Thought for the Day:
If animal exploitation is morally wrong, we cannot promote more animal exploitation supposedly as a way to eliminate animal exploitation.
And that is exactly what welfarists advocate: we will achieve abolition if and only if we promote “humane” exploitation.1
And if oppression and taking away basic rights is wrong, how come suddenly that oppression (taking important decisions about life on behalf of someone without a consent) and stealing rights (rights to have physical integrity, right to procreate) is morally acceptable when we oppress other species and take their rights under the Spay&Neuter agenda?
We should not have domesticated animals in the first place. If you are saying that we are obligated to continue to perpetuate domesticated animals, then I could not disagree more.
I agree with first part and I am not saying that we should or shouldn’t do anything, I am asking a simple yet hard to answer question. Is it morally wrong to do that, and if yes, how can we justify that with our own reasons (that is a strategy every oppression is based on)?
Dear Gary, I read all of your writings I can lay my screen on, and have some of your books around too. I admire your work, no matter we disagree on some important topics. And, as vegan for many years, I still find this at least wrong.
Time to sleep here, take care all of you <3
So why don’t you respond substantively? I make arguments. If you simply have an “opinion” that I am wrong but can’t be bothered to articulate why, forgive me but I am not interested. Take care.
Please don’t throw your articles and essays on me when we run into some argue.2 As I said, no matter if we disagree on some important issues, I admire your work, I read your writing, I am long term vegan, activist, writer, reader, and I do know you are going through this on a regular basis, but still I’d rather to chat when it is time to chat and do some serious reading before sleep or on Sunday afternoon. You wouldn’t believe, but I have a job and I go to sleep early and I live across the world (different time zone) so when I say “Time to sleep here, take care all of you <3” it means actually that I am going to sleep and any response will follow after my sleep, work, quality time with my family etc.
And that time is now 🙂
OK, you gave me two of your essays and you call it “I make argument”. I don’t believe anyone could dispute that, your logic and your words are so strong that it takes no less than droned carnivore to miss the point. But, Gary, I am not saying that there is a “ way to have an institution of “pet” ownership that is consistent with a sound theory of animal rights”, or that “our continued production of dogs and cats (or other nonhumans) and our keeping of ‘pets’ (will) be morally justified”, so I don’t see any point in this straw man “argument” than to achieve another false argument, appeal to authority. But OK, I can live with that, when I spoke on this subject with Steve Best, he blocked me 😉
Long story short, I don’t agree with all you said in ““Pets”: The Inherent Problems of Domestication:
– Domesticated animals aren’t totally dependant on us in everything that is important in their lives. Some of them are, I can’t disagree on that, but there is no hard evidence that they generally are. We could dive deeper into that later, if you like, but for now – I just can’t agree.
– I can’t agree on the part about humans and their autonomy too, etc…
But I completely agree with your point: We cannot justify the perpetuation of domestication for the purpose of keeping “pets.” And I don’t have pets. Or “have”. I have rescued some of them, saved some of them, some of them are still living around, but I don’t have pets and I will never have.
And I really can’t take this essay as an argument in this issue we are talking about here.
Second one, Animal Rights and Domesticated Nonhumans…
Here I go with something I call “Now I make arguments”.
– “…if we accept the rights position, we ought not to bring any more domesticated nonhumans into existence.” is pure gold!!! I will not (I must not!) bring any domesticated nonhuman into existence. Just like I will not do anything else morally wrong (except some gossip here and there). But hey! Since where that means “I will take decisions on their behalf”. How come someone can see those words and read “I will be their Master, I will decide for them that is better not to procreate because we live in this miserable world and they will die in a horror”?
– “Should we “liberate” animals and let them wander freely in the streets? No, of course not. That would be as irresponsible as allowing small children to wander around.” Yes!!! We should liberate them, that is the whole precious point, isn’t it? And where is written that they will wander around? How do you know that? And what is wrong with wandering around? Is it our country/land? Why shouldn’t they? Because of possible danger and deaths? OK, we can dive here too, but later, please.
Animals are not small children, Gary! Yes, some of them are incapable of living in a large city, some of them are too naive and will let bad people get closer and maybe kill them. I agree, that is a sad thing to even think of it. But they are not small children, and they need to have their life, no matter how harsh or dangerous it could be! And if you will be fair, you will admit that this applies to every human too! We should be equal in that, remember. Basic rights don’t mean only good rights or not dangerous ones.
And sure, we shouldn’t care, we should offer! Offer help, food, shelters, anything that doesn’t take away their rights! Because we are fighting for their rights in general, not for some of them, aren’t we? Equality! <3
– “but we should stop causing any more to come into existence.” Gary??? Who are we to think we have right to stop someone to come into existence? Gods? We are killing our own species, destroying the world we live in, we can’t tell our assholes from our noses, but we are capable to take that crucial decision for them, we are smarter… wait… I thought that it doesn’t matter if we are stupid one species or a smart one, I thought we all should be equal in our basic rights, and I sure wouldn’t allow any dog, cat or rat (humans included, but that is irrelevant right now) to tell me should I procreate!
As far I can see, there is one part of this essay connected to this argue we have here, so I will address that part and go to sleep again 😉
“There are some advocates who think that “animal rights” means that nonhumans have some sort of right to reproduce, so that it is wrong to sterilize nonhumans. If that view is correct, then we would be morally committed to allowing all domesticated species to continue to reproduce indefinitely. We cannot limit this “right of reproduction” to dogs and cats alone. Moreover, it makes no sense to say that we have acted immorally in domesticating nonhuman animals but we are now committed to allowing them to continue to breed. We made a moral mistake by domesticating nonhumans in the first place; what sense does it make to perpetuate it?”
I am so sad to read this again, Gary. Do you have a right to reproduce? Do I have? Can you tell a Palestinian woman in Gaza, after her loss of three older sons, that she doesn’t have a right to procreate? Because she is living in a Hell? If yes, Gary, please indulge me and go ahead! If nonhumans doesn’t have “some sort” of rights to reproduce, and we are all equal in basic rights, please go ahead and tell that poor woman in Gaza she don’t have that “some sort” of right.
Or, maybe, that privilege is reserved only for those who are responsible for Palestinian / Chechen / Syrian / Serbian / Albanian / … miserable lives? I’d die of a happiness stroke if I see that good fellow Netanyahu walking around Gaza and telling that to a Palestinian women. Would you cry, Gary?
And one another goldie: If we took animals seriously, we would stop treating them as our resources, as our property.
I agree, Gary, stop telling people that they have a right to take away “some sort” of a right from any nonhuman, no matter what we did before or how his life would be after. We ARE equal, dear Gary!
Please bare in mind that I really admire your other work! 🙂