A debate with a friend who doesnt believe in keeping animals in tanks

Kaimetsu

Arachnosquire
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I'm having a bit of a talk with a close friend of mine who doesnt believe in keeping animals in tanks or cages, I know there are people on this forum including pitbulllady who have experience countering their arguments and i was wondering if anyone can help me strengthen my arguments. Heres the convo so far on facebook.

Friend: you know what is better? stop thinking it's okay to horde animals in tanks.

Me: i'm sure they appreciate not starving or being eaten by other animals as both are natural conditions for most animals in the wild. They'll also appreciate it after their natural habitats have been completely plowed over and replaced with oil drills and parking lots and the natural populations are completely extinct, at which point captive bread populations will be the only things remaining. Certainly captive arachnids and snakes in the pet trade tend to have as much or more space then they prefer considering they like enclosed spaces. I'm sure dogs appreciate being horded in houses.

Friend: Dogs get to go outside, take walks, go to the parks, lizards are stuck in a small glass tank. You're making excuses. It's just like saying "I bought a dog from a puppymill because I didn't want to watch it suffer... " it's only replaced by another puppy, or more.

Me: Wolves travel miles and miles in an average day, far more exercise than a captive dog can ever get unless it's owner is an olympic runner or long distance professional hiker or something. On the other hand tarantulas live their entire lives in burrows or tube webs that arnt much bigger than they are, and snakes will stay perfectly still in the same place for days or even weeks at a time while they wait for prey to walk past. These arnt animals that benefit in anyway from large amounts of space or exercise.
 

P. Novak

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Well I can't really tell you that it is better for the animals to be kept in tanks, but let me point out a couple of things. A majority of these reptiles and arachnids are captive bred, instinctinly all they know is to survive. They don't know the difference between a lucious forest and a large enclosure. As long as food, water, housing, and proper hygiene are met I don't see it any different then what they would experience out in the wild. If anything, it is much easier and healthier for them. Almost all animals kept in captivity outlive their wild counterparts. There are exceptions, and that's just because we haven't figured out their optimal conditions yet. And like you said, their natural enviornment is depleteing. We are ensuring the survival of some species by keeping and breeding. Enviornmental problems are not the only problem though; for example over-fishing and wild caught animals being taken out of their homes and brought to the pet trade. Someone will always be doing it, and to breed them in sufficient amounts they need to be kept in the minimal sized tanks to allow for more individuals to aid in the demand for any pet. I'd rather have the animal kept in a minimally sized tank, than taken out of the wild.

Basically, if all care requirements are met, I feel wild caught animals are the only ones that truely suffer in this debate simply because they have experienced what free space is.

IMO, Tarantulas and other arachnids are on the bottom of the list for caring about being kept in a tank. They just do not understand, nor do they require much space at all. Most find a burrow and live in it their whole lives.
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
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Kaimetsu,

Concede defeat. Your friend is correct in this argument. It is simply immoral to keep a living organism in any captive environment for mere human use. There is no justifying an individual organism's removal, not just for the sake of the individual, but for the ecosystem that has created it to fill a specific role. The repercussions are incalculable, though seemingly insignificant in the minds of our present culture. Imagine the tiny roles that the smallest consumers play in the environment, which are in turn eaten by others. Every fallen leaf, every decomposing leaf-eating animal forms the soil. Every seed springs from this base.

You can't be human and not be a hypocrite. Accept that, but tread lightly. Our culture does not promote awareness of the imbalance between what you take from the planet and what you give back. Taking two tarantulas from "our" backyard, breeding them in captivity, and returning 200 spiderlings to the wild does not necessarily equate to "giving back", nor does it necessarily help the species even if it does have lower than historical numbers.

Nature is in absolute perfect balance. It takes inconceivable amounts of time to create this perfection. Perfection expects and accounts for change. A few people may help to maintain or manage certain key species in small ecosystem transects, but true refuges and humans don't coexist.

So, while you have lost the argument, you can use a hobby that you enjoy for the potential betterment of ALL species. Tell your friend that you are taking different paths to the same goal. By keeping bugs as pets, you help to assign them a positive role in our culture. Bugs are made out by our culture to be our enemies in multiple ways. Obviously, you have found beauty and fascination in them and you are human. So can others. If people shift their consciousnesses about them from fear and disgust to admiration and respect, imagine how amazing the outdoor world would become to our culture again. I do feel lucky to have the perspective I have on the life outdoors.

Boredom is something humans should only experience inside their tanks or cages (often with their dogs and cats).
 

Kaimetsu

Arachnosquire
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Heres the response to the last thing i said, i don't have time to respond to it right now.

Friend: "Wolves and dogs are different, and are bred different, on purpose. Can't compare them.

