There are some animals people should just not be allowed to own, and that’s not because of the danger, some people keep wolves and put themselves in quite a bit of trouble but that’s not the point I want to address, although there’s a certain subspecies of grey wolf that’s been evolving with us for thousands of years that may be a good starting point for this discussion.
The domestic dog has been essentially bred to be a human companion, they can interpret human emotions from simple eye movements, understand when someone points and, unlike cats (whose special ability seems to be something related to making good content for youtube videos and misspelled captions) they don’t spend most of their time ignoring you and/or trying to become the fuhrer of your household.
That being said, even though I meant it in jest, cats have been human companions for a long time now as well, what we really need to be careful of are wild animals in the house, especially those with higher intelligence, therefore having the mental equipment to understand what’s happening to them and to suffer more.
I know, delightful aren’t I?
I’m talking about monkeys, although there are certainly other creatures that could apply.
Monkeys are not replacements for babies, nor are they domesticated animals, they are wild animals that are adapted to a niche far from the realms of being a plaything for humans, and even if you put a nappy on them it doesn’t mean they think you’re treating them well, in fact there have been reported cases of self-harm in monkeys from the distress caused by people keeping them as pets and not knowing how to look after them properly.
Of course, certain baboons would love to have unlimited access to your food, but given their size, fangs and tendency to have a harem to rival Berlusconi people don’t tend to have those sorts of monkeys in mind when they go for pets, they want small ones with big eyes and lacking the strength to kick them in the teeth.
Monkeys are highly intelligent creatures, and while saying ‘you wouldn’t keep a whale/elephant as a pet’ wouldn’t make any sense given their immense size and vastly different environment, the sentiment is there, at some point you have to draw the line and observe that if the animals are enjoying this so little they’re actively trying to hurt themselves, you probably shouldn’t keep them as pets, or at least not until everyone in the world is a trained zookeeper.