Thesis: I should not have a pet

Hi everybody,
Given the moral imperative to Love God in our bretheren, how can a Catholic consider having a pet, or pursue any kind of career in the world of pets, or animal entertainment (like circus, etc…)?
Wouldn’t any dollar spent on a pet be a dollar lost on a bretheren that needs it?

Thank you for considering this.

Any opposing views with appropriate refutations are welcomed.

God bless,

It is always wrong to value animals above humans. I am not sure what that would mean for pet owners. If it could be argued that pet ownership some how served the greater good of humanity, then perhaps there could be an allowance so long as doing so did not retract from our duty to serve the poor and the impoverished. This could be an interesting debate.

God made us stewards of the earth. We are to protect what He has made. That includes all of His creation. Pets are part of that creation, and serve a very useful purpose to mankind. You are well aware of service dogs and how they aid the disabled. Even the ordinary house pet offers love and companionship, and protection in many cases, to their owners. How can anyone question the money spent on their care? Some people are extravant in their efforts to please their pets, but by and large, pets are members of the family and earn their keep by their devotion to the family.

No. Loving one creature does not remove love for any other creature. In fact, people who love animals can often be more generous with other human beings than those who shun the love of God’s furry and flying creations.

It would be like saying, “I should not have another child, because I love my first child so much, I would not have as much love for the second child or the second child would take love away from the first.” Love EXPANDS the more we give it away.


Just when I think I’ve heard every moral question raised… :stuck_out_tongue:

As others have said, there is nothing wrong with having pets. Indeed, the “money spent” on animals is more for our benefit than for theirs.

What about money spent on entertainment? Computers? TV? Video games? Music? That’s all money that could be spent on the poor, too.

Moderation in everything - 'nuff said. There’s a big difference between $50 spent on your dog’s food every few weeks and $300 spent every week on Mrs. Poodle, who needs an outfit for every season, a different meal every day, and a weekly spa treatment.

My philosophy on pets:

God created the natural world to please him and to make us happy and save our souls. Animals are a very important part of this and in my opinion, are one of God’s greatest gifts of nature to us.

We have a responsibility to be good stewards and to treat them with kindness. We may use them in a manner that is respectful to our and their Creator. It is good to use their wool, eat their meat and milk and eggs, utilize them for transportation, conduct necessary research on them, and enjoy their companionship. We are not to treat them as humans.

St. Francis of Assisi kept lambs as pets, mourned the death of a newborn lamb killed by a sow, and saluted flocks as he passed by. He took them to church. He recognized in them the beautiful symbolism of Christ. In His humility he became man and was born in a stable. He could have been born in a palace, but he chose to be laid in a manger and be greeted by shepherds who more than likely brought their sheep with them (or at least a lamb or two). And then He chose to suffer and die to redeem us- the ultimate Good Shepherd and the ultimate sacrificial Lamb. St. Francis’ love of sheep did not in any way detract from his love of God nor his fellow brethren here on earth; rather, it seems to have increased it.

You might want to read St. John Chapter 10, about the Good Shepherd. In it Christ suggests that the shepherd knows each member of his flock intimately- in fact, by name. The sheep respond to his voice and know their names, but will not come to a stranger. And the good shepherd gives his life for his sheep- whereas the hireling flees when the wolf ravages the flock. Everything within here is absolutely true. I have sheep. I love my sheep dearly and while I don’t literally give my life for them, it does take a fair amount of self-sacrifice to nurse them back to health, raise bottle lambs, and watch over ewes when lambing. Few things raise my blood pressure more than to hear of a dog or coyote amongst a flock! I suppose the modern good shepherd may be the one who sits up all night with the shotgun, ready to protect the sheep should the coyote come back. :thumbsup:

I probably love and respect my sheep more than most people love their pets, but love is not exhaustive, and I know that they have helped me to better understand Christ’s deep love for us. My love for my sheep doesn’t take away my love for God or anyone else. I think I can love better. I am constantly in awe of the marvelous way He created them!