Even if reptiles stay still, it's ignorant to think they wouldin't be happy in the wild. And even if not, it's ego god like to think it's okay to store them in multiple glass cages, just for your viewing pleasure."

Bugs in cyberspace i don't think i have lost any argument just because the other side has some good points as well in fact you also provided some more points that i can use in support of my argument. It is worth keeping these animals in captivity in order to be able to admire their natural beauty and help educate people about them. If people fear and do not understand these animals because they have never experienced them they are less likely to care about their conservation.

What I'm thinking in regards to this debate is if i can demonstrate to my friend that my animals are at least content in captivity then what will remain of her argument is the belief that animals have a right to be free despite their comfort level. Then it comes down to my support of animal welfare vs her support of animal rights, the distinction between the two being something i learned from pitbulllady.
 

Kaimetsu

Arachnosquire
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friend: Wolves and dogs are different, and are bred different, on purpose. Can't compare them.

Even if reptiles stay still, it's ignorant to think they wouldin't be happy in the wild. And even if not, it's ego god like to think it's okay to store them in multiple glass cages, just for your viewing pleasure.

I asked my friend who is a trantrula expert, HE says that many species of tratulas love running, and often move their tube webs to new places, and that they are extremely fast. He says different species of trantulars have different preferences, some will stay still, some will travel, and some will not hide in burrows or webs at all.

I think lots of children like caged pets... I know I had hamsters, which were purposedly domestically bred, and I still think THAT is wrong now.

There's a huge difference between domesticated pets that were bred, to the point where they can not survive in the wild at all, and even if they were, their introduction to the wild would cause a huge imbalance in nature.....and wild pets.

Unless you think a poodle is going to hunt down large prey or scavenge through dead prey. Imagine a chihuahua, who will freeze to death in the wild... a pug who has no signifcant jaw bone to "attach" if it wanted too. Most animals are so poorly bread they have genetic problems that would kill them if left untreated.

So again, you cant compare domesticated animals/wild animals such as wolves. You wouldn't keep a pet wolf, pet tiger, or pet rhino.

I hate caged birds, I think it's disgusting to keep creatures that are supposed to fly in a cage.

I'm not peta. And I think children should have pets, like that, to teach them about animals which help them contribute to environmental issues in the future. I don't think animals should be kept as show pieces for amusement.

If you were going to eat them go for it.

Hey do what you want, it's just my opinion. I love spiders, snakes, rats, mice and all of that. I just get very sad when I have to see them all caged up in a pet store.

Obviously rats, and mice in a pet store, could enver live in the wild, since they are bred to have non-natural colors, to be lizard food.

Me: Most captive reptiles are bred in captivity and can't survive in the wild anymore either. and there is a huge diversity of environments that tarantulas live in and some are very fast, but they don't like to run and they generally only move there homes if they arnt getting enough food or too much moisture or environmental problems like that. On the other hand many male tarantulas will leave their homes to find a mate, many get killed before they ever find one, and those that do find a mature female will usually be eaten by it after they mate. In captivity tarantulas can often be separated after they mate to save the males life. I'm not saying you don't have some good points, you do, but the animals i keep are safe and content, i know i made some mistakes with not taking good enough care of an iguana when i was a kid, but that isnt who i am anymore i take the welfare of my reptile friends very seriously. I'm also not sure they would be happier in the wild, i think i made some good points previously but i also want to point out that their lifespans are significantly longer in captivity.
 

pitbulllady

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Ask your "friend"(and as the old joke goes, "with friends like this, who needs enemas?") if he knows what the word "anthropomorphism" means, and give him a moment to roll all those syllables over in his wee little brain. His line of thinking-or lack thereof-is a clear example of anthropomorphism, assigning human traits, wants, needs, and abstract thought processes/concepts to things that aren't human. To make the argument that a tarantula or a snake wants "freedom" because WE do is absolutely ludicrous. Wild animals don't do what they do because they "enjoy" doing so. They "run around", etc., because that is what they HAVE to do in order to survive!

Ask him, with regards to the "wolves vs. dogs" things, if he has ever actually lived with a pack of wolves on his property, as I have, and gotten a first-hand chance to actually compare, side-by-side, wolf and dog behavior, especially when the dogs are primitive breeds like Akita Inus. I bet he hasn't, or he'd know that there really aren't as many differences between fundamental wolf behavior and dog behavior as the AR's want us to believe. But then, wolves/dogs are also much more intelligent than spiders, so if he REALLY wants to be comparing apples to oranges, he is doing so by comparing a dog to a tarantula, with his whole lame "at least dogs get to go outside" line. I have no moral issue whatsoever with keeping animals in tanks, inside the house, in a kennel, whatever, anymore than I'd have putting restrictions on what a child can or cannot do. Much of the whole AR argument is based on anthropomorphism, the belief that if WE want this, or think like that, or feel this way about something, ALL animals, right down the the inverts, feel or think exactly the same way that we do. If WE would not want to be confined to an enclosure, all animals must hate being confined. If WE feel a need to go out and mingle with others of our kind, ALL animals want to do the same thing. If WE want this right or that, ALL animals want the same rights as we do and can understand them and be expected to act responsibly within those rights and should therefore expect to be held accountable for their actions when they don't.

