Connecting People and Nature #10

Exotic Pets: Right or Wrong??

Today we will be looking into the major debate about whether owning and caring for exotic pets are ethical or not?

I won’t be giving my personal statement on this issue until the end, only because I want people to develop their own feelings and opinions, if not had already, towards this topic before seeing mine.


Before we look deeper into this topic, I wanted to describe what makes an animal exotic. An exotic animal is any animal that is not part of the definition of an ‘animal‘ under the Code of Federal Regulations and one that is not native to the U.S., such as an elephant, camel, or kangaroo. The non-exotic animal category in a legal sense includes examples such as a dog, cat, hamster, or rabbit (Cheprasov).


I came across some strong arguments in favoring the owning of exotic animals as pets. 5 irrefutable arguments saying it is ethical to own exotic animals as pets include:

  1. If you support keeping birds, reptiles, or cats as indoor pets, you already support exotic pet ownership
  2. Is keeping exotic pets selfish? So what! Keeping any pet is selfish.
  3. Exotic pets do not harm the environment any more than domestic pets.
  4. Any animal of a certain size can bite.
  5. Bans only eliminate problems by eliminating animals.

The reason I believe these argument to be so strong is because the quality of the captive situation varies as does the species being subjected to it. (PetHelpful)

Non-Ethical :

On the other hand, this topic of conversation also has plenty of strong negative feelings as well. Looking through one of my favorite blog sites about animals (World Animal Protection) a srong statement was made by a blog writter named Julie Cappiello.

“While some animals in pet shops are not seen as “wild” because they’re readily sold, these animals continuously suffer in captivity for our companionship. Unlike dogs and cats, animals such as snakes, lizards, sugar gliders, and chinchillas are not domesticated and live in unsuitable captive environments.”

Julie Cappiello

Here are reasons why we should END the Exotic Animal Pet trade!!!

  1. African Grey Parrots are often pouched from the wild
  2. The exotic pet trade is both illegal and legal
  3. Some wild animals sold carrie multiple diseases
  4. Otters are taken from the wild as cubs after their parents are killed
  5. Wild animals cannot have their basic needs met in captivity
  6. Social Media is fueling the exotic pet trade
  7. Sugar Glider sale are rising in the U.S (take a deeper look into all these arguments, highly recommend!)

Personal Statement:

I want to clearly say that I see both sides of the arguments within this topic. I see great strength within the ethical side, but I also see important residing issues on the non-ethical side. I am in the middle of this argument, I know kind of disappointing, but my feelings towards this issue still boggle from both sides. I need to gain more information from both sides before I could say which side I reside within. Looking at the ethical side, the reason why I believe this is partially true is because they are right owning any animals is selfish in a way. You then see people who own Macaws, which are exotic, so its proven people can make it work. There is also people who do this for a job such as men/women who own sanctuaries for exotic pets and nurse them back to health before releasing them! Now, this topic is also super non-ethical for so many reasons. No one goes about this situation right people set their mind to things and they will do everything in their power to obtain these animals. These wild animals will NEVER get what the need from owners then what they get form the wild, it will never compete. More people in this world need to sit and really think about what they are getting themselves into, its 10x the responsibility then you average dog or cat.