The Pet Trade and the Paradox of Loving Animals to Death
PETA's newest report (http://www.peta.org/pettrade/learn-more.asp) on the ghastly pet trade of U.S. Global Exotics makes it clear that the multi-billion industry exposes an ugly facet of humanity. The part of being human that wants unconditional love, companionship, entertainment, all of which, as the thriving industry proves, people seek in pet ownership.
I don't visit zoos, aquariums, and I don't have any pets, precisely because I don't believe that any living creature should be bought, sold, bred in captivity, socialized to perform on command, or dressed up in anthropomorphic clothing. Whether mammal, fish, bird, reptile, or amphibians, living creatures should not be a source of self-fulfillment, identity, or entertainment for people.
Why? Not because I think all sentient creatures are intelligent and therefore deserve to be treated as our equals, but because the way we treat others (humans or not) is the ultimate testimony of our values and therefore, our true selves.
A link between abuse to animals and abuse to humans has already been documented and reported. As such, it is clear that for the sake of our own survival, our conscience, and our identity as humans, that we do what we can to eliminate the demand for pets.
The pet trade, or the meat market, is identical to any other form of commerce. If there is no demand, there will not be any supply. The pet trade is so horrific that although different, it holds up to comparison with the global illegal trafficking of women.
How different is the forced kidnapping of young girls and women in the prostitution trade to that of extracting "exotic" animals from their natural habitat, locking them up, breeding them in captivity, selling them, all the while depriving them of adequate basic necessities like fresh air, clean water, sufficient food, natural shelter, and while in captivity, sufficient medical care?Continued on the next page