I had the great pleasure of humiliating a local AC officer, who is a strong AR supporter, in public years ago, in a court case involving dogs kept on long chains. She, like your so-called "friend", believed it was cruel and immoral to confine ANY animal to a space that was smaller than what it would require "in the wild" for more than a few hours, and used as her argument the "would YOU want that" perspective. I told her that if dogs wanted the same things WE do, then the reverse must also be true. She agreed. I then asked her if she greeted people by sniffing their butts or publicly allowed others to sniff HER butt, and when was the last time she rolled on a dead rotting possum carcass. The judge got into the act, asking her if she and her family drank from the toilet and peed on the front lawn, chased cars and had to turn around 10-15 times before lying down to sleep! Those are all things that DOGS want to do, after all, part of THEIR "value system" and natural behaviors, so if they make dogs happy, they must make US happy, as well. Needless to say, that shut her up. It pointed out that what's good for the goose is NOT necessarily good for the gander.

pitbulllady
 

Kaimetsu

Arachnosquire
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I can assure you this friend is a good person worth having as a friend, and i'd rather be friends than enemies with someone like this so i could help to change there minds. As usual pitbulllady your the best source out there for refuting these kinds of arguments, thank you. I should add though that i was the one who initially compared dogs to wolves, although i know there are big differences in regards to behavior, i was trying to make the point that animals that she is ok with keeping in captivity also don't get as much exercise or free space as their wild counterparts.
 

pitbulllady

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I can assure you this friend is a good person worth having as a friend, and i'd rather be friends than enemies with someone like this so i could help to change there minds. As usual pitbulllady your the best source out there for refuting these kinds of arguments, thank you. I should add though that i was the one who initially compared dogs to wolves, although i know there are big differences in regards to behavior, i was trying to make the point that animals that she is ok with keeping in captivity also don't get as much exercise or free space as their wild counterparts.
Ask her to define "free space", and to explain WHY animals in the wild need that "free space". It's NOT because they WANT it; it's because they HAVE to have so much space in order to find food, find water, find shelter, find mates, avoid predators. And, if she still wants to anthropomorphize, have her compare animals to human children. It's the nature of human children to want as much freedom as possible, to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to come and go as they please, and as a veteran teacher, I can certainly vouch for that! Children resent rules and restrictions, which they see as "mean" or "too strict". Does this mean that adults should simply allow children to do whatever they want, with no restrictions on their "freedom"? Would she consider a parent or teacher to be a responsible adult if they put no restrictions on the "freedoms" of the children in their care, but simply allowed them to do whatever they wanted, to come and go as they pleased, just because it's what children "want"? If not, then have her explain WHY it's wrong to curtail a child's freedom, but not an animal's, even though a child, even at a young age, has a greater grasp on the abstract concept of "freedom" than any animal. Why is it cruel to put an animal in an enclosure that protects it from harm, and in which all of its biological needs are met, but it's not cruel to force a child to go against his/her inate nature by telling that child that he/she cannot go into certain areas, cannot leave the house beyond a certain point in time, cannot do this or that, even though doing this or that is fun, cannot associate with certain other children, cannot eat this or that, to force said child to perform "not fun" tasks like homework or room cleaning or yard chores instead of doing fun things? For that matter, you can even use adult humans as an analogy. I love fast cars. I love to drive my car REALLY fast, and I have a car that can go really fast. Should I be allowed, on any highway, to drive my car as fast as I want to, because it's my nature to do so, and because restricting my nature is stressful and annoying to me?

Even in the "wild", animals do not get to do what they "want" to do. They do what they HAVE to do; they are still very much bound by restrictions, albeit not always man-made restrictions. They have to deal with territorial boundries, and are limited to staying where they can find food, etc. If they "want" to go outside those areas, they pay the price with their lives. Nature has some very stingent rules and restrictions, actually, and organisms which do not "obey" those rules die, plain and simple. There was actually a scientific study conducted in Australia by Dr. Jeff Downing of the University of Sydney on the effects of stress on "free-range" vs. caged chickens, and guess what? The free-range chickens had stress hormone levels many times higher than the caged chickens did. The free-range chickens were subject to attacks by predators and by each other, had a more difficult time getting food and had to compete with each other and other animals for it. The free-range chickens were subjected to whatever the weather could throw at them-extreme heat, rain, cold, hail, etc. Now, to a HUMAN, it would seem to be a chicken's dream existance, to just run around, scratching in the dirt, eating whatever they wanted, as opposed to sitting in a wire cage inside an enclosed building 24/7, with your food periodically dumped into a container in front of you by an automated device, never touching the ground, not knowing if it was raining outside or sunny, and not being able to have much, if any, contact with other chickens or other kinds of animals. The chickens, though, obviously didn't see it that way at all. What WE consider "freedom", they considered highly stressful and unpleasant, and what WE look at as "cruelty", they saw as security.

