Is owning animals/pets ethical?

When you go into the average American household, you are most likely to see some sort of pet. Most people believe that owning a pet is “normal”. Some even say that their pet is treated better than they are. There is a big debate on whether owning a pet/animal is ethically wrong. PETA has been a huge side in this debate.

Some associations, like PETA, believe that is ethically wrong to own a pet. They claim that animals shouldn’t be used for “human entertainment”. They believe that owning animals manipulates their bodies, behaviors, and emotional responses. According to them, they should be given the right to live in their natural habits and use their natural behavior. PETA is actively trying to stop the use of animals for human consumption and entertainment.

Other associations and people, state that owning pets/animals is perfectly ethical. They say that it allows them to have a loving, safe home and provides them with a happy life. It provides protection for domestic animals that wouldn’t be able to survive in their natural environment. Most domestic animals, like dogs, actively choose to be around humans. The bonds these animals create with humans are a good thing. Pets enjoy the attention, and like a safe and loving environment. 

I personally believe that owning animals and pets is completely ethical if cared for correctly. These domestic animals are already domesticated. There is no way we could put them back into the wild and expect them to survive. These animals have learned to rely on us, just as much as we rely on them. Not only do we provide a lot for these domesticated pets but they provide a lot for us too. Overall, I don’t agree with PETA or any of the associations similar to it.


Do you believe that owning animals/pets is ethical? Why?

What are your opinions on PETA’s side of this debate?

Do you own any animals/pets? And what do they do for you?




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  • Great topic choice and well done Addison! +5

  • I think that owning a pet is ethical if it gets care and love. I don't think it is very ethical for people to have a pet and abuse it or not feed it. I also think pets like dogs are good for people's mental health because they can provide comfort that no one else can.  

  • I believe owning a pet is ethical as long as they receive proper care and have a good life. Before getting a pet people should make sure that they do enough research to know exactly what would make their pet happy. People should also do research before getting a pet so they know how much attention the pet requires and wont cruelly leave it in the middle of nowhere once they have had enough.

  • Owning a pet is perfectly ethical if they are given their needs. However, I believe that it is unethical to keep a dog indoors if its breed needs to be able to run outside. Ex. A labrador retriever needs to be able to run around and needs attention, whether it is from humans or other animals.

  • I think that owning a pet or animal is perfectly ethical. Pets are used for many other things the human entertainment. They are also used for emotional support and mental health. I think that if you own a dog just to earn money from contest and not for comfort, its not ethical at all. 

  • I think that having pets is ethical, pets help people so much expecially people with bad mental health. I love having pets they make me excited to come home and see them. The one thing I don't like is that people will abuse there pets or just not take care of it. People give up on there pets and leave it homeless, which is not fair for the pet. No pet deserves that cruelty, it really depends on the person who has a pet.

    • I agree that they help with mental health. They help a ton of people and become very important in our lives.

  • I think that it is ethical that some people feel and act better. lower rates of depression and stress levels, it increased self esteem, better sleep and more physical activity, there are just some benefits of pet ownership. But the thing that I don't agree with is how people can just get rid of pets and leave them on the side of the road, helpless, it is cruel.

  • I believe that owning pets is ethical. Animals like dogs and cats have been domesticated by humans for so long that there is no other option for most of them except to be a pet. Both people and the animals get something good out of the relantionship of pet/owner, so why shouldn't people have pets. PETA's side of the debate only works if the animal was a part of the illegal pet trade.

    • I agree that there is no other option for these animals and pets. 

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