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  #171  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorsWolf View Post
. . . so many Humans seem to be so self-righteous about themselves and how they see every thing.~
Pot, meet Kettle.
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  #172  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:36 AM
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Yeah, nothing quite as subtle and insidious as hypocrisy ...
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  #173  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:52 AM
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Kevin, "It can certainly be argued that there should be "no laws about anything" since ethics and morals are so subjective, but I can at least understand why "society as a whole" feels that it needs to enforce certain things (Confining to either prison or at least a psychiatric institution someone who's just committed a series of violent rapes seems to me like a particularly understandable example).

Now socially pressuring (let alone physically forcing) people into cutting their hair, living monogamously, or even wearing clothes especially when illogical due to hot weather, stuff like that, in my opinion is certainly going overboard in the "mission to see that basic ethics/morals are carried out in society." Hair growth, polyamory, and public nudity are not ethical/moral issues in my eyes; they are merely matters of personal choice and preference.

Sooo ... where does one draw the line between stuff that "needs" enforcement (e.g. violent-rape prevention) and stuff that *doesn't need* enforcement (or even persuasion)? I don't precisely know, and I seeeriously doubt that anyone really knows. Again, as with the personal exercise of morals and ethics using one's best (hopefully educated) guess, the best I can expect any society to do is to try to conduct its affairs morally/ethically to the best of its (hopefully educated) collective understanding. Sucky state of affairs but there it is."


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.~

But I like where you went with this subject.~ ^_^



ColorsWolf, "I know you like other humans may feel very 'protective' and 'caring' of other non-human creatures, but please don't let this 'protection' and 'caring' become 'discrimination' and 'patronizing.'"


Kevin, "Okay: as long as we're agreed that "protection," "caring," "discrimination," and "patronizing" are all ultimately subjective concepts -- just as I believe that *every* concept (as handled by the human mind) is ultimately subjective and the result of (hopefully educated) guesswork. What any one of those four quoted words means to one person, is certain to mean something somewhat different to someone else. Ain't it a rip-off to be a hopelessly subjective being living in a relentlessly objective world? Well, it is.

Oh by the way: can cats and dogs adapt themselves to (in essence reverting to their distant ancestors') life in the wilds? Well, it's been proven; many of them have done it. Thus it's possible, but I trust we can agree that there may (at least in theory and/or for argument's sake) be higher-priority considerations than whether something is possible."


I disagree with your conclusion here, I think it is very important.~

The state of affairs as far as the concept of "Pets as Property" is very dire indeed with facts being there are not nearly enough Humans willing to care for the sheer amount of these overly domesticated creatures yet more are bred every year, 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", and that's not even discussing the pure ramifications of domesticating them and treating them as "property" for trivial purposes in the first place, oh wait it is.~


Other than the parts of your posts I have already addressed, I love your way of thinking and I am so excited and happy that you understand exactly all of my points!~ ^_^

Love truly,

ColorsWolf
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  #174  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:59 AM
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ColorsWolf, ". . . so many Humans seem to be so self-righteous about themselves and how they see every thing.~"

nycindie, "Pot, meet Kettle."

Kevin, "Yeah, nothing quite as subtle and insidious as hypocrisy ..."

ColorsWolf, "I hope we are not talking about me here.~"

As I never claimed my points of view were in any way self-evident nor self-justifying, nor do I judge any one or hold any one to a set system of morality I could only call my own, in fact I am and as far as I know I have done only the opposite as I have no morality and I believe the concept of morality and even its' existence to be completely subjective.~

I have my likes and my dislikes, but I do not hold any one to them like others might with their subjective concept of "right" and "wrong".~

I can say only my point of view and my reactions towards any thing.~

If I have done any thing to the contrary of this, then please let me know and I truly apologize for it.~

Sincerely,

ColorsWolf
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 11-12-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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  #175  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:17 AM
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Re:
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"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):
Quote:
"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.

Re:
Quote:
"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.

