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[Ethics] Is it wrong to keep pets? Can we respect an animals rights whilst keeping them as property?


In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of pet care. Is it ok to keep any sentient living being as property, free to be made infertile if their aggression annoys us and even to be put down if they become an inconvenience or minor danger. 

Part of this discussion will feel familiar from our vegan/vegetarianism episode (how do we compare animal vs human rights?), but the fundamental question is how do we square the very common stance of being anti-livestock/vegan but pro-pets? 

We do care about our pets, but we also violate what may very reasonably be their rights as sentient creatures in the interest of our enjoyment - and their being happy with the arrangement may not necessarily get us off the hook, just as it doesn't solve the 'benevolent slave owner' argument. 

Also, to what extent does keeping pets enable negligent or non-benevolent pet owners to cause suffering, and can we even agree what counts as negligent - by some accounts keeping a dog in an inner city apartment is not fair, for example.