When Caring For Pets And Service Animals, Keep Other Animals In Mind

    More than 80 million U.S. households include one or more companion animal, defined as a service animal or pet.  This amounts to a huge set of human-animal interactions.  A lot of worthwhile advocacy focused on these interactions centers the experiences of companion animals themselves, such as efforts to combat abuse and neglect.  But keeping companion animals also has important effects on an enormous number of other creatures.  This post explores some of these effects and ways for caretakers to account for them when deciding how to care for their animal companions.  Posts on additional species will be added periodically.

An Ethic of Intervention

There is a species on Earth with the capacity to significantly reduce that suffering. Because of that capacity, that species has an obligation to intervene in nature. An obligation to steward it to reduce the suffering of animals, wild and farmed. An obligation to analyze nature’s systems and ecologies, and to take the steps which make nature better for its inhabitants. To not do so is not only a misstep. It is wrong. We must intervene.