Do pet lizards have feelings?

With the exception of turtles and their relatives, reptiles are tubular in shape, which is extremely the case with snakes and some lizard species, and therefore may require even heat distribution that one or two sources of heat cannot provide. Reptiles should not be kept as pets because, according to a leading biologist, three out of four die within a year. Even lizards such as iguanas, geckos and chameleons can carry the sometimes deadly salmonella in their faeces, with up to 90 percent of the species being carriers. These lizards are also relatively cheap, and once the upfront costs for gecko, tank, and supplies are settled, the long-term costs are very low.

Do lizards have feelings?

One piece of evidence that suggests that lizards have feelings is their behavior when being handled by humans. Lizards typically become agitated when they are being handled, and some species can even become aggressive. This suggests that lizards are capable of feeling emotions like fear and anger.

Another piece of evidence that supports the idea that lizards have feelings is their ability to learn. Lizards can be taught to perform certain tasks, such as pushing a lever in order to receive a food reward. This shows that lizards are capable of understanding cause and effect, and are therefore likely to be able to experience emotions like happiness and satisfaction.

Is it ethical to keep a lizard?

Without proper care, many experience serious and painful health problems, including metabolic bone disorders due to calcium deficiency, mouth rot, respiratory conditions, abscesses, and ulcers. The trade in reptiles and keeping reptiles privately as pets raises several ethical concerns about animal welfare (related to handling, storage, transport, intensive captive breeding, stress in captivity, injury, disease, and high premature mortality); public health; and safety (in connection with zoonotic diseases and animal-related injuries), species protection and environmental degradation (in connection with tomboy), and ecological change (in connection with invasive alien species). While there’s no evidence that reptiles are treated disproportionately poorly compared to other pets, it’s easy to access misleading and conflicting information online.

 

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