my pet behind bars

August 28, 2010 9:07am CST
i find it strange that so many people these days are against circuses and even zoos because it is crule to keep an animal behind bars and yet they buy themselves gerbils, hamsters and birds and keep them in a cage. what is the difference?
2 responses
@Galena (9124)
28 Aug 10
it depends. it's very sad to see the vast numbers of small rodents in cages with little human contact, especially with rats, as they are so intelligent, and crave human company so much more than, say, hamsters, which are not social animals, and are often nervous when being handled, just sat there in a cage, often on their own, and with little human contact. or the rabbits in the small hutch that are only payed attention when it is dinner time or cleaning out time. it's horrible. on the other hand, I keep rats, which are wonderful, lively, social animals who really enjoy human interaction. so while they have their cage as the safe place for them to be when I'm not around, they are out for several hours daily, exploring the settee, where I can keep an eye on them, having cuddles, playing games, learning tricks, or just hanging out in my clothes for a snooze. my rats are happy, spoilt rats, and when they go back into the cage, it is a large cage, in the living room with us there, and whenever they want to come back out, they let us know, by climbing up their front door and staring at us until we come and get them, and they have lots of levels and toys and things to chew and hide in. and of course, they're in a pair, so they have each other to play with too. so it depends entirely whether the owner views the pets cage as where they belong most of the time, or just as a safe place for them to be, and well provided with amusements, when they can't be out with the people.
@shira0524 (483)
• United States
28 Aug 10
Technically, there isn't a difference. However, I would think that a pet hamster or parakeet will be getting the attention of a good owner who plays with it and provides for all its needs, giving it a nice, comfortable home. Also, some animals make good pets for the very reason that they easily adapt to new environments and being confined so long as they are happy and healthy, otherwise. Parrots, as opposed to Parakeets, for example, don't like to be caged and it's healthier for your parrot if it's kept on a parrot stand where it can engage in the activity going on around the home. In the case of most circus animals where there is this controversy it's thought that the environment of constant stress, being forced to perform and having little space to relax without being touched or stared at creates stress that just builds up more and more over time. Circus animals can lead very unhappy lives, evident from their body language, their bad behaviors and that they can become dangerous to handle. In zoos, the importance is usually placed on creating an environment as much like the animal's natural environment so that their stress is minimal. Sometimes that happens and sometimes, no matter what kind of enclosure an animal is kept in, they still yearn for the wide-open spaces of their natural home.