Pets, People, and Pragmatism

Pets, People, and Pragmatism

Pets, People, and Pragmatism

Pets, People, and Pragmatism

Excerpt

[T]he use of animals for our purposes without consideration of their interests is
so pervasive and our dependence up on it so great, it becomes invisible to us, in
much the same way that exploitation of women and minorities was invisible for
too long.

—Bernard E. Rollins, The Unheeded Cry

How does a vegetarian animal advocate justify “owning” three dogs, two horses, and living with two indoor cats? Worse yet, how does she justify training the dogs, herding sheep with the dogs, and training and competing with the horses? How does she object to factory farming but participate in stabling horses? Isn’t it just a difference in degree of confinement? How does she object to eating meat (including lamb) for reasons of environmental harm and animal suffering, yet pay a stock fee so she can train her dogs to herd sheep? The sheep are used so her dogs can have some work to do (have fun). If the confinement of livestock for meat production causes suffering and so is wrong, doesn’t this apply to the confinement of animals for pleasure uses, even if the level of confinement and the conditions differ?

1. The keeping of these animals also has repercussions for the environment and the potential for feeding more humans. These will not discussed here, though they are very important. For instance, if the feed consumption of livestock raised for meat is wasteful and harmful to the environment, doesn’t this apply to sheep used for herding and horses used for riding? What about manure disposal?

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.