Rutgers prof equates pet ownership with 'torture'

Attention, dog and cat lovers: you are morally and ethically corrupt for caring for companion animals and treating them like "animal slaves."  Have you no heart?  Keeping a pet in your house is "torture," and the domestication of any animal should be forbidden.

That's the conclusion reached by two Rutgers law professors who wrote an essay published in  Get a load of this virtue-signaling.

Washington Times:

Despite living with six rescue dogs, professors Gary Francione and Anna Charlton describe their pets as “non-human refugees,” according to an article they published on this month.

“Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place,” the couple wrote. “We oppose domestication and pet ownership because these violate the fundamental rights of animals.

“When we talk about animal rights, we are talking primarily about one right: the right not to be property,” they continued. “We all reject human chattel slavery. That is not to say that it doesn’t still exist. It does. But no one defends it.”

The professors argued that the way people treat their pets would be considered torture if people endured the same treatment.

“However ‘humanely’ we treat animals, they are still subjected to treatment that, were humans involved, would be torture,” they wrote.

The professors also oppose the killing of animals for human consumption, saying a “sensible vegan diet” is the preferred alternative. They wrote that in a perfect world, the domestication of animals would be completely eradicated.

“We would be obliged to care for those domesticated animals who presently exist, but we would bring no more into existence,” they wrote.

“Domesticated animals are completely dependent on humans, who control every aspect of their lives,” they continued. “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.’”

They wrote that in a fair and just world, “there would be no pets at all, no fields full of sheep, and no barns full of pigs, cows and egg-laying hens. There would be no aquaria and no zoos.”

I try to imagine my cats thinking I "own" them and fail in the attempt.  Both dogs and cats are extremely clever in manipulating humans to elicit a desired behavior from us.  They read body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice and then behave in a way or vocalize to get what they want.  In effect, they "own" us as much as we "own" them. 

Most companion animals have become finely attuned to their human friends so much so that we have both evolved a symbiotic relationship.  We are "slaves" to each other, so to speak.  I question the professors' powers of observation if they can't see that.

As for domesticated cattle, sheep, fowl, etc., there is a point to be made that they can be treated better while they're alive.  We are smart enough and should be compassionate enough to make animals we need for food as comfortable as we can reasonably make them.  I think most of us would be willing to pay a few extra cents per pound of meat to make that happen.

But the professors are not really about "animal rights."  They are about elevating the rights of animals above those of humans and imposing their way of life on the rest of us.  It's a topsy-turvy, upside-down world they would have us live in.

Now, can I get back to eating my steak?

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