Re:
Quote:
"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.
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  #176  
Old 11-12-2013, 07:58 PM
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Kevin, Ah, thanks for elaborating on that whole 'hypocrisy' subject: I agree we could all benefit from taking care not to be hypocrites of our own messages.~

'Trivial' purposes?~ In my personal opinion, 'entertainment' and 'companionship', 'friendship', or 'what ever you want to call it'.~

My question is, "Was it worth it?~"

A long time ago we Humans befriended non-Humans like wolves and it was a true friendship one of mutual agreement to stay with one another so that we may both benefit from each other.~

Like other animals, we Humans have taken other animals from the wild, killed them, and eaten them.~ Over time the time between taking them from the wild and killing them got longer until we started raising them out of the wild for the sole purpose of being killed and eaten.~

Both of these relationships were separate for a long time.~

At some point we stopped treating our 'non-Human friends' truly as 'friends' and instead they become some thing in-between what they once were "true friends" and what the animals we capture from the wild or raise from birth out of the wild to kill and to eat "are".~

I ask another question, "Why?"~

and

I will ask the first question again, "Was it worth it?"~

I'm not sure why Humans did this, but every reason I've ever heard to 'justify' this is 'trivial' in my opinion.~



Your right, the damage has already been done.~ Perhaps cutting the genitals off and out of these "Property Pets" will help stop the overpopulation.~ Another question, "Why is this 'Justifiable' to force upon non-Humans, but not Humans?" Aren't we Humans ourselves overpopulated on many parts of this planet?~ Is this a adequate solution for either non-Humans or Humans and if it is, is it a permanent solution to always be practiced?~


How do we get back to that: the times when a long time ago Humans and certain non-Humans were 'truly friends'?~


Is releasing all 'non-Human Pets' to go any where they wish to go the solution?~

Many Humans would most often refuse to face the truth, but the truth is many "Pets" that can not be allowed to roam without dying are a direct result of "horrible parenting or caregiving": they are often never raised to navigate the dangers of life in 'civilization'.~ So not only are many "Pets" not ever allowed to roam on their own, but if they ever to just happen to do so they have not been prepared for a world (civilization) they have often been born into.~ Would this be 'justifiable' with a "Human" child?~


What about the ones no Human is taking care of but have been captured and are put into cages at a 'pound'?~ Would it be best to release these 'surplus' 'Pets' into the wild?~ Not all of them would die in the wild, is that a better life than spending the rest of their lives in a cage made short when 'their time is up' because they have not been 'adopted' and are each for sure killed for circumstances taken out of their control?~

The reality of things and the truth of things may not always be pretty, but is any one even willing to even seriously think about these questions?~

I'm glad you are, Kevin.~
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 11-12-2013 at 08:13 PM.
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  #177  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:27 AM
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Well, these are certainly hard questions; barely any of them (or none at all) could possibly come with an easy/adequate answer. And as any hard question about an important issue will always do, these hard questions will surely be met with some contraversy since one person will suppose that one answer is the best answer, while another person will suppose that another answer is the best answer. Kinda like the abortion debate. Wonder if people will ever be able to agree about that kind of a hot-button topic.

Best I can do for ya: submit some food for thought about the questions and respect your right to do with that food whatever seems best in your mind. Consider the food a gift. Once I've "given" it to you, its yours, and you have the rights to decide what to do with it. Just so we understand there's not much use in starting some big argument about any of it, because the argument would surely last forever (bleah).

Re:
Quote:
"I'm not sure why humans did this [stopped treating our 'non-human friends' truly as 'friends'], but every reason I've ever heard to 'justify' this is 'trivial' in my opinion."
And I willingly concede that you've every right to hold that opinion. I even (think I) now understand a little better *why* you hold that opinion, which was my goal when I asked for clarification on why the word "trivial," so yay I got to attain my own goal at least. Hope you feel somehow benefitted from the discussion too.

So, here's what I'm "getting." Olden-day relationships between human and wolf constituted genuine friendship because the wolves had total independence and could come and go as they pleased ... whereas today, we have a situation where dogs are essentially wolves-no-longer who've been bred (and conditioned) into the state of rather young, helpless, dependent children. (I don't mind polite correction if I've misinterpreted what you were getting at.)

If I'm "reading you right," then the problem with this "thing" that we feel is a friendship is that we can't/don't respect a dog in the same way that we'd respect a wolf. You can't be a friend to someone you can't/don't respect, right?

Hmmm. Well that is a puzzler. Okay here's the thing. "Exploiting" my dog Sophie for a moment for use as an example, I both recognize her "helplessness" in comparison to a wolf -- but, in my heart I still feel like I have respect for her. How/why? because, she does pretty cool things for the state and condition that she's in. I guess you could say that I'm impressed by how she makes the best of her lot in life. She's cheerful, she loves people -- even me, who "my hinge lady" will quickly characterize as a "cat person." And speaking of cats, she graces our cat Rainee (who's smaller than Sophie) with good friendly (and respectful) relations ... even some play time where Rainee-the-silent-one and Sophie (employing some relatively petite barking) take turns baiting each other and chasing each other around the apartment.

