Humans domesticated animals 10,000 years ago. Since then we have found multiple ways of exploiting animals and treating them as if they were our property or things that exist for humans. Domestication led animals to an awful situation whereby they lost their ability to survive on their own terms.
“Pet ownership” is one form of animal domestication that involves the use of an animal as entertainment and companionship.
From an Animal Rights perspective, domestication and all forms of animal use are unethical, so the institution of “Pet ownership” should be abolished. That means we must stop breeding and selling animals, but we must take care of the ones that are already here with us.
Unfortunately, domesticated animals are dependent on us for everything; they don’t have a habitat and they don’t have the abilities to survive in nature without humans. We have bred them to become the domestic creatures they are today. We have brought them to this awful situation, so it is our responsibility now to take care of them and try to make them have the best lives we can give them. Lives that, unfortunately and inevitably, will always be restricted by their lack of autonomy.
Vegans do not buy or breed animals, but they do adopt and foster animals. We do not see animals as “pets” or “toys”, we see them as family members or individuals who deserve respect and who need help and shelter. We see them as non-human refugees.