Keeping an animal dependent is wrong

Dependency is a form of lack of freedom that some people impose on pets and circus animals in exchange for affection and for doing tricks. These animals depend on man for their food. If an animal were free and able to find its own food, hardly a single animal would spontaneously show affection to people. Showing affection in exchange for food has been forced on animals. Animals (like people) have the right to be safeguarded from this. When people (children and adults) are looking for affection, it is better and more honest to find it in other people. Finding affection from animals is particularly wrong in the case of pets that have to be locked up. This of course doesn't include dogs and cats, which have had centuries to get used to people. It is mainly the animals that belong in the open that we should leave in peace. Not a single animal should be forced to display unnatural behavior or denied the possibility of displaying their natural behavior for economic or immaterial gain. A similar dilemma applies to human mental aid. There are social workers whose council doesn't really help clients, but makes them dependent of this help in a new way. These social workers help people out of the frying pan and into the fire. Something alike applies when people capture an animal, and make it dependent by caring for it and deterring it from the possibility of caring for itself. People should carefully consider why they get involved with animals, is there a wish behind it to exact attention from the animal? Couldn't this need for attention be satisfied some other way?
People claiming they get more from animals than from people, probably demand more from animals than they can give to people and animals themselves. Such people are not balanced and are selling others short. It is harder to let a person be free than it is to let an animal be free; all that is needed to let an animal be free is to leave it alone in its natural habitat. For a human being, rather the opposite applies. The most that love can give anyone is freedom.
Here follows a section about human love from "Love is like a bird in the sky". (Osho publications). It illustrates why we shouldn't lock up animals either. Love gives freedom. Love that doesn't give freedom, is not love. Love is not thirst for power. How can you dominate someone you love? How can you make him dependent and still be loving? But what happens in the world in the name of love is something else: the lust for power, wanting to control others. Of course independence is inadmissible then. You do everything to make the other identical to yourself. You are afraid of the other person's freedom, because freedom escapes control and freedom is unpredictable. So all so-called love tries to kill freedom in any way it can - and as soon as freedom is destroyed, love dies. Love is very fragile, like a rose. You have to allow her to dance in the rain, in the wind, in the sun. seagullLove is like a bird in the sky, and its freedom occupies all of the sky. You can catch the bird, you can put it in a magnificent gilded cage, and it only appears to be the same bird that flew free and had the sky to itself. It just appears to be, but it's not: you have killed it. You have clipped its wings. You have taken its sky from it. And birds do not care for your gold - no matter how precious your cage is, it is still a prison. And this is what we do with our love: we create gilded cages. We are afraid, for the sky is immeasurable. There is a fear the bird won't return. In order to control it, it must be imprisoned. And love is changed into marriage. Love is a bird in the sky: marriage is a bird in a gilded cage. And of course the bird can never forgive you. You've destroyed all its beauty, joy, and freedom. You've broken its spirit - it's nothing but a dead imitation now. But you've assured yourself of one thing: it cannot escape, it will always be yours, tomorrow and the day after.
Lovers are always afraid. There is the fear that love comes as a cool breeze. You cannot produce it, it isn't something that can be produced - it comes. But everything that comes of itself can also leave of itself. This is a natural phenomenon. When love comes, flowers blossom inside you, a song erupts in your heart, a desire to dance but with a secret fear. What will happen if this breeze that has reached you - cool and scented - leaves you tomorrow? …Because you are not the edge of existence. And the breeze is only a guest - it stays with you for as long as it wants and can leave at any time. This causes people to be afraid and to become possessive. They close their doors and windows to keep the breeze in, but the breeze will not stay the same with your doors and windows closed. Its coolness is lost, its scent is lost - very soon it turns into something disgusting. It needs freedom and you've taken that freedom - all that is left is something dead. Other related subjecs are "self control", "respect", "involvement" and "self-realization". More about the relation between love and freedom on: "inner freedom" and "the sane society" (Erich Fromm). See also our articles on keeping pets.

logoThis page describes one aspect of the influence that man has on the quality of life of an animal. We wish to promote the (in other countries as well) growing of awareness, that freedom is also important for an animal. An animal is not a thing, but a being that has the right to quality of a natural way of life. If you want to do something to help animals, click here for our suggestions.

If you appreciate our site, then please help spreading the articles.


Animal Freedom Foundation.
Author .

Our main articles in a book, via an overview or on a separate site.

Back to the top