When I lived in the Rio Grande Valley, I would guess that the larger percentage of people didn't have the same regard for their pets as I have always had for mine. People who were otherwise responsible and moral citizens would think nothing of dumping their adult dogs or cats in favor of a new puppy or kitten. The act was referred to as throwing (the pet) away, and a lot of people considered it to be the sensible thing to do when their children had tired of their cat and wanted a kitten instead, or a puppy. I know that this isn't restricted to the Valley, as I have known people like that wherever I lived, and it was probably even more common before the 1960s. People would drown unwanted kittens or puppies, and dump pets who had grown too old to be entertaining. My parents didn't do that. Although cats were not considered pets in my family, except by me, they weren't mistreated, and our dogs lived out their lives, as loved as they were as puppies. Pets were outdoor animals but we had a large barn that was warm throughout the year, so they weren't left out in the cold. After my dad quit farming with horses, he retired his workhorses, who lived out their lives fed and pampered. I don't remember his second workhorse, but I remember Bill, who was a huge but gentle horse, and my dad's favorite horse long after he had a use for him. There were even vet bills as he got older, at a time when his kids didn't even see a doctor when they got sick. But that wasn't the case with everyone, while I was growing up, and I have struggled to understand the lack of compassion for an older dog who was seemingly loved and enjoyed as a puppy. When I worked for Blue Buffalo, a pet food company, I was telling a woman and her young son about the advantages of feeding a premium food, as opposed to a cheap store brand. I mentioned that a cat can be healthy in its twenties if it is fed well, while cats who are fed the cheaper brand of food are considered old at ten. The kid said that he didn't want his cat to live too long because he liked getting new ones, and his mom didn't seem at all shocked by that. I don't get it. I don't think it's a matter of good versus evil. Rather, it's a matter of what we identify with. Had the kid said that he didn't want his little brother to live too long because he preferred babies, mom would have been shocked because we all, with the exception of sociopaths, identify with other people, and particularly family members. We don't necessarily feel that way about our pets, although I do. However, there are people who are shocked that people could hunt and kill a deer because they, seemingly, feel about deer as I do about my pets. Am I evil because I approve of hunting, even though I don't hunt? I suppose that if I had raised a deer as a pet, I would feel the same way about the deer, and maybe I'd feel that way about all deer. I don't know. I have raised a couple of raccoons, but I don't feel the need to take every raccoon in out of the cold. Then again, I don't hunt them either.