"There are many different ways to treat animals inhumanly. The easiest to detect is cruelty through violence or neglect. Putting any animal through such treatment is condemned, and rightly so, without question or hesitation. But what about animals that suffer simply because the owners don't know any better? Is that any better fate for an animal to go through? - after all, the owners didn't know they weren't providing the proper care for their animals. So oten this issue is brushed aside with a shrug, saying that they really tried to care for the animals, or that they had good intentions! "
i think that is very well said.
full article is for fish, but it can be applied to any critter.