continuing series (if I can muster up the energy and tolerance) of refutations to the numerous beyond help articles that criticize the keeping of various unpopular animal species that plague the internet with ignorance. Destroying anti-pet ‘arguments’ is easy, but also exhausting with the repetition and failed attempts to get people to turn on their brains. So, I will limit myself to a point by point quoting format as I regularly do when replying in forums, to make this a less burdensome task.

Our first Dippy Rant comes from Sooke News Mirror in light of an unfortunate escaped serval meeting its demise after being hit by a car…a fate that befalls numerous ‘domesticated’ cats either when they escape or are negligently allowed to roam as they please. The author of this ‘piece’ isn’t listed.

"Wild animals not suitable as pets"

  • by  Editorial - Sooke News Mirror
  • posted Dec 17, 2014 at 5:00 AM

“Apparently the cat, named Samson, was hit by a truck and killed on Sunday. Which brings up the whole issue of exotic and wild pets.”

Yes, to a small-minded person suffering from cognitive bias and a preconceived, invalid mentality that harboring an animal they are not familiar with is automatically ‘cruel’, a cat that just happens to be different from ‘regular’ cats getting hit by a car as ‘regular cats’ often do will bring up the exotic pet ‘issue’.

“ These animals belong in the wild, not in someone’s home or backyard zoo.”

The typical battle cry of the confused and ignorant, who believe their word is law and no thinking beyond their useless assertion is required.

“What do they use for a litter box and how does the home smell? It’s not natural, its inhumane to keep such a large animal indoors.”

If you needed further evidence that this writer is confused, look no further. Apparently the most pressing concern on their mind is how the home smells, and whether or not the pet uses a litter box. Without even knowing what the answer to that question is, they conclude that keeping a serval must be inhumane without having the slightest clue as to what they’re talking about.

“If you have ever gone to a zoo and seen the tigers, lions of other large “cats” you would notice how they pace back and forth in the cage. They aren’t happy. They are stressed and they are out of their element”.

Now the criticism flies from keeping servals as pets to keeping big cats in zoos. Are they anti-zoo too? I can’t tell for sure. Either way, criticizing lions in zoos sheds no light on servals in the pet environment. Do servals pace as house pets? The author has no idea, nor do they have any clue about the detailed research that reveals pacing and other stereotypic behaviors are not always indicators of poor animal welfare. Surely someone ignorant to animals, science, and basic common sense is not a reliable source on whether or not a lion is 'happy' in a zoo.

The whole beauty of a wild animal is their wildness - not its captivity and that is what one does when they have a wild animal as a “pet.”

The author’s opinion on what makes an animal beautiful is a beyond useless and inane criticism.

“Keeping an exotic animal, whether its a snake, turtle or a serval cat is the biggest kind of cruelty. Raising these exotics is also akin to cruelty. Sure breeders may be ethical and animal lovers but they are still contributing to this kind of unnatural breeding for the sake of some kind of status.”

The author even thinks it's cruel to keep turtles and snakes in captivity for literally no valid reason. They state that breeders "may be ethical", but despite the importance of that quality, the fact that some human might get ‘status’ from a pet is presented as unspeakable cruelty. We all know how ‘natural’ the breeding of domesticated dogs and cats are. Presumably this author takes no issue with that.

“Wild animals raised in captivity do not lose their inherited instincts. Anyone who has a domestic cat knows this.”

Exactly how does someone with a cat know that? They have no experience with ‘wild animals’. If anything, someone with a cat probably realizes that cats also have ‘inherited instincts’ as do even dogs. They probably realize (but will deny it to criticize exotic pets due to selective cognitive bias) that their pet cats are barely unique from wildcats, particularly the African wild cat that they’ve descended from.

They key to understanding why criticizing so-called exotic pets is foolish is an understanding of the nature of animals. There is NOT a difference between the needs of domesticated and non-domesticated animals, period. 

There is only a difference in the degree of difficulty in meeting those needs that must be applied to the needs of the animal on a species-specific basis. This is all perfectly accomplishable by a good serval owner. Before criticizing things that they literally know NOTHING about aside from simplistic, erroneous, dogma, people need to think before they instruct the public with their ignorance.

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