I lean more towards liberal, though not as extreme left as others.
As far as pets, there seem to be different camps of beliefs/goals. Some vegans, myself included, would like to ideally see the pet trade eradicated altogether over time. But we also realize this is not going to happen overnight, if ever. Many animals have been domesticated to the point they could not survive on their own, and there are so many animals in need of care and homes. We (as humans who have perpetuated this trade) have a responsibility to care for those animals, otherwise they will die unfairly. So the focus becomes on stopping the breeding of pets, and the sale of wild and exotic animals as well since those animals would still be able to live on their own without human intervention. Ideally one would only adopt from a shelter or rescue organization, or care for an animal one rescued from an abusive situation.
Others believe that some animals have a symbiotic relationship with humans and that there is nothing wrong with having animal companions.
I personally phased out pet birds when I went vegan. I had them for years, and while I always loved my birds (parakeets, finches, lovebirds), deep down I felt sad and disturbed that they had to live their lives in cages and in houses/buildings, far removed from their natural habitat. I would let them out supervised to fly around and so on, but they were so completely dependent on me. I used to have fish years ago too, but now can't bare the thought of keeping an animal confined to such a small space, and totally dependent on me for survival. I stopped buying pets back in 2009. My partner and I have a dog we have had for twelve years. She is really his dog as he is on disability and home far more than I am. We do feed her dog food that is not 100% vegan, but I supplement her diet with beans, peanut butter, brown rice, etc to minimize the animal food she eats. My partner would not allow me to try her on a 100% vegan diet, but he buys all her commercial food, and I make her bits of vegan food to supplement. She actually begs for vegan food lol. She is a rescue dog, from the Humane Society, and has been a great joy to me over the years. But I would happily live without a pet if there were no more pets and we shared more of an equal symbiotic relationship with wild animals, sharing the space we all occupy on this planet in a more equal manner. No more hunting of animals, or breeding them for entertainment, companionship, work, etc. But I don't see that ever happening, and especially in my lifetime. I love animals, but I don't have the time to spend with caring for an animal that someone else might. I am gone from the house from 5:45am to 5pm almost every day but Sunday. They are a huge responsibility, not something to take lightly. We have to consider everything. What will happen to them when you become sick and can't care for your pet. What to do with them when you travel. How to feed and care for them so that you are not in turn exploiting other animals indirectly, but not causing your pet more harm by forcing them to live in a way that is far removed from natural (though this happens anyway via living arrangement). If you leave them at home alone for any amount of time, what will happen if your house catches on fire? Or is blown down by a tornado? Because of the dependent nature of pets in most situations, their independence and ability to live as intended can never be fully realized.
There is another good book about the pet situation as part of a larger picture of the vegan movement. The book is called "On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century" by Lee Hall. She is a well known animal rights activist and writer. She delves at the uneasy task of discussing pets, animal companions. It is a gray area, not black and white, especially the issue of what to feed them. Another issue I face with pets is the issue of spaying/neutering. Having had an unwanted hysterectomy and loss of my own ovaries, I know what it is like when your hormones go out of whack due to this unnatural surgery, and the long term consequences. I hate the idea of having to do this to an animal, however, I also understand the larger goal of stopping reproduction so that we don't end up with yet more domesticated animals that can not care for themselves and many who end up abused, neglected, suffering and starving, being put down. Definitely no easy answers.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.