Many animals are bred and bought because people like to spend part of their free time with them. These are sold as “companion animals.”
Of course, this is very different from adopting abandoned animals where the reason for the rescue is the well-being of the animals themselves. People who live with adopted animals are people who have rescued them from a dreadful death or a terrible life. These people usually care for the animals and share their lives with them for the sake of the animals themselves. This is different from acquiring the animal out of an interest of the owner in having that animal, which is what happens when animals are bred and sold as “companions.”
Many people don’t see this as a form of using animals, since they may have a close relationship with these animals. Yet this is not always the case: there are many abandoned animals all around the world, and others who live in terrible conditions.
Furthermore, the use of nonhuman animals as companions often means that the females of these species are used as reproduction machines, and that they are separated from their children, who are sold as commodities. By adopting instead of buying animals we are not supporting this financially, but fighting against the terrible consequences this exploitative system has for animals.
Adopting these animals can be great for them. But we must note that this is totally different from buying them or letting them breed, which means death and suffering for others.
These small animals suffer and are killed in great numbers so they can be kept in our houses. Many of them die when they are captured, and those who survive have to endure unfit conditions and stress in tanks.