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MLA Full: "Are Pets Ethical?" YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 18 November 2016,
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In which Lex Croucher ( fills in for Hank on the last day of pizzamas to talk about whether pets are ethical with her help of her brilliant and talented cat, Felicity.

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Lex Croucher: Hi! Happy Pizzamas!

It has been a tough few weeks. I mean, it’s been a tough year. Even for my cat, and she doesn’t really understand celebrity deaths or politics. She is more of a philosophy and golf kind of gal.

My name is Lex. I have a YouTube channel, but more importantly, I have this cat. Her name is Felicity, she’s been an indoor cat all her life, she is nine years old, and I adopted her about a month ago.

She’s very friendly, she likes being stroked and sitting on laps, and the other night at about 3am, she decided to scoot her butt across my bed sheet, I guess it was itchy, and then I forgot, and I slept on it. The sheet. Not... her butthole.

But at this point, in terms of hygiene, there’s basically no difference. There are a lot of great things about owning a cat. Great for me. Selfish.

She gives me a sense of routine and purpose. She makes me responsible for someone other than myself, which in turn makes me more responsible for myself, because I have to remember to do things like clean up my living space and not leave old food just on the ground.

She really relaxes me. A cat is basically like a furry hot water bottle with a face. If you picture that literally, it’s not very relaxing.

I mean, also, she’s just so cute, oh my God, it’s physically painful, please make her leave the room. My cat gets stuff out of this, too. Food, shelter, water: the power trio. Catnip, so, regular access to legal highs, and an owner, who, like the parent of a newborn (how’s it going, Hank?) has committed to the fact that they will not get a good night’s sleep for a very long time. So I don’t mind that she likes to be the little spoon, or that she wakes me up in the middle of the night... Although she has developed this great trick where she reaches out at about 2am and punches me in the face to try and get me to wake up and stroke her. It’s so adorable!

The more I think about it, though, the more it’s weird that I’ve brought this animal into my home. She’s domesticated, obviously, but I don’t think that my bedroom is necessarily her natural habitat. I really don’t want to delve into the horrifying depths of the indoor vs. outdoor cat conversation. People yell there.

But as Felic has never been outside, she’s a bit more senior, she would be in a lot of trouble if I just opened the front door and said, “Go! Run! Be free, my child! Good luck with the big metal dogs with wheels.” If they’ve never known anything different, do you think they’re just like, “Cool, this is the world. I’m gonna eat some treats given to me by the big stupid talking noodle.” Or does my cat look at the very large tall climbing tree that I bought her and think, like, "What—what are you trying to pull here? That is not a tree."

Something I do find interesting is the difference in lifespan. I looked up the lifespan of a rabbit, and it said eight to twelve years domesticated, one to two years in the wild. In the wild, animals are fighting for food, mates, survival, sometimes it’s cold, they can have untreated illnesses and injuries, predators are always giving them heck, nobody lets them eat a small bit of cheese if they’ve been good that day. Is it better to have a long, comfortable life that’s not necessarily instinctive to you, or to have a short, natural one where you run free, terrified, with no idea what cheese even is? I am, of course, just talking about domesticated animals, obviously, not like orcas in a tank.

I guess you could say that humans weren’t really supposed to live inside, though. But someone what like, “Hey, I put a rug down in this cave. You should come in here ‘cause it’s, um, it’s better. " Someone fact-check that for me.

A big problem that’s come from our love of pets is over-breeding. We are creating a huge overpopulation problem that often leads to animals being without homes. That’s why animal charities always encourage you to spay and neuter your pets, and to adopt rather than shop if you’re thinking of getting an animal.

People think rescue animals are so damaged and difficult, but Felic is not damaged or difficult. Although I have taught her to high five, but she refuses to distinguish between the high five and the low five. That’s the same thing, Felic. It's the same.

I think my cat is very happy here with me, and I can’t go back in time and undo the domestication of pets, so I am happy to give one a loving home. Who was the first person to look at animals, especially like wild cats and wolves, and go, “Yeah, I want that guy licking yogurt off my hand.” I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. Maybe you do.

Thank you for joining me here on vlogbrothers during Pizzamas, and for sticking with me when I decided I just wanted to make a video about cats. I’ve been on the World Wide Web for a while, I know what you kids like.

John, I’ll see you on Tuesday. I’ve always wanted to say that.