I've been wondering about what current practices might be considered barbaric in the future, and if owning pets might be one of them.
First of all, I despise the thought of 'ownership' of an animal. They are literally treated as property. And stemming from that, it seems like a pet can almost be a prisoner, even if treated in the most kind manner in any other way. Pets being cooped up inside the house, or chained up outside. I realize this is partially for their own protection, so they don't get run over by a car or attacked by other animals, but there still often seems to be an element of control "dressed up" as protection, as another person I know put it.
Most pets cannot survive on their own anyway, so some will say that people have a responsibility to look after them. But the only reason this is so is because people have bred them to be that way in the first place. The very same breeding that made them amenable to living closely with humans is what lost them their ability to survive independently. Is it ethical to keep it as a self-perpetuating tradition?
I am aware that many pets are content to stay with people, they always return home if they are able to roam free, and have very close attachments to people. I see nothing wrong with this. But I feel uneasy with other varieties of pets that are not so content, even if there is no mistreatment. A house is just a large cage for them. I can never come to any conclusion on this matter though, it seems so grey and fuzzy.