Friday, August 19, 2016

Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?

   Once a person decides to become a pet parent, and commits to provide a loving, supportive and caring home for an animal in need, and they further understand the time and money commitment involved, then the next choice is to decide on what type of pet to adopt. By all means, dogs and cats living in shelters should certainly be considered and the simple act of animal adoption makes you a person of great character. But in addition to dogs and cats, rabbits should certainly be considered too.
    Then comes the question of the hour - Do Rabbits Make Good Pets? To help answer this question, Rabbit .org offers the following:

   "People who haven’t lived with rabbits often ask those who do if rabbits make “good pets,” and if so, if they are more like dogs or cats. Most house rabbit people don’t quite know how to respond to these questions, not only because we have transcended such mundane matters in our own relationships with rabbits, but also because the chauvinistic nature of the questions themselves makes us feel uncomfortable.
   It seems that for most people, an animal is perceived as a “good pet” if she shows affection in ways human beings can understand without much effort (e.g., lapsitting or coming when called), if she participates in games humans easily comprehend (“catch,” “fetch,” or “chase the string”), or if she makes an obvious effort to communicate vocally (barking to be let in or out, mewing for supper). People usually seem fairly sure these qualities cannot be expected in a rabbit, and hence, that rabbits would not make “good pets.” Alternatively, some people expect such traits in all rabbits and may be disappointed in one who is unwilling or unable to comply with their expectations.
   The second question, “Are rabbits more like cats or dogs?” is a natural to follow the first. My usual response is, “Are people more like fish or cockatoos?” After all, rabbits are, first and foremost, like rabbits, and the only way to find out what they are like is to live with one or more. You’ll find that rabbits share a few characteristics with dogs, a few with cats, and a few with humans. They probably even share a few with fish and cockatoos. But mostly they’re like rabbits, and learning what rabbits are like is part of the joy of living with them. The fact that this question, like the “good pets” one, is asked at all makes clear the human position that in order to be considered of value in our world, other species must conform to our notions of what is “good.”

   The entire article is available at What Are Rabbits Really Like?

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