AmyD wrote >>
Red Sun Rising, our dog is "buddy" (ha!). really, it is. he's about 10 and the best dog ever. and we have Franklin, a cat who is a real jerk and forces me to love him. i love them both. thanks for asking.
it's so hard when pets die. i had a beagle, marty, for 13 years. he was terrible. not very nice to anyone but me and stank. but i truly loved that beast. he actually bit tim easton once..tore his pant leg and really went at it. i told tim not to pet him because he hadn't met him before, but he said "dogs love me" and did it anyway. he was from the pound and my guess was that his life wasn't all that great.
i'm sorry to hear about your dogs. have you thought about getting another? i hope that doesn't sound crass, because you can't replace them, but still.
I don't feel your question is crass at all. Bear was exceptionally precious, poor dog, he had been dumped on base with several other dogs, abandoned in a field with a 50lb bag of dog food. The only reason he was still alive when I got him was they had run out of serum to euthanize him (his time in the shelter was long overdue). When I first got him, he wouldn't come out from behind the toilet. I had to put a leash on him to get him to come out. He only bonded with me though, didn't listen to anyone else. He was an 85 lb lap dog, and super smart, and fortunately for me, he didn't stink ;-). I have not wanted to get any more dogs just because I've been a lot busier these days and feel that I cannot dedicate the time a dog really deserves at this point in my life.
I hope you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind following me for a moment, if I may drill down on your explanation regarding your dog as your property. I know you mentioned you have children. Although people once considered their children their property, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t generally view them as such today. Correct? That said; IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve certainly heard a few moms in history make statements to their children such as: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Johnny! STOP THAT! And GET OVER HERE! Listen! I brought you into this world; I can just as surely take you out of it if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start behaving yourself, NOW!!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Joking aside, why do you think our laws make the distinction between "owning" our children and being their "guardian"? Do you think it was to prove to a parent that they forfeit their control over that child should they mistreat or neglect their child?
To further put these ideas and questions into context, would you agree that, although the domestication of animals has taken roughly 10,000 years, the status of "domesticated companion animal" as household members has been a relatively new concept in our social history? Over the last century, generally dogs and cats, and for some people, horses, mice, rats, ferrets, chinchillas, hamsters, rabbits, snakes, birds, lizards, horses, pot bellied pigs etc. have become so integral to our families that they are generally not just left outside anymore as filthy, disease and pest ridden varmints with only a working purpose (herding, protection, transportation, food, education/experimentation subjects, entertainment). Would you agree that an arbitrary few of these domesticated species have been welcomed into warm folds of our households as beloved family members, so much so, that an empire of services and products has arisen to cater to them? Would you agree that what has not kept up with the changing times regarding our connection to non human animals are our societyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s laws?
Please bear with me in advance I don't want to seem like I'm patronizing you here, it is not my intent because I know you understand Basic English very well; however it I feel it is important to discuss to convey the idea of how we have created this inconsistency and disconnect in our culture regarding living beings outside of humans as Ã¢â‚¬Å“propertyÃ¢â‚¬Â.
I know for our cultureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lexicon, we were traditionally taught in school to refer to people as "persons", "him" or "her", "he" or "she", "they" or "them", "who" , "whose" or "whom" and animals as "things" or "it". However, everyone agrees humans and non human animals are "animate", and in most cases, they have a gender, in every case they are an individual; a person. Things are inanimate. Inanimate Ã¢â‚¬Å“thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ¢â‚¬Â are not sentient and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the ability to suffer. You can damage a thing and no one was hurt or suffered except the ownerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s loss of money for their investment to acquire that thing.
As you said, you don't believe people ought to mistreat a dog, just like someone who has had a child ought not to mistreat them. So it is clear they warrant a basic level of moral significance from your perspective. Am I correct in saying it appears you see Buddy and Franklin as a family members? WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you think the term Ã¢â‚¬Å“guardianÃ¢â‚¬Â is more appropriate, than Ã¢â‚¬Å“ownerÃ¢â‚¬Â? WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you think that the term Ã¢â‚¬Å“propertyÃ¢â‚¬Â engenders a culture that allows people to treat animals as objects and refer to them as Ã¢â‚¬Å“thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â? A perfect example; agribusiness refers to them Ã¢â‚¬Å“protein production units".