"Is releasing all 'non-human pets' to go anywhere they wish to go the solution?"
solution? It's certainly *a*
solution. One of several (many?) possible solutions, some good, some bad, some better than others, who knows which is which, everyone seems to have different opinions about it and none of us seems to be able to agree. Personally, I'd prefer not to put the non-human pets through that ordeal even if it *is*
the solution. But, that's just me. What's my opinion worth? I let other people decide for me that I'll let my hair get cut, that I'll wear clothes in hot weather, and that I'll walk around with a flayed penis. I'm no genius, I'm just your average quirky fool with a weakness for "going along to get along." Oh sure I try to be unique in my own way, but that doesn't mean my opinions are worth a damn. As always, I make the best guess I can about things and just run with it.
Interesting question: Would it be okay if any humans were to own a "human pet?" Interesting answer: Some BDSM folks actually kind of do that. It helps that the "pet" expressly consents, but then we are talking about creatures who can verbally communicate with each other.
And there's the riddle of "traditional" marriage: kind of a "co-ownership" type of situation, wouldn't you say? I personally mildly (or not-so-mildly?) dislike it, but so very many people out there sincerely see it as the best thing since sliced bread, and ya can't argue that there aren't some (seemingly) very-happily-married couples out there.
Re: transferring a wild/feral cat/dog to the pound ... oohh, that's a really harsh one. Well, I think *most*
pound-consigned pets luck out and get adopted, even though *many*
(far too many) get put down, so technically we are "putting the odds in the wild/feral cat/dog's favor," if you consider captive domestic life to be a happy ending. I can't answer a riddle like that. I suppose since cats and dogs have already been bred (over thousands of years) to specialize in captive domestic living, I'll (reluctantly) vote for the "pound solution." But I can also easily understand the argument for leaving the already-undomesticated critters be. Or better yet (maybe?), like you said, transfer them to a national park or something, where they won't have to contend with the man-made disadvantages of living on the streets in the city, and can enjoy the fresh air and glorious view (that comes at the, in my perspective, terrible cost of the harshness doled out by the wilderness).
Unavoidable complication: A feral cat is impounded. Later, the pound runs out of shelf space for the cat. Standard procedure: Put the cat down. Buuut ... since it *was*
feral, why not release it back into the (wilds? streets? Which would be better especially if the streets are what the cat was used to?) instead of putting it down? Then at least it'd be (in theory) no worse off than before animal control swiped it up.
Ohhh. I did a "wee" bit of brain straining on this one and ... the bottom line is, *I've no idea whether to recommend re-release or euthanasia.*
In my logical mind, re-release seems to make pretty darn good sense. In my illogical heart, it just feels horrible to send that cat back out into that life that seems so pitiless as to suck all the seeming trust and comfort out of the cat's eyes. It's lived a sad, tolling life (especially considering its species isn't really made for life in the wilds, or on the streets). If we can't find a home for it, can we give it a relatively quiet, peaceful departure from this world of sorrows?
Buuut ... then I guess we should put homeless people in pounds, and euthanize them if the pound runs out of shelf space. Why, after all, should we release some poor slob back into the cold, hungry, lonely street life he was toiling through? Obviously that's not how we roll with homeless humans ... but the question remains, *should*
we roll that way? Oh man, that puts me in just as bad of a pickle. I suppose I'd vote to at least be consistent and apply euthanasia to all out-of-space-and-out-of-luck ferals, be they human or otherwise. But in the logic center of my mind, I easily see that it makes more sense to re-release such infortunate souls back into the "wilds" of the city, where soup kitchens will keep them alive. After all, isn't there always hope that they'll somehow, someday, find a way back into a home and a good job? Plus, we can *talk*
to each homeless human and find out what they'd prefer. Simplifies that riddle a little at least.
Well, what would a wild/feral cat/dog want us to do? In the immediate sense? They've presumably learned to distrust humans and want nothing to do with us (let alone be stored in a cage, with nothing but more human contact to look forward to at best). In the long term? If they "luck out" and once they've become accustomed to their new life imprisoned in someone's home, they might find that they prefer the infantile benefits now enjoyed, over the fierce freedom originally enjoyed. They usually seem to do so (if they get adopted), despite having had to adapt themselves to slavery/captivity/dependency (pick the word you "like" best). Maybe nothing ever really changes on a fundamental level; that is, every living thing always does nothing more than merely try to make the best of whatever circumstances it finds itself in.
That pine tree, growing on the side of a cliff. It was born there; it can't leave; it's "trapped" in that state of affairs. Being a rather unconscious type of organism, it nonetheless (like all animals, captive or wild) makes the best of what it's stuck with. In a philosophical sense, the side of a cliff is kind of a cool (but awfully rugged) place to live, wild and "free," even though the tree probably knows no different. Just an illustration (whatever it's worth) of the principle that all living things (except some humans?) adhere to: Always make the best of things, no matter what one lives (and/or must live) with.
Which despite ending with a period, is not actually a statement but a question and another riddle. Is it "good" to be trapped on the side of a cliff? or in a pot (for a plant), in a home (for a pet), or in a cubicle (for a human)? I guess it's both good and bad, but I don't really know; it just ... is what it is.
And always, always, we could sooo easily argue all day about how "good" domestic life may be for a captive pet (from goldfish on up -- hell even indoor spiders are trapped indoors; they too have evolved to be dependent on a human environment). It's good and it's bad, philosophically speaking, but what I've observed so far is that virtually all pets that are decently treated *seem*
to be content (sometimes even happy -- especially when dinner's served or even when they're curled up on their "master's lap") with their lot and, of course, in addition to that, are making the absolute best of all that they experience which is really an accomplishment of theirs that we have to respect.
And that's all I got to say about that.
"The reality of things and the truth of things may not always be pretty, but is any one even willing to even seriously think about these questions?
I'm glad you are, Kevin."