pitbulllady
 

the toe cutter

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PBL has the best answer so far in this discussion. Anthropomorphism is completely insane if you think about it rationally and is happening with more and more frequency I feel as of late. MOST "exotic" animals are animals with, shall I say less than desireable intellectual faculties; I mean when was the last time your Cornsnake beat you in a game of checkers? Or the last time you and your Lasiodora parahybana enjoyed a nice tall Chai and discussed the ideological fall of Rome under Constatine? If this has happened to you, you have a far more interesting life than I, and by all means please continue and write blog about it! I'd love to read that. People seem to be worried about the welfare of others pet animals but not so much the welfare of the natural environment as it stands right now. You could also say that the Ficus I keep in my home, or the ones down at the dentists office, are in the same rationale, probably very unhappy about their current circumstances as well. They are after all living things and would probably absolutely and positively like a bit of freedom to go to the local pub when it feels like or just hang out with its family back in a South East Asian forest soaking up the rays, aside from the occasional nip from those darn caterpillars and ants! All joking aside There is no argument in protest that is logical to the keeping of exotic animals, if that was the case why do I not hear these same ideals thrown like torches at a witches stake, at institutions like Zoological parks or most US Colleges with research departments that include the observation and breeding of exotic animals? Or the numerous pharmaceutical research and development institutes that breed and maintain thousands of specimens for research into things like cures for acute and minor illnesses? Now while I understand that my personal collection of animals is definitely not going to extend the life of my fellow human, because I refuse to participate in such vane attempts to extend human life, but scientific observation can be done by anyone. Most of the early and famous scientists of the last 2000yrs were not tenured professors or even college graduates, but self proclaimed naturalist with little to absolutely no college biology instruction. The captive husbandry of animals is a small key that unlocks alot of fascinating world discovery and better understanding of the natural and behavioral mechanics of that particular species and further the understanding and tolerance of these wonderful animals to the local populace. Most of these animals even common ones are so rarely studied in their natural habitat that we as keepers are at the fore front of understanding these animals and their behaviors.

Now overcollecting of wild specimens IS a huge downfall to this hobby, but there are hundreds, probably thousands of people making great attempts to breed in captivity rare species and with far better success than we have gotten in the past. But honestly if we stopped buying WC animals from other countries would it stop the overcollecting? Absolutely not! If anyone here has traveled around this great big world a bit, if some did not import these animals as pets they would be shipped somewhere else on the globe for other purposes ie, interesting accompaniments to local whiskeys, fashionable apparel, cures for erectile disfunction, fun and exciting exotic cuisine, and so on and so forth. Its usually poor countries that these animals inhabit whose inhabitants need money in whatever means necessary, collecting and selling local animals for example, to help their families and friends. Thats why Tigers are probably going to be extinct before my kids will. Under-educated peoples in third world countries are going to exploit whatever they can in whatever possible manner to further their own existence, no matter how fleeting the endeavor is. Even if that means the complete extinction of a species. This is by no means an attempt to say that importing animals is ok, so don't take it that way. I don't much care for it either, I was just stating the homeostatis errors in human nature. So, regardless of if imports of exotic animals cease the animals will be extirpated anyway. You wanna save the worlds wildlife? Educate the masses, because its the only way that will ever happen. A friend of mine told me about a Vietnamese adult male colleague of his who asked him if horses laid eggs and thought that snakes lived for eternity. Think about the ignorant questions/posts you see here on occasion and probably get from other "normal" supposedly educated people then times that by local mythologies/legends and a lack of education past 5th grade and poverty on a fairly good size portion of the world. Not to mention the annihilation of wild habitat for human expansion, farming and the like. Which i read recently the huge amount of clearing of rainforest now for soy fields is rivaling the expansion of the animal food farming, kind of ironic if you think about it?! Saving animals by not eating them only to destroy natural habitat and kill off species that may or may have not yet been discovered.