Sophie and I have something of a strained/"Odd Couple" relationship. LOL. She, uh, gets on my nerves ... LOL. "Pet" peeves: her damned high-pitched ear-splitting feverish manic barking (especially when I'm trying to sleep -- Jesus!), and her occasional "thing" about carrying her toy frisbees into my room (*my* room, dammit!), and leaving them there, right on the floor, right in the way of the door or the spot by the window where Rainee would want to sit, thus (maybe?) passively-aggressively trying to "force" me to "play frisbee" with her. Dammit! I'm not some circus clown. You can't just *force* me to play with you Sophie, you have to indulge me with enough patience to wait til I'm in the mood. Just sayin' ...

Sophie's crowding/hovering at the dinner table (waiting for anyone to accidentally drop the least crumb of food), crawling under the table (and touching my legs without permission!) used to bug me, but I've pretty much "adapted" to that venial habit by now. And it used to bug me when she'd jump on my bed (*my* bed, dammit!) and start rubbing all over it (oh thanks Sophie, my ass was already filthy and now your filthy ass has been rubbed all over my bed), but yay and will miracles never cease, once I told her "No!" a couple of times and shooed her off the bed when she was doing that, she broke herself of the habit.

Truth is, Sophie and I have more of a respect-based relationship than we do an affection-based relationship. Oh she'd love it if I'd let her lick out my ears forever and ever; I've kind of stopped letting her do that. So she's got more affection for me than I do for her. But I do kind of grudgingly like her in my own way. It's just that my "stronger tie" to her consists of "respecting" her "position" in the family and being willing to help her out as a fellow Earthly creature on those infrequent occasions when she needs my help. Example: About 99% of the time, it's my V companions who take her out to go potty, but if she reeeally needs to go when it's just me at home, then I will (grudgingly) pull out the leash, doggie bags, my shoes and keys, and take her on a moderate walk around the apartment building so she can do what she's gotta do.

And whenever Rainee gets a treat from the kitchen, I make a point to give Sophie a dog biscuit too (which I probably shouldn't due to the bladder stones she might be prone to develop), just to be fair and because I know Sophie loves the hell out of food. (Damn dog actually chokes on occasion while she's inhaling her dinner since she hardly bothers to breathe during the process.) Yeah, I know, that doesn't sound like I respect her at all, does it? but like I said, fairness, fairness, it is important to me to at least treat her fairly (and decently). Sheesh, I let her bask in the Sun in the window in my room (*my* room, we've all gave that principle due props by now amirite). And *most* of the time she makes a point of peacefully minding her manners and letting me go about my business. So she (oh God do I have to admit it) definitely respects me and demonstrates as much.

So I "do respect" her, and I "don't respect" her (if don't-respect must be what we call it when I know she's not a wolf), both at the same time. As I said, given her crazy kind of breeding/evolution/domestication, she earns her due rights for my respect by acting her level best and by living responsibly within the confines of the choices she has. (Example: I know I can totally trust her to never ever bug me to take her out unless she *really* needs to go. She seems to realize that the job ain't my cup of tea, and, well, she respects that fact.)

So there you have it. The unsolvable mystery of whether respect is possible for a human towards a dog who's been bred/conditioned into the state of a rather young, helpless, dependent child. She may be a "kid" in that sense, but she could be a "rotten kid" if she wanted and yet, most of the time she "independently" takes the higher road, behavior-wise. How could I not respect that?

Re: cows ... oh holy shit now there's a kettle of fish. "Primitive" humans had better excuse than "modern" humans for eating meat. Largely we need a society-wide change/expansion in the menu our economic system offers (Burger King sez we can haz veggie burgers but McDonald's sez we can't? I don't get that) ... but, technically, any average Western person today could easily enough become a vegetarian. (Course bugs still die when crops are grown/harvested but let's not confuse ourselves with that inconvenient detail right now.)

