I understand that you have this romanticized notion that wild animals never get sick, never have parasites, and live to be old and feeble before quietly dying in their sleep. I'm not sure how I can disabuse you of that "Disney-esque" delusion.
In the wild, animals get parasites. In the wild, they die of infections and ailments, the same as our regular animals do. Actually, scratch that -- many of them are not alive to develop the types of conditions that our animals do because they live short, brutal lives which aren't conducive to ending up with old-age problems. Just because you don't see it happening doesn't mean that they're hardier or have better immune systems -- they die.
I asked the local wildlife rehabber about this notion that wild animals have wonderful immune systems because they're not getting all this medication, and she suggested that I tell that to the enormous amounts of bats currently dying off from fungal infections. A wild mouse has an average lifespan of around six months. A domestic mouse has an average lifespan of two years. The average lifespan of a wild rabbit is less than a year. The average lifespan of a domestic house rabbit is 10-12 YEARS. If your goal is to quarter, or even sixteenth your animal's life, then by all means choose natural.
We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.
"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Last edited by Jennicat; 09-09-2010 at 12:50 PM.