Ok well I seem to have lost myself in a rant there for a minute. But yeah just some things to consider. I'd much rather keep a person in a glass cage as they would be far more interesting to observe, and a WC baby would be preferred in that particular case as feral children I find to be better suited for study since they don't usually have the capacity for BS'ing. Unfortunately for myself and Kathy Lee Gifford, this is generally not seen as "ethically viable" practices and usually illegal... usually. So in short I'm sure this will be talked about both for and against, it is simply my opinion and things I have read/seen for myself. And we, unlike our pets, have lots of differing opinions about the world and how it should work; that's the difference. Hope that helps a bit and if not it will be exciting to see where this thread goes!;P
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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I only adopt sick or injured animals, those who would have died or had a life of misery without my help. If I could have released some animals back where they lived in the wild through a rehabilitation program (for wild caught species only you find sold) I would have loved too seeing them back in the wild and not captive. But for those I do have, captive was better than the tiny cages they were already in being sick and dying, with me at least their living conditions have drastically improved and they are loved.

But if I had to choose, I would choose to have no pets if they could live wild.

Thats why I love sanctuaries that try to give animals as natural a habitat as possible.
 

TomM

Arachnobaron of Pennsylvania
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when was the last time your Cornsnake beat you in a game of checkers? Or the last time you and your Lasiodora parahybana enjoyed a nice tall Chai and discussed the ideological fall of Rome under Constatine?
I tried having an intelligent discussion with my LP, but it only spoke Portuguese so the conversation didn't go far. :wall: {D

Sorry, had to do that. Anyways, this is a very interesting discussion. I would have to say that if the animals biological requirements are being met, I don't see the problem with having pets. That being said, there are a lot of animals being sold at pet stores that we do not know enough information about to be kept properly. If anyone wants to get an amazing perspective on this subject, I HIGHLY recommend reading "Animals Make Us Human" or any other book by Temple Grandin. Just my two cents.
 

catfishrod69

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a true friend doesnt have to like what you do, but they must atleast respect that you like it...i recently got rid of a friend for that reason, and hes a retard...but i also had a blood brother for 15 years, we did absolutely everything together...hunting, trapping, hiking, killing things, making bombs, other illegal things, list goes on and on, until he got addicted to pills....we all tried to walk him through it, but now he also after 15 years isnt my friend....extremely hard loss for me....but wasnt my fault....anyways your friend should understand you like it and _______....
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
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It's very possible I missed something in this already long discussion, but I don't see where the "friend" was falling prey to anthropomorphism. It’s a nice, big flashy word but I don’t see the context for it here. This distraction from the argument, however, may work as an effective diversion or entrap the friend later in the conversation. Maybe the point of this thread is just helping Kaimetsu to "win" his argument. That is fine.

I also do not understand the point of the child analogy that Pitbulllady made. Children cannot survive in the wild on their own. That entire paragraph does nothing to the friend’s argument.

Toecutter says that if we cease to buy WC tarantulas it won’t make a difference. That’s like saying one vote doesn’t count in a democracy. Toecutter also likes Pitbulllady’s argument. I, too, love the point about anthropomorphism as a general topic of interest, despite its irrelevance against the friend’s argument. Toecutter seems to justify overcollecting by saying that hobbyists are making great attempts to breed rare species. He qualifies his statement by using the word “success” in relation to hundreds or thousands of people doing it. Maybe I’m out of touch, but I’m not seeing the connection here as either a justification or even as a fact. Sure, the word “attempts” was used, but are we talking about “successful attempts” here? I’m successfully “attempting” to make sense of this entire discussion.

We humans have the ability to manipulate the creatures around us. Dogs and cats and chickens in their domesticated forms are probably content, and nearly stress-free. The same is true for a teenager with an IPod in their ears while watching television and eating a bag of Fritos while not even attempting to taste them. Chickens may not be very conscious animals, but the teenager is making an arguably conscious choice to be fat and lazy.

Free range chickens may be more stressed than caged ones, but so what? Stress is a natural, often healthy part of (natural) life. All animals are capable of fight or flight. If they are in their natural setting, they are naturally adapted to survive—not necessarily an individual, but as a species.

Clearly, the referenced chicken study showed that the stress for the free ranged chickens was negative (what is the definition of free ranged…a larger caged-in area on a farm, rather than a 2 ft. cage? And who paid for this study…KFC-Oz?). As with the argument the two friends are having, the important issue with the chickens is actually quite larger and more important than the argument itself. It is not whether an individual animal or even a species is stressed or not in captive setting, but what role its existence plays on this planet of interconnected life. Everything is connected, not in some metaphysical way, but in very direct ways. The predator the study called a stressor often belongs in that habitat and exists to eat the chicken or anything of a comparable size (on a chunk of land that the farmer’s farm is displacing the predator’s entire species from). Are we really supposed to believe the chicken was actually in the wild rather than being in some larger fenced in farmyard with no place to hide from the predator? Even if this reference was relevant, it would still be cause for concern.

