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There are about 184 million dogs and cats in the United States; two-thirds of all U.S. households include an animal, popularly known as "pets". But animal advocates regard that term as demeaning, and prefer "companion animal". Ownership of dogs and cats in China, for example, was estimated at 100 million in 2015 and rising.Large as these numbers may seem, they are insignificant compared to the 65 billion animals worldwide raised for food each year. In general, companion animals are treated far better than factory-farmed pigs, cows and chickens.Dogs, unlike cats, are social animals, and generally do not do well without company.Then there are specific problems when more exotic animals become fashionable pets.Even if these problems could be overcome, large populations of companion animals have other consequences.One study estimated cats, most of them without owners, kill 1 billion to 4 billion birds and 6 billion to 22 billion small mammals each year in the U.S. alone.Then there is the contribution of all these meat-eating companion animals to climate change.
Do you want to be a cyborg
at your personal risk?
Does gender matter when it comes to defining a human being?
Might robots have feelings, and if so will they ever like us?
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