I guess I’m not a “pet” person.
We used to beg my mom for pets. She was always adamantly anti-pet, so we were raised without very many pets and without great sympathy for animals either. In spite of that early programming, one of my brothers in particular tried endlessly to get mom to agree to various pets. Only one type was a non-starter: cats. Mom was allergic (turns out, so am I).
All told, I think we had two or three dogs and a few finches to satisfy his pet urges, but that was when we lived on a farm. After I turned 5 or 6, it was no pets, period.
So because of my anti-pet (and especially anti-cat) upbringing, I’ve never really understood people’s love for their animals.
I had a bird, which I recently blogged about. Otis was slightly neurotic and not a very good pet, and I will admit that we were not particularly bonded or anything. I like birds mostly because of their beauty and smarts, and the fact that it’s acceptable to leave them in a cage most of the time. (not something that will go over well with CPS if you try it with children..)
I have no problem with people loving their animals, caring for their animals, or even domesticating them to begin with. What I do have a problem with is when the animals start taking precedence over the humans.
I say this because I recently looked into getting another, less damaged, bird. I thought of adopting one from a rescue, because it’s cheaper and the ‘right’ thing to do. As I looked into the process, I was shocked at its absurd invasiveness. They come out to your home and inspect everything from your non-stick cookware to your attic and crawl space. They quiz you about your entire pet history and ask for references.
(Oh, if there was such vigilance over the people who were bringing HUMANS into this world…)
Then if you ever need to get rid of your pet, no human reason is acceptable to these people. Maybe you get married, have children, or you start traveling all of the time. Somehow your human circumstances change in such a way that can no longer support these animals, but it’s not acceptable to these bird people. No reason is acceptable to be rid of a pet.
You just can’t equate animals with humans.
(Please don’t take this the wrong way. I am not in favor of animal cruelty. I don’t think there should be abuse or mutilation of animals for any reason.)