Okay, if the chicken is being raised to feed people, that’s its purpose. Fine. Why pamper it in the larger cage? What is the point? But if we are to compare captive chickens to wild chickens (is there such a thing anymore?) or birds of any kind, there is no justifying which life is more natural or “right”. Isn’t the argument between the two friends about whether it is right or wrong to keep animals as captives?

Aren't human beings the most domesticated animals of all? How many truly happy people do you know? Couch potatoes, couch humans, couch dogs, caged tarantulas! When will Apple make the first IPawd for a dog?

There is a wild cat that roams the grounds where I work. A kitten trails behind it, lately. It has survived through several years of changing seasons. It is a more glorious animal than any “pet” I've seen in anybody's house. It behaves like a wild animal. It is "catlike". Even if it let you, you would think twice about walking up to it to pet it. It has teeth and claws and a free, wild and natural spirit. Some cat-owners at work pity this champion of cats, this survivor. I feel differently.

When you think of what makes a tarantula an amazing animal, do you close your eyes and picture this miraculous predator sucking on a dead pinky mouse in a glass aquarium or the fast food equivalent of a pet store cricket--or do you imagine it feeding on a live, writhing mouse that it has just pulled into its burrow beneath the gnarled, exposed roots of an ancient tree in a dank, dark rainforest? If you could only choose one existence for all tarantulas, what would you choose? What feels right?

If you THINK too far beyond what you just felt, you might be tempted to anthropomorphize yourself, justifying your thoughts on the basis of your culture’s, your society’s, your church’s or your family’s belief’s on this subject.

Everything natural has a right place in the order of nature. But, people don’t need order as much as they want convenience. This is why we let the dust build up on shelves until somebody is coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. We want to relax after “work”, not clean. We want to veg out. We want to bring a plant or a tarantula into the house instead of going out and exploring nature. What is this need we have to have these things in our homes? Is it safe to say that some of us see more beauty in nature than others? Is it accurate to say there are degrees of appreciation, and degrees of everything? Who values nature more, the person that reverently displays a tarantula in a cage or one who chooses to revere them by leaving them where they naturally occur? And where does the person that would sooner squash a spider fit in?

Bugmankeith understands degrees in his reply above!

When a species is not threatened, the degree of concern for collecting it is very low. When a species is threatened, the degree for concern is high. If these degrees do exist, then right and wrong exist. If there is a spectrum between these two poles, there are many degrees imaginable. Some actions may be mostly okay, others mostly discouraged. It is mostly okay to keep a captive tarantula. It is mostly not okay (morally) to hybridize close species and sell them to the masses.

Most neighborhoods recycle now, but I occasionally find myself throwing something that is actually recyclable into the trash that goes to the landfill…and my trash bag is RIGHT next to my recycle bins. Degrees! I do recycle, but I don’t always recycle every little bit of recyclable material. Who does not feel that little twinge of guilt when doing this? Sure, it hardly even measures as a twinge, but that is a conscious moment of right vs. wrong.

Self-accountability.

Something to consider…

A pet comes back to you when you let it free. A captive does not. A human child is something else entirely.

Like TomM, I don’t personally see a “problem” with keeping most bugs as pets, unless, as the Toe Cutter mentioned, they are WC, over-collected species. It’s not about it being a problem, it’s about whether it is really right or wrong. As I stated in my first post in this discussion, I admit I am a hypocrite, but I do believe that some good work is done by us hobbyists, as we propagate our perspectives on bugs through the masses. I see it as a means to an end. I'm not convinced it makes a damn bit of good. Obviously, a tarantula won't "care" that it is in the cage, but we might care to consider whether that is the best place for it as more and more of them disappear in nature.
 
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the toe cutter

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This is my favorite part: http://bugsincyberspace.com - Live Bug Supersite!

But what he says is true, and as for PBL's second comment, I think she may have lost me as well with the whole child comparison. And unfortunately I only read her first page before commenting. I type REALLY slow:}! And in an Ideal Utopian Kurt Vonnegut-esque world I agree that ethically keeping animals should be avoided to some extent! However, there are a few comments I feel should be addressed, like this one and I don't mean to pick on bugmankieth, so no offense taken I hope:

"But if I had to choose, I would choose to have no pets if they could live wild."

Well get that address labeler ready because they can live in the wild and most have done so for millions of years! Well, until we got more involved.

"Thats why I love sanctuaries that try to give animals as natural a habitat as possible."

Hmm. this is tough...let me see...nope, Still caged! And more than likely due to the ineptitude of either volunteer staffing or simply people who are exceptionally empathetic but not too knowledgeable, and especially from what I have seen in 20yrs in the reptile hobby from "sanctuaries" and "rehabilitation/rescue" organizations, I am not so impressed and feel I maintain my animals in better/optimal conditions and standards than SOME, NOT ALL, of these types of places. I have heard and seen of some pretty insanely idiotic things from accredited rescue organizations.

