Before we get back to work: From Gary L. Francione, Rutgers animal rights law prof, at Aeon:
Domesticated animals are completely dependent on humans, who control every aspect of their lives. Unlike human children, who will one day become autonomous, non-humans never will. That is the entire point of domestication – we want domesticated animals to depend on us. They remain perpetually in a netherworld of vulnerability, dependent on us for everything that is of relevance to them. We have bred them to be compliant and servile, and to have characteristics that are pleasing to us, even though many of those characteristics are harmful to the animals involved. We might make them happy in one sense, but the relationship can never be ‘natural’ or ‘normal’. They do not belong in our world, irrespective of how well we treat them. This is more or less true of all domesticated non-humans. They are perpetually dependent on us. We control their lives forever. They truly are ‘animal slaves’. Some of us might be benevolent masters, but we really can’t be anything more than that. More.
Francione keep dogs.
He also lives in a society that cannot agree that children should not be delivered pre-term alive and chopped up for parts.* Yet he has the effrontery to say this:
If we all embraced the personhood of non-humans, we would still need to think about the rights of non-domesticated animals who live among us and in undeveloped areas. But if we cared enough not to eat, wear or otherwise use domesticated non-humans, we would undoubtedly be able to determine what those positive rights should be. The most important thing is that we recognise the negative right of animals not to be used as property. That would commit us to the abolition of all institutionalised exploitation that results in the commodification and control of them by humans.
Note: We polled rescue kitties in a near-north region of Canada about this headscratcher. They responded, almost unanimously, that whether they were better off with a home than without one was really more of an eye scratcher than a headscratcher.
Merely human note: Longevity statistics are a useful guide to any claimed quality of life: Domestic cats live much longer than feral cats do, sometimes reaching ages of 16 to 20-odd years, as opposed to 6 or 8.
Trivia: Cats do not appear to age the same way as humans do. The current longest-lived domestic cat is 30, and the oldest recorded one died at 38. The study of causes and patterns of aging would be worth more by far to humans today than the study of Darwinism will ever be. – O’Leary for News
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