Let me start by saying I'm no animal rights advocate. I have no extreme views about animals and their place in the world. I personally believe that humans, like it or not, top the food chain and therefore have certain rights when it comes to animals.
For instance, we can own animals. We can eat animals. Everything eats something. Some people choose not to eat animals or certain animals and that's their right. Just don't criticize me when I enjoy a nice medium rare New York strip or side of bacon. You can enjoy your lima beans and wheat grass and I promise not to criticize you for it. Deal?
Anyway, I digress. When I say that we humans have the right to own animals I need to add that we have responsibilities when we own them.
If you take on a pet you should keep in mind that you're making a ten to fifteen year commitment to that furry friend. If you're not ready for that, don't do it.
My eyes have been opened to the number of strays running around either through owner neglect or just by breeding in the wild. It was especially bad in Costa Rica, where I recently went for vacation. What's unsettling is that it's not that much better here in Dallas.
Every day I see dogs roaming the streets, often getting killed by passing cars. Cats breed like rabbits. If you decide to feed feral cats, you really should trap them and get them fixed so they don't keep adding to the population. Most animal shelters offer low-cost spaying and neutering, especially when it comes to wild animals.
If you decide to have a pet, take care of it. Have it spayed or neutered. Make sure it has a collar and tag in case it gets loose.
If you decide to purchase a bigger animal like a horse or cattle, know the costs of feed and medical care can run quite high. Think it out carefully before you decide to take that plunge.
These animals depend on us. We are there caretakers. No animal deserves to be neglected. They deserve to be properly fed, watered, and have a good place to shelter whether they're inside pets or outside pets.
I personally don't need pets at this point in my life, but I don't dislike them, except when their owners don't control them. And then it's really the owner I have the problem with. Keep your dogs and cats under control.
Pets are not something you should just discard like an old toy you've gotten tired of. So, be sure you're up to it. Pets can add much to your life. They're loyal and provide companionship. They deserve better than being dumped to roam the streets, literally fighting to survive.
That's what I'm thinking.