Where does the line lie between making yourself happy and being considerate of others? And do you limit that consideration to only your own race? I know many vegetarians do not. Does the fact that humanity can inflict our desires upon the rest of the creatures on this planet mean that it is necessarily the correct thing to do? I am pondering whether to adopt a kitten and am concerned that it will negatively impact my current cat’s (Lexi) quality of life.
She has become extremely accustomed to being the only animal in the household. When she has had to go stay at another house that has animals she will hide away and hiss, only coming out to grab a quick bite to eat. The last time I had to do that to her she maintained that behavior for a couple months, the entire time I was gone. Yet she came from a house where she got along fine with a smaller dog. Would she be okay if I adopted a kitten that she could dominate in the beginning and grow accustomed to? It’s not like there’s a return policy on adopting animals. At least I don’t think there is.
Lexi is 11 now, so she is definitely getting on in years. I expect she will likely live another 4-8 years given how tiny she is, but I don’t want to subject her to a new brother or sister when she is in her last days. That seems like a poor idea. And I’d like to have another feline so that when I lose Lex I’m not totally devastated by her loss. I have a difficult enough time struggling through life as is. Dealing with the loss of my ‘daughter’ without having another ‘child’ to have a loving relationship with would be nearly unbearable. So who’s needs are more important in this situation?
Yes, you can certainly extrapolate the overall question to a large scale philosophical one, but I generally don’t have an issue with the larger aspect of this quandary. I go with the straight utilitarian perspective. Greatest good for the greatest number. It’s when you get down to discerning the minutiae that it becomes challenging for me. We have two creatures here. Both have desires and I cannot effectively communicate with Lexi in any sensible fashion. Yet I love her and do not want to put her through any undue distress. So what is the responsible thing to do? Hell if I know.