"I only adopt sick or injured animals, those who would have died or had a life of misery without my help."

And a life of misery implies empathetic feelings imposed on an animal, and thus, da da dada! Anthropomorphism{D, perhaps a life of inproper husbandry at best would be a more proper terminology there. But in all seriousness, I do applaud your efforts there.

"Toecutter says that if we cease to buy WC tarantulas it won’t make a difference. That’s like saying one vote doesn’t count in a democracy."

In a Democracy it does, in our current state of a Republic, not so much. And as far as I can recall, there aren't a whole heck of alot of democracies in the world? If you lived in a place where the only thing you had to sustain your families existence was to catch and sell the local wildlife either for pets, skins, or tasty meals because of the non-existent concern of your countries particular government that month, would you do it to survive? And anyway, have you ever been to a market in Dubai? or Bangladesh? Thailand? Argentina? Colombia? Maybe Morocco? or alot of other countries where the use of animals for whatever the new cool fad is? Or what they think is tasty or appealing to whatever other senses and are used/slaughtered on a MASS scale and not even given the oppurtunity to at very least have a chance of being captive and possibly surviving? What in that case is more ethical?

And we can go ahead and assume that encroachment of the human populace will have no ill effect on the local indigenous wildlife as well from this statement, can we not? Are ther not numerous organizations that are removing local populations of wild animals, frogs and toads for instance, for theit benefit and survival, which is in its self an evolutionary oxymoron since the frogs that are still surviving are naturally immune to the devastating Chytrid fungus wich is one of the oldest known fungi in the world? I believe the last Panamanian Golden Frog that was collected from the wild was in 2007 by the IUCN's Amphibian Conservation Action Plan and the Amphibian Ark project. How does that factor in to your idealistic utopian world of wild animals being in the wild? Or the hundreds of other endangered animals that there are more of in the captivity than in wild?

"We humans have the ability to manipulate the creatures around us." Once again see above statement!

And we do it every day all over the world whether for the better or for worse, and usually for worse! But I am not here to refute your message, I actually agree that thats the way things should be! But that will never be the case as long as "WE" are here and manipulating our environments instead of even attempting to reach a natural stasis or equlibrium with Nature, which is against our fundamental nature if you want to wax philosophically about it. We can't even get along with ourselves, much less everything else the majority of people on this rock think as a lower life form, for whatever reasons?! What is better, for us who have the ability to alter environments, even on a micro scale, to do so to conserve what we would like, which is against even the basic laws of evolution, or to let those(animals) less fortunate, what we deem as "non-cognizent", to be decimated and then attempt retroactively to do something constructive about it? I do believe that Crested geckoes were only established in the US from a dozen pairs of WC animals imported here, and more than likely every single CB one out there today are directly descended from those original 12 pairs. That is quite an accomplishment in my opinion, especially since a female will usually only lay a single egg 4-6 times a year! That is a good survival plan in my opinion, and if ever need be, which is a current issue in their natural habitat because of over-collecting, there are PLENTY of them that could be re-introduced into the wild and be quite successful.

But like I said before there is a huge concern with over-collecting and there are plenty of species readily available CB for sale that there is really no need for WC anymore. The exception being for the collection of certain species for their continued survival effort. So in short kaimetsu, Ideally you con not win this argument as BugsinCyberspace said earlier. And it is not really an argument as much as a difference in opinion and preferrence of lifestyle. I am not here to repudiate anyone nor "win" a debate for anyone, just offering some other opinions and ideas for debate which is supposed to be used to give different ideaologies and promote a better understanding overall. Maybe that will shed more light on my previous statements, which were intended to be somewhat comical and satirical, but as I have feared some people here lack a sense of humor!

Cheers.
 
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RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
994
I can assure you this friend is a good person worth having as a friend, and i'd rather be friends than enemies with someone like this so i could help to change there minds.
What exactly gives you the right to change their mind on the issue? You both have opinions on keeping animals in captivity. If you are actually a good friend, and s/he a good friend in turn, you'll both agree to disagree instead of bludgeoning one another with your opinions over something that there is frankly no true "right" or "wrong" answer to. Its OK for friends to not agree on everything if they can respect one another's differences. I suggest you both do just that and leave one another to your respective ideologies. You may not like being preached at about keeping animals in cages, but I can guarentee your friend doesn't like being preached at about the merits of doing it either.
 

stevetastic

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
670
PBL has the best answer so far in this discussion. Anthropomorphism is completely insane if you think about it rationally and is happening with more and more frequency I feel as of late. MOST "exotic" animals are animals with, shall I say less than desireable intellectual faculties; I mean when was the last time your Cornsnake beat you in a game of checkers? Or the last time you and your Lasiodora parahybana enjoyed a nice tall Chai and discussed the ideological fall of Rome under Constatine?
So anthropomorphism is insane but exotic animals are less intelligent because they can't play board games or don't enjoy spiced tea and history?

