Pets or wildlife: which do you prefer?

6 Jan

Current Questions – what are they?

The new Grant Museum will be a place to get involved in questions about the life sciences.

The first question we are asking is “Pets or wildlife: which do you prefer?” You can get involved in the discussion on this blog.

Why are we asking?

We want people to interrogate what it means to be interested in animals. We are a zoology museum – people come to visit us to see animals – and we want to discuss how animals you see everyday (pets) relate to the wild animals represented in the Museum.

People who say that they are animal lovers often are referring to their pets. We want to raise a few questions:

  1. Do you think about pets in the same way you think about wild animals?
  2. What positive impacts does keeping pets have on wild animals?
  3. What negative impacts does keeping pets have on wild animals?
  4. Can the positive impacts of keeping pets (e.g. company) ever outweigh the negative impacts on wildlife (e.g. wild caught pets; carbon footprint of pet food)?
  5. Is a society that supports pets by definition anti-wildlife?
  6. Why do people have a stronger reaction to a domestic cat preserved in the Museum than to an endangered snow leopard?
  7. What is the difference between wild and natural?

What do you think?