This is a response to Vol 14 Stuart 1 ("Tray(ge) Kitties")...
I think you hit on why I am a veterinarian for exotics.
My brother and I kept many "exotic" and domestic pets as children. We learned first hand about death and our own deficiencies in trying to keep these animals alive.
I believe most people can adequately meet the needs of domesticated dogs and cats. I don't believe many people should keep the exotics. I practice only on these exotics, trying to educate the owners on a case-by-case basis. If we can't meet the basic needs of these animals they should be allowed to live their lives in the wild and to take the risks of shrinking habitats. Captivity and slow starvation or other malhusbandry is cruel.
I also believe in responsible pet ownership for dogs and cats. The animal rights people aren't even BEGINNING to address animal cruelty. Until there are no more concentration camps (the Humane Society) for our dogs and cats, the animal rights movement is a joke in my eyes. 99% of the animals in research are treated better than most of our pets.