Owning pets. Modern day slavery?

Ok, don’t get me wrong. I love animals for what they are…animals. And not for what they represent but the lives they live and how they live those lives. Now I find it really odd that we humans as a specie would capture another specie, domesticate it, stick a collar on it, call it a pet and claim they love that animal. Does anyone find that twisted? Let’s take a look at the dog…“man’s best friend.” Here’s an animal that loves man more than itself? is that natural? We breed these animals so that we can fill some sort of void in our mundane lives. I’m fully aware that we are on top of the food chain but is being on top of the pyramid an excuse to enslave other’s below, no matter what specie? For this same reason, I despise zoos. If we want to teach children about animals, shouldn’t we make the effort to go to their natural habitat and observe? And please spare me the extinct argument because no one right now is missing the woolly mammoth or saber-tooth tiger. I never wanted to make a connection with human slavery and pets but I have to be honest, if we’re going to argue that it’s illegal or immoral to hold humans as slave, why do we allow it on other species. thoughts?

“Modern day”? Dogs and cats have been living as human dependents for thousands and thousands of years. Genetically, they are as thoroughly domesticated as cattle. We can’t just turn them out into the wild, now, they don’t do well as feral animals, most of them will die and the rest will have hard, sad lives. Best to leave well enough alone.

Animals can’t be slaves; they aren’t people. And dogs & humans especially like each other; dogs are proverbially loyal.

You’re exemplifying a tendency I’ve often seen from the extreme left; an inability to see any relationship in terms other than exploitative. If you drop your dog off alone somewhere you aren’t “freeing” it, you are abandoning it.

Yes I agree, we’ve been domesticating for thousand of years. does that make it right? There is a solution, we can stop domesticating. Same outcomes happens to any slaves that were released, or anyone released from prison, they live hard long lives…but we seem to put a higher priority on animals. just don’t get it. I’m guessing it’s because they can’t speak human language? I’d rather die than be enslaved all my life. you?

Forgive me, but there is another notch still to the left of you? :wink:

You pretend as if pets have human desires for freedom and self-awareness. My dog is perfectly happy sleeping, eating, and taking a dump. If I try to “free” him he just walks back and wants to be let inside.

If you think cats are slaves then you don’t know much about cats.

wouldn’t you call owning pets exploitative? cattle herding, house security, pest control…all exploits we put on our pets

that trait is natural? to serve man until his death? yes I called that enslaving…no matter how many excuses to keep doing it. :smiley: And you do know that subservient pet you have? that was bred to behave as such. not a natural thing…sooon pets would order chinese takeout based on your vies. lol

used to own one yes…those things pretty much depend on you for food. otherwise they’d probably go hunting until they die. that seems natural.

I can think of a few philosophical arguments that touch this subject:

The Humanist Utilitarian
This point of view would probably most closely match your own. Essentially, it derives from the idea of minimizing harm and sufferring and it can very easily be argued that owning animals leads to far more suffering than leaving them to their own devices as feeling, thinking beings. The reasoning is that humans, even best intentioned, tend to dismiss the feelings of their pets because of an accepted hierarchy of priorities with human priorities always being first (and in the worst cases, leading to a sense of entitlement and callousness over those lower in the order). Therefore the most reasonable thing would be to protect animals based on whether they can feel and think.

Thrasymachus’ View
This is essentially the backbone of the modern viewpoint, which boils down to the fact that we have dominion over other animals gives us the right to treat or use them as we see fit. From the mindset of survival and basic utility, taking advantage of your situation and proritizing your own kind is typically the best strategy - at least for early human societies. You’ll notice in nature that animals tend to distinguish between themselves and others, and have no issues eating or using what they can to survive. It is also reasonable to assume that a species so empathetic and sensative to the needs of other species would sooner or later be paralysed or conquered into submission.

If you expand the latter view, it also answers your question about slavery: we owned people because we could, through use of power. It just also extends to animals, and once slavery was mostly abolished we found ourselves with this disconnect.

Exactly. Come over to our house, you’ll quickly figure out who the slaves are. :smiley:

Now I want everyone to replace the word ‘pets’ in the above discussion and replace with ‘animals’? starts to have a different taste…

Tastes like chicken.

Our Labrador slave filched Mrs. J.'s sausage at lunch today.

Now I must go administer a belly rub and take her out before bedtime.

If only I could persuade her to be a watchdog or perform another useful service befitting a slave animal.

I’m not all that far left, except by American standards. And even in America there’s people well to the left of me, they just tend to be ignored.

Symbiotic relationships. Even, yes, cattle; I suggest you consider just how successful domesticated cattle are in a Darwinian sense compared to their competitors.

You’d rather died than be “enslaved” like that? Heh. Me? I’d kill to switch positions with any of my pets. They don’t have to work, worry about bills, keep up with social obligations, exercise except for fun, get to run around indecently in public, look adorable for scritches and attention, sleep endlessly, not put up with morons and basically be the utter object of most folks’ love and adoration for all their natural born lives. Yep. I would be happy to swap at any time. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Subservient” doesn’t belong in the same post as “cat”.

More to the point though, look at people who own free-range cats. The cats are free to wander and hunt as they choose, but usually come home - often bringing a gift of a dead thing they’ve killed, since we stupid humans don’t seem to know how.

For dogs, which aren’t usually free range, look at how excited most of them will get when you come home. Hell, a lot of them are just plain excited to meet anyone. A quick look at any dog psychology site (or reality show) will tell you - dogs consider their owners and family their pack.

These (usually) aren’t onesided or abusive relationships. For the most part, cats and dogs WANT to be with their owners. So what if that’s the result of thousands of years of breeding? We’re all happier and better off for it.

point well taken. the part of the brain that says it’s ok to enslave humans is what I believe is still at work here, as the latter paragraph states, just because we don’t have human slaves anymore people thinks it’s still OK enslave animals. Obviously they can’t talk and we’ve bred them to be subservient. how can they revolt when they don’t know how? lol

That trait you speak of - wanting to be with their owners- that was the cause of domestication…it’s not natural. no such thing as free range cats…allowing a domestic cat to roam free does not make it wild. lol