Japanese cafes have now introduced an option of cuddling cats.  At the initial rate of the equivalent of $11.00 per hour, customers can handle and play with the resident cats.  For the Japanese who generally have little time or space for pets, this is considered a step forward.  It is the chance to derive the benefits of having a pet when pet ownership is not possible.  On the other hand, it denudes people of responsibility.  If humanity is going to advance ethically, people will need to learn that there are some things that require commitments.  What is convenient is not necessarily an advantage in refining character.