revolutionary idea: pet ownership is not a human right.

cats scratch. dogs bark. certain rare pets are not adapted to living in a regular domestic setting. if your home is not suited for an animal to express their most basic natural behaviours or your situation makes absolutely predictable traits into dealbreakers, then you should not have that kind of pet. “but i want one” is not an acceptable excuse for owning an animal you can’t provide for.

This includes being able to pay for one.
If you can’t afford to feed it, to house it properly, to give it regular visits to the vet/pay for medications it might need, then don’t get it.

Even more revolutionary idea.

Being able to care for a companion animal’s basic needs is a human right in the same ilk as the right to feed oneself with dignity and the right to shelter.  Economic barriers to being able to care for an animal companion should not exist.  The relationship between humans and animals is special, critical even to most if not all of us, and a proven psychological (read: health) benefit.  Such an important facet of the human condition should NOT be seen as a luxury.

The existence of non-profit vet clinics and introducing support for companion animals of low-income individuals is also a human welfare issue, directly and indirectly.  Disease control, reduction of “surplus” animals through spay/neuter, and easing the strain on taxpayers by keeping our animals in actual homes instead of shelters, are social boons resulting from this perspective.

We cannot simplify this issue to “can’t afford it, can’t have it” when homeless individuals form mutually beneficial relationships with homeless animals, when people who already HAVE pets suddenly lose their income, when people live in a critical need area (these exist to the point where AVMA will straight-up pay your tuition to work here after school, look it up) and suddenly, due to circumstances out of their control, the closest vet that won’t kill their animal lives 80 miles away instead of down the block.  

I know this is not anybody’s intention when they say “people who can’t afford pets should not have them,” because actual real poor people, vs. the image society wants to paint of them/us, are incredibly forgettable.  That’s the way classism or any -ism is insidious, getting the best of us by winding its way around the blind spots it manufactured.  I know people who say this aren’t necessarily bad people, because they care about animals, and good people care about animals, dammit.

I love animals.  Animal welfare and conservation is my soapbox.  But if we don’t factor in human welfare in every part of our activism involving animals that are human companions, the animals involved will always fare worse, not better.

Not to detract from the above point, but one such place that aids in helping homeless people with their pets is Pets Of The Homeless; they collect donations of food, other supplies and funds, and the work they do is incredible. You can check their site for a donation point near you, for Canada and the United States! 

Take the time to donate if you can; now that it’s winter, donations of dog coats and sweaters can be particularly helpful. If you can’t donate, then spreading the word can be a huge help as well!

Reblogging for the links for Pets of the Homeless.

Heard someone say “if you can’t afford a ten thousand dollar surgery for your pet you don’t deserve to have one”

Who the fuck deserves a pet then? Most people I know don’t even have that much in their savings.

Also, like, I live in an area that has a really bad overpopulation problem with cats. All of the no-kill shelters are full, completely full. It’s better for a cat to live with a poor person than to be in a kill shelter or on the streets, for goodness’ sake.



college is just as ridiculous as everyone thinks it is

last term i was 35 minutes into the first day of a roman society class and there was this dude eating burritos in the third row, and the prof asked him a question and the dude just went “i would love to answer, but it just occured to me this is NOT honours environmental economics” and stood up and left

this reminds me of the time i was in a design class at 8 in the morning and about halfway through a lecture a kid calmly stood up from his table, cut off the teacher, and said in the most exasperated, defeated tone: “my class is at 8 at night. this isn’t my class. i don’t…i don’t need to be here”

and then he kinda just left