"I hope we are not talking about *me* here."
Can't speak for nycindie. I myself was being reeeally careful to caution strictly against "the sin," while avoiding any implication of who may or may not be "the sinner/s." Fact is, I think we're all hypocrites at times, so 'nuff said, my point is let's *all*
watch ourselves with respect to that.
And I kind of didn't want to talk about that particular elephant in a room so well-stocked with elephants, but once nycindie had opened the can of worms, I felt compelled to say *something*
about it. It's like NRE. Careful, careful, careful about it everybody. That is all.
Re (from previous post
"I actually meant a society reaching outside of its' boundries to those who do not currently live within it to force its 'ideals' upon all."
Hmmm ... sounds a little like the seemingly widespread attitudes fueling the United States' war on Iraq. Don't suppose you were (at least partially) referring to that?
Re: pets as property ... yep, lots to chew over on that topic. In the United States (for example), pets are indeed technically considered property by the law. I suppose it would be better for the law to refer to pets as "dependents."
The law has far to go in granting non-human people all the rights and protections that they deserve. I actually don't think semantic revolutions are as effective at fixing social problems as we'd like to think. Not that they have no effect, just that there's more effective ways (e.g. direct action and widespread discussion) to plant the seeds and raise the saplings of the "social trees" the world needs. Besides that, I personally would rather have language's primary function be to clearly and logically describe things as they are, rather than attempting to be the catalyst for worldwide mindshifts about how things *should*
be. But in legal terms? Yeah, I think I'd support striking the word "property" and supplanting it with the word "dependent/s."
Now, the law is one thing (by no means to be disregarded), but my personal thoughts and feelings are another matter. Let the law call Rainee and Sophie (my cat and dog) what it will; I call and consider them friends, companions, and adopted family. True no one *asked*
them if that's what they wanted to be, but since we hardly know how to communicate with them, we kinda just had to make a guess about whether we thought they'd be cool with our decision to keep and confine -- yes even confine them.
Sophie goes on walks but on a leash; Rainee stays indoors ... and by the way she could probably bolt out the door at various opportune times when the door's opened, but she doesn't seem to be "desperate to escape" in that way; it's more like she stands near the open door, casts a curious eye through it, and then "goes (seemingly content) on her way" after it's closed. Definitely don't *know*
what she's thinking, but given the evidence I observe, my guess is that indoor life doesn't bother Rainee all that much.
As for Sophie, she's crazy anxious to go on her walks, but she seems willing enough to wear that leash, be "guided" by it, and when the human walking her tugs her back toward home she doesn't seem to be inclined to put up a fight about it. Is it because she knows the humans have the power? I don't know. But again, I am guessing that she doesn't mind "sticking with the human pack" that she's grown up with.
Re: too many cats and dogs and too few humans to keep them ... definitely a big problem. And yes, you could say breeders are making it worse (though some considerations make sense such as that the "hinge lady" of our poly household has cat allergies; Russian blues tend to be hypoallergenic so, there is such a thing as a human who, if they're gonna get a cat, or dog, may have a legitimate need that it be a specific breed for one reason or another).
But beyond breeders, it's becoming increasingly standard practice to spay and neuter any/all cats/dogs that we can, whether they be established pets or just feral individuals we find on the street. So humans probably aren't working on the problem as vigorously as they should, but a gradual solution is emerging. I suppose it'll take many generations to really get the problem under control, but I predict that cat/dog populations will eventually shrink enough to be proportionate with the number of humans who will keep them.
Now you could argue that spaying/neutering without the poor non-human person's permission is a sick/wrong thing to do, but given our current level of knowledge, it's really the only way we know of to even move in the direction of the solution that we seek -- and most of us do sincerely believe that it's a good thing for the dogs and cats, and even that the dogs and cats aren't actually bothered by the "mutilatings" (assuming proper anesthesia of course) other than being irked by pre-op fasting, stitches, "cones of shame" and what have you.
I really think that humans are probably by far the most sex-craving species on the planet, or nearly tied with the bonobos or something like that. Cats and dogs ... I feel rather confident in guessing that they're mostly about their food, toys, water, attention from fellow human and non-human people, etc.
Plus I'm not sure that spaying/neutering stops animals from having sex. Getting far from my realms of expertise here, but you know. I don't know, maybe spaying and neutering "kills" their sexual hormonal drives. And that may be sick/wrong, but given that they still "seem" happy enough to me once they've recovered from the post-op inconveniences, I guess it doesn't worry me too much.
You could say, "But what about a female's craving to bear children?" Well I actually suspect that such is yet another area humans are especially inclined towards. It's more like, once a cat or dog *does*
have offspring, she is all about taking tender care of them. But prior to her (perhaps would-be) pregnancy? My intuition and observations suggest to me that she's probably mostly all about her food, toys, water, attention from fellow human and non-human people, etc.
So in the end, we're doing shit that's arguably disturbing but probably not actually all that harmful to the animals in question, neither physically nor psychologically. If it does (phyiscal or) psychological damage to them, I sure can't tell. Chalk it up to my oblivious arrogance if you will; it's still the best guess I can make using the info I have. I am willing to listen to futher info if you have some to share with me.
There's always the other contraversy, of course, about whether cats and dogs should be kept as pets (by any name). Maybe they should be out in the wilds. Well, if that's true, then I guess we don't need to worry about controlling their population levels. Nature itself can do that, as they run and roam free and clear through what glades and forests remain after all the land-clearing, cultivating, and building humans have done. Not a great state of affairs but it does have a certain logic to it.
But I personally prefer the solution of eventually getting all cats and dogs safely kept and cared for in loving, responsible (though maybe misguided) human homes.
"They overpopulate the cities and the 'pounds' with many being killed (there is no pretty way to say it in my opinion) simply because 'there isn't enough shelf space ...'"
No need to mince words. Killing the non-human people for lack of shelf space is exactly what the pound does. Makes it a pretty damn serious situation, I'm right with you there.
"That's not even discussing the pure ramifications of domesticating them and treating them as 'property' for trivial purposes in the first place ..."
Could you elaborate on what you mean in this context when you say "trivial?"
Also keep in mind, this domestication process takes tens of thousands of years and can't just be undone. So even if it was odious of "us" humans to do, it's done now and just like slavery and the Holocaust, we can't just erase the damage. Sorry to have to say it.
Yes, you could argue that "forcing them back into the wilds for their own good" is the only moral/ethical choice (as its own gradual process towards a proper solution). But that's really ultimately a matter of opinion, and as we've repeatedly said we do not have the means to know how the cats and dogs themselves feel about the whole situation. So, we'll have to try to do the best we can (to act morally/ethically) as individuals, and I advise us to at least grudgingly respect each other as long as we have in common a sincere desire to do what's best for our non-human friends.