Sigh ... an omnivore I remain ... sooo difficult to obey my conscience and become a vegetarian.
Re: da previous post (by YouAreHere)
... wwwowww. What a sad, and somehow glad, story.
Re: "feeding" the foxes and possum ... that's almost certainly exactly how wolves came to be domesticated. Because ancient humans decided to share some of their meat by the fire. Hence the wolves would come back for more. Next thing you know, the wolves are helping the humans hunt so as to get more meat. Everybody wins. But then something tragic happens ... The wolves get a little *too*
comfortable around their human friends ... and their human friends get a little *too*
sentimental about their canine friends. Uh oh. Now the wolves are starting to get dependent. Now the humans are starting to protect them. Keep them. Tuck them safely away so their canine friends will always be safe and close at hand. And suddenly ... the dog is born. A species is born, and ... a friendship dies? or perhaps not? After all modern (especially first-world/modern/Western) humans *do*
rather like wolves, don't they? and darn tootin' respect them too.
And now for a "wolf puzzle:" Here in New Mexico, we have a wolf sanctuary for wolves who were somehow hurt or disabled or otherwise became unable to live out in the wilds. Ummm, some of those wolves might actually be able to recover in time to "recondition" themselves and return to the wild; I can't quite recall. But what of the wolves who *don't*
recover in time? Humans sure don't know how to recondition them. And besides, at least some of them have lifelong injuries that have essentially rendered them permanently unfit to "regain their freedom."
wolves are: now domesticated. And while they don't live indoors (but have indoor shelter they can use I believe), they do have fenced-in perimeters, so, uh -- yyyeah. They're now captives. Seemingly happy captives -- even not-quite-tame-for-human-touch type captives. But captives nonetheless. They're screwed. But do/can they still have a real friendship with their human stewards? Alas, I suppose not: By definition the friendship has been rendered counterfeit.
So does that make their human captors cruel or compassionate? respectful, or doting? or in some way, both and/or all at once? Would it have been kinder to just let them die (cold, hungry, and in pain, but free to the last)? That after all is how we generally deal with other out-of-luck (read: cripplingly injured) wild animals such as squirrels, birds, etc.
Not that everyone will say "I don't know," but I bet there'll be a lot of disagreement on this matter.
"One seems to have been someone's pet in the past -- when he first started coming around, he tried to get into the house. He follows you when you walk up to the house, he meows and rubs against your legs, he follows the kids to the bus stop and hangs out with them.
He's had skin issues for years, with patches where his fur is missing, scabs covering his skin. Covered in ticks some days. It's sad, and every winter he disappears, we wonder if it will be his last.
He wants companionship, and gets it how he can, but with his health issues, my ex won't let the kids touch him, so he gets some level of attention, but not much. He still makes do, and sleeps on a chair on the porch from time to time.
(For anyone wondering, my ex called the local animal rescue league twice, but they need him to catch the cat, which he won't do.)"
This just makes me wanna cry. Cry with hope for the mercy your ex shows for this poor little guy, and cry with sorrow for the loss of hearth and home that the little guy will always long for but never again taste. How damned, horribly tragic, and "triumphant" at the same time!
Huhhhhhhh. Don't suppose there's a magic pill your ex could take to be just become one-pet's-worth "cured" of his pet aversion, or at least cured of his aversion to getting that heroic little guy off to the rescue league? Aching sigh -- I uh, guess not, eh.
Well at least that cat "has a home," even if it's not nearly the type of home humans have caused him to become addicted to. He has a "home base" he can return to for food and a place to rest, though it's not much of a shelter.
And covered in ticks?? Goddamn it, that's just not fair. True, lots of wild animals put up with shit like that, but as I've (controversially, and only once up until now) said before, I don't exactly envy the life of any wild animal. There's just sooo many awful things that can (and do) happen to them out there. Oh sure, they've got their "freedom." With all the constraints (hunger, cold, disease, you name it) that Nature imposes on them.
Is it then my grand idea to domesticate every non-human person on the face of the Earth? Quite possibly! Is there some way we can do it without actually confining all those animals? is all I'd ask.
But this one particular cat you speak of. He's not meant to live in the wild. Not at all. Ticks and shit? No human touch? No shelter, no vet, no safety? Nawww. That's no life for him. That poor guy should probably be put down; it might actually be the kinder thing to do for him rather than feeding him. How's that for something that makes ya wanna cry ...
He's lived a sad, noble life. Let him now at last get his rest from this wide, wide world of sorrows, is what I say. That's right. Take a hemlock-loaded gun and blow him away. What the heck, throw in a proper burial just as a token of some kind of "arrogantly imagined" respect.
Some animals are at least used to, and "comfortable with," the idea of being fierce, wild, and free. But those traits were long ago stolen from this feline and his ancestors. It's over. There is no way for him to truly be happy in the wilds. Let's help him out, in the only "real" way we can.
Yah, guess I feel pretty strongly about that. Whole damn story just breaks my heart.
So yeah, you could easily argue that domestication was a rotten thing to do to any non-human person. As already stated: it's at least "shrunk their minds" down to that of a small, dependent child. Even if in body they can cope with "the wild life:" in their hearts, they'll never be free.
Since they can't be free, and since we've already taken that away from them, can't we at least grant them the "few little pleasures" they have left in life? Do we have to put them out on the streets? and do ya really think they'll be happier out in the woods? Ohhh, so questionable. They do so very love the "little things that make a house a home." Uh, yup: just like that crack addict loves his drugs, cats and dogs are born and bred to "love captivity." I just don't happen to feel, in my own heart, that captivity (in this context) is quite as baneful as crack is. If ya wanna argue that captivity isn't good per se, I won't play the devil's advocate. But sometimes, "bad" is "good enough." It is, in fact, arguably the least-shitty option/"solution" we have.
Or you could force 'em all out until, after ten thousand years, their descendants finally reclaim "the heart of a wolf." Yah ... it is indeed a solution. Just not the one I would prefer. Humans themselves are, after all, domesticated and even captive in their own way. And hey, if some human wants to free hirself of all that and live in the wilds, I respect and support the idea. I just think demonstrable argument has been literally made (that is, physically fashioned) that domestication and "captivity" or at least some "captivity" (I put that in quotes because something can be said for freedom from disease, starvation, etc.) isn't always the "end of the world" for all of its victims.
I suppose that's not very "American" (think Ayn Rand) of me to say. Americans are supposed to be tough, proud bastards who don't need to rely on anyone. But even in America, most of the reality is that most humans rely a whole lot on each other (with each other's many diverse and specialized jobs), for both warmth and comfort, and that part of the population at least seems to be quite gladly willing to choose the state of mutual slavery. Conditioning? Quite possibly -- at least to some extent. Or could some of it be genetics?
Cause in the end, cats and dogs aren't the only slaves. Humans are their slaves too. I can think of more than one human who'd literally die (think suicide -- for instance) without his pets at home. Sooo ... I guess none of us, then, can "respect each other completely." But I do believe we can still respect each other quite a bit, and love each other as well, and why no, thank you very much, I don't actually count that love as counterfeit. It's more like a "compromise with reality," if that makes any sense. Heh. Talk about drawing fine lines and splitting hairs. Reality sucks, you see. That's the problem. We all need a little escape from reality, now and then.
In the meantime, domestic/captive/enslaved life is real enough. I believe the wilderness does offer us an even bigger dose of reality ... but wow, I think I'm too old for that. Old before my time. Old man, worn out. But content to be so richly/sweetly cared for by his poly housemates.
And that's all I got to say about that.