Animals have feelings too

By on October 19, 2015

Being a senior in college, I like to pretend I think all college students are intelligent enough to act like responsible adults. But being a senior in college, I know better than to think something like that.

In this case, I’m referring to the way college students treat pets or animals that they encounter.

Let me preface this by saying: I am so protective of animals I once got hit in the forehead with a metal baseball bat to defend a lightning bug. Yes, you read that right. And yes, it did hurt a lot.

After seeing college students in their natural habitat for over three years, I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff and, unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff involving the treatment of dorm room, apartment or house pets.

A majority of the poor treatment of animals I’ve seen involves betta fish, more commonly referred to as Siamese fighting fish. Though I’m not sure how all schools are with this, I know for a fact the person at the table in Tator Hall who sells the betta fish does NOT teach students how to properly take care of their new pet.

How can anyone feel morally okay with themselves after selling dozens and dozens of betta fish to college students that don’t know how to care for themselves, let alone a tiny, dependable pet? That will always baffle me.

Now, because of this, when students mistreat their betta fish, it’s not necessarily their fault. But you should research how to care for ANY pet so even that is not a good excuse.

Beyond that, I’ve seen Snapchat videos from multiple individuals that shows a gathering of people around one person with a cup filled with some kind of beverage and, sadly, a betta fish. I’ll save everyone the details and just simply say: yes, what you think happened, happened in every one of those Snapchat videos.

This is completely bordering on–and crossing into–animal cruelty. And yet there are still people who consent to such activities and choose to stand by while others act so recklessly.

Beyond that, I know of plenty of students at this school who have adopted pets like cats, dogs, fish and guinea pigs that they get simply for their own entertainment. When you adopt or buy an animal you should be focused on how you can give them a good life. But, sometimes, when it comes to college students, they don’t do that.

You shouldn’t adopt or buy a pet to keep you and your roommates amused or to be the entertainment for some party you’re throwing next weekend. A pet is a privilege and if you don’t agree, maybe you shouldn’t have one.

But I’m not here just to talk about pets–although I could go on for years about that.

Over the past three years I have seen people interacting with wildlife on this campus in the worst ways. I’ve seen boys throw rocks, textbooks and garbage at squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, possums and birds. THAT IS NOT OKAY.

Sure, they’re on a college campus and you live here and you’re pissed off that they’re “invading your space.” But you know what? They’re not trying to come in your dorm room door. Let them be happy and just appreciate them; stop trying to chase them away by injuring them or hitting them with something.

Moral of this confusing rant: be nice to animals–all animals–because if I ever see you around campus and you’re mistreating an animal, I can guarantee you that I’m going to make a HUGE scene about it and you’re going to regret it for a really, really long time.

Comments

About Tara O'Neill

Co-News Editor -- Twitter: @tara_oneill_