Would humans make good pets?

Say we lived in some bizarro world where some other species kept us as pets/zoo exhibits. How difficult would humans be to take care of compared to, say, conventional animals we’ve domesticated/kept as pets/keep in zoos?

Let’s say we’re dealing with humans raised in ‘alien’ capitivity, i.e. not someone plucked from civilization but born in an alien ‘zoo’ or raised by a mother who was an alien’s pet. I can think of a couple of things that might be an issue-

-Clothing. We wear clothes, but that isn’t necessarily an instinct, is it? I imagine being raised in captivity we would wear/not wear whatever the aliens thought was suitable. I’m no nudist, but I don’t know how comfortable (temperature-wise)it would be spending 100% of my time completely naked, particularly if the ambient temps were below 70F.

-How instinctively social are we? Some animals will practically die of loneliness unless you have several to keep each other company. Others will practically kill themselves if you put them with the same gender/different gender at the wrong times. If an alien family kept a sole human as a ‘pet’ would it be able to thrive being more or less devoid of any other human contact?

-What kind of mannerisms do humans have if they have been separated from their mothers at a young age? I imagine that if domesticated, human speech patterns would be greatly diminished.

-How much space do you think we would be given (purely speculative, obviously) as a pet? Would it be like a dog or a cat, where we could roam freely? Or would our opposible thumbs and intellect pose too many problems for our alien owners, and end up keeping us in cages? I suppose we could look at behaviors of prisoners/solitary confinement to see what happens to someone in this environment, but would someone born into it be able to cope better?

-Food: How complex are our dietary needs compared to, say, a dog? We’re omnivores, which helps. Would we be given human kibble? Would alien experts discourage owners from feeding us ‘scraps’ from their own dinner tables?

Well it depends. On the whole, Humans would probably make poor pets unless the alien technology is of such a ridiculously high level that that there is no concieveable hope of comprehending it.

Humans tend to mimic whatever vocal patterns and social communications they are exposed to at an early age, and if the aliens have a vocal language, they would probably mimic it. On the whole we are pretty smart, so most would be able to understand at least the rudiments of the alien society.

Feeding humans is easy. They eat whatever they are given.

Given the aforementioned “magical tech” humans would probably roam at will. They would probably have to be spayed or neutered; some sort of birth control would be a necessity given our year round receptivity and strang reproductive drive.

This, plus the fact that human females have relatively difficult births. A lot of women died in childbirth. Might not be worth risking losing a female for an offspring they’d have to give away.

Speaking of females, well… if your pet woman isn’t spayed, you’d have a few hygenic issues.

Oh, come on - we have a solution for that already. Implants that release hormones slowly over time that elminate menstruation.

Also, if wild humans can learn bathroom hygiene presumably domestic ones could be trained to deal with such matters in a way acceptable to their owners.

I, for one, look forward to crapping in my new alien overlord’s shoe.

Perry Farrell seemed to think so.

I cant believe this are you serious? Its called SLAVERY read a history book. stupid

I think we’d adapt to this pretty easily, especially after the first generation. Especially if everyone else was naked, too.

I think most people would get really lonely without other human contact - I’m assuming you wouldn’t be able to have an intelligent conversation with your alien captors.

Well, people who are denied enough physical affection when they’re babies don’t tend to bond with other people well when they’re older. Besides, human babies are relatively difficult to care for, and they take a long time to grow up. From a purely logistical point of view, it’d probably be in the alien’s best interest to leave babies with their parents or another human caretaker for quite awhile.

We need more variety than other animals, but we also are willing to eat lots of different things. We might be fed like pigs - scraps of whatever is digestible.

Charming. Welcome to the boards.

But more accurately, no, it’s not like slavery at all. The parallel with slavery would be if humans were brought in as working or food animals - e.g. horses, cattle, chickens.

The OP asked about pets. I suspect that very, very few slaves were ever treated as pets.

Now, as numerous threads in other forums have shown, there are quite a few people that are parasites and give little-to-nothing in return for their food and keep, and would probably just do dandy as pets given enough food, toys and the occasional backrub.

Most people, I’d like to believe, would be like monkeys as pets: Too high-functioning and independent, and too likely to use their brains and hands to wreak all sorts of havoc.



Dynastic**, in this forum, we attack the poster’s idea, not the poster.

You were fine until you added the last word.

Don’t do it again.


There are numerous reports of “feral” children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child) and such children - though rare and not often reliably documented - tend to never fit in with humans, not learn proper speech, etc. If a pet human were raised as a household member of an alien, one would suspect that person to do better, in that complex communication would occur.

Severely neglected children can display symptoms similar to autism:
http://www.curevents.com/vb/showthread.php?t=99784 - so a human kept in a cage, like a guinea pig, and not interacted-with sufficiently, would likely not do too well.

The thing I like most about having a dog is that she’s extremely loyal and does not hold a grudge. I don’t think humans can manage this. Maybe a lobotomized human but not one with a fully-functioning adult brain.

Would we use alien bathrooms? Do aliens even need bathrooms? After all, human asses get messy. If your human knows how to clean it up that’s fine but we’re not like dogs. Big ass cheeks are fun to look at but they conceal an unpleasant surprise deep inside often.

wasn’t there a Family Guy episode that did this? dogs walking people IIRC.

I don’t know, if I were allowed by my family to have books, I would totally love to live the way one of my dogs do! (except for the whole pooping outdoors thing, I think that would suck)


Plus this:



Aim for their eyes!

Well, there were punctuation errors as well.

Look at the prison system, mental institution, or as stated above slavery. There was news about a woman who was held in a basement for 20 some years, and had birthed several children (yes it is difficult and painful, but doesn’t usually end in death of the mother, so that shouldn’t be a issue).

Humans adapt, but really are very far from their potential in that form of captivity.

Those are analogous to keeping animals in zoos or as draft animals, not as pets.

Dogs and cats make charming pets because they’ll imprint on a human as a substitute for their own kind–for a pack leader in the case of dogs; for a mother in the case of cats.

As humans, if we were under aliens who could communicate with us well enough to substitute for other humans in our life, we’d do fine. I’m imagining a family of aliens, much smarter than myself, but with the ability to talk down to my level (as we do with dogs) and make me feel like I was shooting the breeze with friends or family. Bonus points if one of them could simulate a parent or boss, and I’d fall naturally into a subordinate role. Yeah, I think I could be pretty darn “cute”!