And a life of misery implies empathetic feelings imposed on an animal, and thus, da da dada! Anthropomorphism
Misery has nothing to do with empathetic feeling. An animal can certainly be in distress or suffer due to it needs not being met without applying human characteristics to it.
 
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the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
So anthropomorphism is insane but exotic animals are less intelligent because they can't play board games or don't enjoy spiced tea and history?

The answer actually is yes! that and they do not have the cognition, much of the frontal lobe regions associated with "feelings" and other such cerebral morphological traits that set us apart! They are pretty much all or mostly hindbrain, or in lay-mans terms the primitive part of the sensory perception organ called your brain. And Invertebrates, doubly so! In insects, specialized sense organs detect information from the environment and transmit it to the central nervous system. Such sense organs include simple and compound eyes, sound receptors on the thorax (the main body) or in the legs, and taste receptors. The brain of an insect consists of a ganglion in the head. Ganglia are also found in some segments of the insect's body. The information that insects use for behaviors such as walking, flying, mating, and stinging is stored in these segmental ganglia. In experiments in which heads are cut off of cockroaches and flies, these insects continue to learn. Anyone with any knowledge of common science, should now that. Plus that is what I was talking about when I said I was afraid that some of the people here have no sense of humor!


Misery has nothing to do with empathetic feeling. An animal can certainly be in distress of suffer due to it needs not being met without applying human characteristics to it.
It sure can, since it is NORMALLY applied to human beings in certain situations. But it can be applied to anything living, kept in poor or squalid, substandard conditions. So Touche! you;) I suppose this means I should dust and water my Ficus plant as I would not want to exacerbate its misery!


I would hope this will give you more steam to re-buttle my previous statements, or at least to go and read some current Biology books and gain a sense of humor people!
 
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RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
994
at least to go and read some current Biology books
Funny, I was going to suggest that you do some reading on contemporary animal behavior & cognitive ethology if you think that "most" exotic animals are unintelligent. I'll ignore the fact that "exotic pet" can cover very intelligent animals like parrots and chimps and assume that you mean reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. In reptiles especially, fairly advanced cognitive abilities are quite well documented if you bother to read any modern studies on the topic. I don't agree with people who say that other animals are "exactly like people," but I also think that anyone who still abides by the extremely outdated concept that nonhuman animals are simple little biological machines is grossly misinformed.

FTR: The general consensus of modern science on the brain is that we sure as heck don't know as much about the brain as we thought we did. We've recently proven short and long term memory in the nautilus, which doesn't have the brain anatomy "required" for either. We've recently discovered that most of the brain mass of "higher" animals is a bunch of repetitious junk and does not correlate to greater intelligence. We've recently discovered that brains previously thought "simple" like those of birds are simply extremely efficient and able to pack quite a punch in a small and 'primitive' package. Neurobiology and related "brain science" fields are in their relative infancy and new information is being discovered all of the time that utterly blows our prior notions out of the water.
 
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stevetastic

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
670
It sure can, since it is NORMALLY applied to human beings in certain situations. But it can be applied to anything living, kept in poor or squalid, substandard conditions. So Touche! you;) I suppose this means I should dust and water my Ficus plant as I would not want to exacerbate its misery!


I would hope this will give you more steam to re-buttle my previous statements, or at least to go and read some current Biology books and gain a sense of humor people!
You should of course water your ficus. You should also code some quotes into you post so people know what you said is not something I said.


As for
The answer actually is yes! that and they do not have the cognition, much of the frontal lobe regions associated with "feelings" and other such cerebral morphological traits that set us apart! They are pretty much all or mostly hindbrain, or in lay-mans terms the primitive part of the sensory perception organ called your brain. And Invertebrates, doubly so! In insects, specialized sense organs detect information from the environment and transmit it to the central nervous system. Such sense organs include simple and compound eyes, sound receptors on the thorax (the main body) or in the legs, and taste receptors. The brain of an insect consists of a ganglion in the head. Ganglia are also found in some segments of the insect's body. The information that insects use for behaviors such as walking, flying, mating, and stinging is stored in these segmental ganglia. In experiments in which heads are cut off of cockroaches and flies, these insects continue to learn. Anyone with any knowledge of common science, should now that. Plus that is what I was talking about when I said I was afraid that some of the people here have no sense of humor!
While this was all very fascinating... 20 years ago... I fail to see what it has to do with whats being discussed.

RGR... +1
 
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