There is danger in treating a pet like a human being, and I do not like the attitude that a dog or cat is better than another animal, like a sheep. But an approriate love for an animal is not at all wrong. Just my way over-rambled two cents…:o

If you don’t think you should own a pet, then don’t. The animal is probably better off with someone willing to take responsibility for bringing it home anyway. With reqards to what the Church teaches about it: there is no teaching forbidding owning a pet, being a veterinarian, or participating in the betterment of non-human life. If your calling is not towards animals, then it should be towards the humans. If you do as you are called to do, and others do as they are called to do, then everyone will be provided for :slight_smile: It doesn’t have to be a matter of either/or. It can be a matter of everyone pitching in to provide for both.

Hmmm, my family spends about $10 on our three cats a year. Most of that is flea collars (I guess a little would be spent on the tap water we put out in an old bowl)! Pretty sure the lessons in responsibility and compassion for my siblings, the pleasure for us, and the mice removing services (as well as avoiding flea bites) outweigh the tiny bit of good that that money could do elsewhere.

That said, our cats eat leftovers and mice and do their business in the flowerbed. That said, there might be something wrong with your priorities if you feed your pet kobe beef (I’ve witnessed this…) and raw tuna belly every day, take them to the groomers weekly, and buy needless accessories at the cost of helping out your fellow man.

I hope you never go out to eat. You could be using the extra money you’re spending on food to help your fellow man.

This reminds me of the Peter Singer argument that basically led to the conclusion that we should all be one step above poor beggars or else we’re murderers, or something close. We’re allowed to do other things with our time besides charity work-we just need to make sure these things don’t dominate our lives.

Yes, we are to love our fellow men and women but God also created animals as well for a number of purposes. Pets are likewise wonderful companions and for a number of people that live alone, they can be very essential to the general health and well being of the single person living alone. It has been shown that those who have pets do have a more positive out look on life. I think about the companion dogs that come into the hospital to visit the sick and that these pet dogs bring hope to a hospital bound patient. I think of the service animals, mostly dogs that help the blind, sense a seizure, etc. In loving God, we are to love our fellow man as well as our fellow creatures God has made. This is not an either or but an expansion. Pray to St. Francis of Assisi for better understanding of the importance of our fellow creatures.

Wow, how lucky :slight_smile: I spend WAY more on monthly flea/tick prevention and montly heartworm protection for my 5 large dogs. Plus all the food. And meds when they need them. But they are lucky to have me and I am very lucky to have them :slight_smile:

Nailed it. :takethat:

Yup, cats are reaaaaaaaally low maintenance (especially if they have access to outside).
Also, totally didn’t mean to imply that spending more is not moral. Your dogs might cost more, but you’re still just providing for their needs, which is a GOOD thing to do! I was pointing out that the line is crossed and you leave 2 million dollars to a poodle in your will. :slight_smile:

ps 5 dogs? How FUN!!! :smiley: I’ve always wanted one, but my family can’t really provide the attention they need. :slight_smile:

It’s Mrs. Poodle’s money. Let her spend it the way she wants to. Perhaps that is the only interest she has.

Ummm… What? :rolleyes::shrug::tada:

Have you ever taken an animal with you while visiting an old folks home? The elderly people in the homes just love it. My dog Cyclops (lab/pitbull) was used by my mom and her firends when they would do their visits.

My dogs ride along on the trailer behind my bicycle when I go for a ride. Their presence puts people at ease. This allows me to talk with people, offer them food or drink, etc. when I am on my rides.

My dogs have been unofficial team mascots when I have coached kids. Years later young adults will still ask me about my dogs.

Those are a few examples of how animals can be a positive.

God bless

Pretty sure he meant “Mrs. Poodle” as being the dog itself, not the owner. Which is funny because there are no Mrs. in the dog world! It’s either an unbred female or a dam. No Mrs.

Dude, people like animals. Animals provide comfort and companionship to people. Have you never heard of nursing homes with pets? Have you never been happy to come home to a pet? Have you never been awed at God’s creation when watching animals in the Zoo?

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