Throughout most of history, pets were by our side as working or utilitarian animals. Dogs stood guard duty and herded sheep. Cats protected grain stores from pests. These animals, even when domesticated, lived their lives outdoors and were free for much of their time. Now we keep dogs indoors all day waiting for their 20 minute walk. We keep cats indoors which drives them stir crazy, or we let them roam the neighbourhood to shit in flower beds and kill wildlife. Don't even get me started on the amount of animals we keep now that never even had a domestic purpose. Lizards, snakes, hamsters, birds. These are just wild animals that we shove into cages to be used as what amounts to furniture. I find birds as pets to be particularly egregious, living in a cage half the time and the other half only flying around a house- these creatures are meant to be free and in the sky.
I know that pet culture, especially in urban areas, has really rocketed in the past few decades, and I know that questioning it amounts to blaspheme in the eyes of many, but there really ought to be more discussion as to whether pet ownership is beneficial to either humans or animals in it's current form. I say this as an owner of two free-roaming cats (they have not killed anything in over a decade). I would not be able to restrict their movement now, as they have been accustomed to roaming their entire lives, but it is only in the past few years that people have made me aware of just how destructive they could potentially be. I love my cats, but I can completely understand the argument that they should be kept inside. I just can't do that to them so late in the game.
Anyway, I am interested to hear you lot's thoughts on this.