Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pets or Companion Animals?

I've always loved 'pets'. I grew up in a household with cats, and one of my childhood companions was a black scraggy cat named 'Sooty'. My parents found him abandoned before I came along and they took him in. He lived to the ripe old age of 21 and at the age of 17 it felt strange to not have him around anymore. I sobbed hysterically in the vets when he died - much to the horror of everybody sitting in the waiting room.

When I was very little my parents had ginger kitties - Sam & Ben.

Over the years there have been other lovely animals that have shared my life - Cheesecake the sweet little russian hamster, Lola the giant friendly bunny and currently - Miffy & Molly sister Lionhead/ Netherland Dwarf crosses and Cecil & Betsey (Abyssinian & short haired) guinea pigs.

My point is that looking after animals was an important part of my childhood that I look back fondly on. None of my current 'pets' were acquired 'for my child' (that'd be silly anyway as she's only 9 months old) but nether the less she'll grow up with animals in her life. Cecil was an RSPCA rescue animal and my two beautiful bunnies came from a home where bunnies had breed accidentally and they had too many to home. I don't agree with pet shops, although with four fluffy babies requiring food & hay it's kind of hard to never shop in one. I disagree with the way pet shops sell pets to people with no checks, and the way in which the animals have been breed for sale in the first place. I find the whole idea of being vegan and having 'pets' a bit of a grey area. Some people like to call them Companion Animals instead, but whatever you call it - the idea is the same.

My current 'companions' are all naturally vegan animals anyway - I'm not sure how I'd feel about either buying an animal meat based food, or giving them one of the vegan alternatives that exist. I know people who do both, and I guess at the end of the day it just comes down to personal opinion. I'd never bring a pet into my home especially for a child - just because I've seen too many times children get bored and uninterested parents are left with their care. I am glad however that Small will get to grow up with our fluffy family members.

How do you feel about being vegan and 'owning' pets or companion animals?

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