This video shows a highly adaptive cat behavior: never move when your prey is watching:
BONUS: Laws of physics broken! Sean Carroll shows that cats can change their mass when forced to do walkies.
You follow up your “animals should not be entertainment” post with this.
There is nothing that says that animals can’t be entertaining, the problem is when animals are made to entertain us.
Not even that – the problem is when animals are held in unsuitable environments for the sole purpose of entertaining us. There’s just as much wrong with keeping an orca in a zoo as there is in keeping a German shepherd in a tiny apartment.
I like how the ninja kitty crouches down as it gets closer, to maintain the illusion that it’s further away. (I bet the distance from its white face to its white feet remains relatively constant)
“You follow up your “animals should not be entertainment” post with this.”
Hmm…yes, there is a potential contradiction there and I hope that JC will discuss it. I should think that it is a matter of degrees. In the animals should not be entertainment JC argued that certain animals were not well suited to captivity. Killer whales are born to roam entire oceans. Giraffes are meant to roam the African plains. But dogs and cats, for better or worse, are domesticated (well, dogs are, cats just put up with people for the free food and door opening servitude…) and have smaller territorial instincts than whales and giraffes. But the differences are not black and white and it is an issue worth discussing.
I think you and mythusmage got it right. I can’t think of a sound argument against having domesticated non-human animals in an un-abusive (physically and emotionally) environment as pets. Whether it was ethical to domesticate cats and dogs to begin with is a question for a philosopher with a time machine set to 8000 BCE. But cats and dogs have been selected and self-selected to mingle with humans and, whether they mean to or not, amuse us.
Breeding these pets when so many existing pets need homes should be criminal, but that’s a different argument.
This is very different from keeping an orca in a tank or inducing a sea lion to jump through hoops in exchange for fish. There are reasonable exceptions (wild animals that were rejected by their mothers and can now be used to educate the public) that should be examined on a case-by-case basis.
(I’ve been a vegan for 12 years, in case that helps my animal advocacy street cred.)
The human in the first vid would need some more training though, that haphazard, fast and short dental routine must wear the teeth. :-D
cats just put up with people
I thought so too, when saw and listened to those vids of cats adapting their purring to trigger humans feeding them.
Of course if you are arguing that the cats are domesticating people to get what they want, I have no counterargument there.
We had a pet crow for a bit, that loved to perch on heads. My mum had to take to wearing a hat when working in the garden.
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