Why I Don’t Own Pets

He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Immanuel Kant

I don’t own pets. Not even an aquarium. I had three aquariums about 10 years ago. Two 10 gallon tanks and one 55 gallon tank. In the beginning it was cool to have these aquariums in my house. They were beautiful, they were majestic and they were serene to look at.

However, over time I looked at them less and less even though they had daily and monthly maintenance to them.


Eventually I got rid of the two 10 gallon tanks. I donated one to my high school, and the other I gave to Goodwill. It was a relief to be rid of the responsibility, however I still had the rather large 55 gallon tank to deal with.

In it was a gigantic albino catfish that was at least a foot long. When I bought the albino catfish it was only a few inches long, I didn’t realize it would grow to over a foot long. It actually killed the two Oscar fish that I had purchased when I installed the 55 gallon tank back in 1997.

The albino catfish was extremely vibration sensitive and whenever a loud noise occurred it would react by swimming directly into the side of the aquarium glass. I am surprised it didn’t either knock itself out or break the glass.

Oh yeah, how it killed the Oscar fish. The Oscar fish got banged up a few times after the catfish had one of its neurotic episodes. Eventually, the catfish died, I think it lived for over 6 years. The truth is I felt sorry for it.

It was too big to be trapped in the little aquarium, and who was I to keep it captive anyway. Once the catfish died, I emptied out the aquarium, cleaned it up and sold it in the Pennysaver.

I was glad to be rid of it all. No more unnecessary responsibility and no more keeping a living creature captive. I also swore to never own a pet again.

Copperhead Snake_opt

Beginning around the age of 9 I owned a snake once, several aquariums, several hamsters, several hermit crabs, and a dog too. Every one of these pets managed to escape their confines. The snake actually managed to crawl out its aquarium, down my dresser, up into my bed and into my hand. I actually woke up one morning with the snake nestled in my hand.

I eventually gave the snake back to the pet store from which it came. I didn’t initially buy the snake, a friend of mine did. I took it off his hands for a few months after he realized he could no longer care for it before returning it back to the pet store from where it came.

The hamsters and the hermit crabs were never to be found again. And the dog was my little brothers who I kept for him because his girlfriend wouldn’t let him keep the dog. I can tell you, the responsibility trumps the reward.

One time, when I was around 15 or 16 a stray dog wandered onto the property of my home. We had a dog back then and the stray dog must have smelled his scent. The stray dog was an older Labrador Retriever with blood shot eyes.

I approached him and he was trusting enough to let me pet him. I brought him out a bowl of cold water and food. It was summer time and I thought the cold water would refresh him. I even put ice cubes in the water.

I decided to tie him to the tree so he wouldn’t escape. I called the local animal shelter to see if anyone had reported a missing dog. They hadn’t received any calls yet. They told me to keep him there and someone from their location would pick him up tomorrow.

In the meanwhile I checked around to see if their were any lost dog signs hanging around in case someone was looking for him. I didn’t find any. The poor Labrador was old and tired looking. I just tried to keep him comfortable as best as I could.

The next day the Animal Shelter workers showed up. When they went to get him the Labrador growled at them. They asked if I would put the leash on him and escort him to the back of the truck.

I did, and the Labrador trusted me enough that he followed me without any resistance. I felt so sorry for that dog as I walked him over and into the back of the Animal Shelter truck. He was sad, and so was I for him.


I read online today that Sea World is going to expand their tanks. That’s great, but it’s not the same as being free. Being held captive against your will is not cool with me.

No one likes being kept in a box.

Am I against service dogs for the  police, military, or seeing eye dogs? No.

Service animals are fine with me as well as animals being kept in captivity because they never experienced the wild or they were rescued from a Mexican circus. I am not a fan of keeping animals in cages just so people can “ogle” over them. I am about freedom, freedom for all.

What about pets. I think the pet industry is a racket. These poor, miserable creatures. Sure, they are fed and taken care of, but weren’t slaves too? Slaves weren’t free to come and go as they please and neither are pets.

Sure, there are exceptions to the norm. I know people who have pets and they have several acres for them to roam on. The worst offenders are people who have large dogs and a tiny backyard, what a miserable existence for the animal.

We don’t need pets. The way humanity treats its animals is a testament of themselves.

There is no overnight solution here, however I will do my part by not supporting the pet industry, or the factory farming industry.

We have to ask ourselves the question. What is it about us humans that makes us believe we have the right to own another being while denying them their true nature which is freedom?

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