And now the problem. If we all turned veggie tomorrow, we'd still have to continue to keep/confine/care for our cows because we've already domesticated the poor bastards. Maybe not completely true, they might be able to "re-adapt" to life in the wild. (On the other hand there's the contraversy about whether we can arrogantly justify ourselves in using their milk. I dunno. Could I survive if I gave up cheese? Ouch. Pizza?? Ahem ... also true is that while veggie pizza is excellent, sometimes humans get a rather insane craving for a good old pepperoni pizza ... oh God I'm getting off-topic again.)

And now some irony for your disgust and entertainment: Back in the good old days when we killed and ate our meat straightaway, we definitely weren't "friends" with the about-to-die "meat" that we were going to so promptly eat. But now that we keep/confine/care for our destined-to-become-steaks cows, some of us (e.g. my dad) come to feel quite attached to our future dinners. So one could argue that today we are more friends with/toward our to-be-eaten victims than we were before our ancestors did those victims the disservice of domesticating them!

Side note: What's really disgusting about the above irony is that as a whole, we don't lend pigs nearly the same level of emotional investment that we do our cows. Don't even feed them as well. Slop instead of straw? Our rotten leftovers? How is it the pigs' fault that they're such a piggy mess? We put them in those muddy pens and feed them crappy food and that's all they get! So sad. They say that pigs are probably actually "smarter" than cats and dogs. Eat a cat or dog? Ewww, awful, the inhumanity sez we (except in a few Far-Eastern dives). Eat a pig? Mmmm, everything's better with bacon.

Eoh; by the way. Regarding entertainment. Sometimes we just enjoy our pets' company, but sometimes we "shamelessly" get a kick out of their antics as well. Welllll ... that *is* rather trivial of us, even I'll admit that. In the same way that going to a circus is a trivial way to spend our time. But trivial may or may not mean harmful ... After all, if the non-human person's having fun too, then it's a win-win sitch. (Not exactly my most important point here but, worth mentioning.)
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:28 AM
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Re:
Quote:
"I ask another question, 'Why?'
and
I will ask the first question again, 'Was it worth it?'"
(By "was it worth it" I take it you mean, was it worth it for us to domesticate what Nature originally designed to be tameless and wild.)

Re: Why? ... Why ... I don't know. Well I guess the cows thing I get. Readily available meat, right? But dogs? I don't know. Maybe as human civilizations became more ... complicated ... we stopped needing the wolf's hunting assistance so much, but felt that we still wanted the wolf's company ... and the wolf, no longer having an official job to do, found it all too easy to relax into the role of a mere household pet. Just one of many possible guesses.

By the by: Visit, say, New Zealand sometime, and behold some dogs who still have very real jobs to do for their human "masters," who in fact do rather live outdoors and could probably easily escape if they wanted, technically. But these dogs take their jobs very seriously, and it's incredible to behold how complex their jobs are, and how proudly expert they are at executing these jobs. They are sheep-herding dogs, and different dogs specialize in different parts of the trade. Some of them are responsible for prodding the sheep into moving along in their pens. Some of them are responsible for aiding humans in the literal herding (to and from pasture and pen).

Can't nearly remember what all the jobs are, but there's a bunch. Some involve barking at sheep. Some involve running along the sheep's backs to get to "the bottleneck sheep." Many involve receiving complex commands from the humans by way of a sizeable vocabulary of whistles by the humans. And check this: One of the jobs involves dogs who approach the sheep slowly in a state of utter silence, and stare the sheep down! Those dogs virtually hypnotize the sheep with that stare. The dog creeps back and forth, and the sheep (the whole herd) creep back and forth in concert with the dog, mesmerized and mastered by the dog's relentless stare. I believe that's part of the actual herding process, but anyway -- just, wow!

Re: Was it worth it? ... Why ... I don't know. You know we have handicapped people today who rely on their own personal dog to help them out. Leading dogs for the blind of course. But also, dogs who help folks in wheelchairs. Who help retrieve things for those folks. Turn off the light switch for them when they're in bed and then, sleeping with them (thus sharing valuable companionship as well as amazing services). Even helping such folks socialize with non-handicapped humans, who feel awkward talking with a guy in a wheelchair but feel naturally drawn to the inviting, unjudging charm of the dog. In which case the dog's official job at that moment is breaking the ice for the psychologically distanced humans. Again, dogs with very sophisticated jobs, who take those jobs supremely seriously and carry them out with flawless grace and aplomb. Just try to "not respect" that! Now that's a dog that earns its keep.

I don't know if it was worth it. What about the psychological aid that cats and dogs lend to people with emotional disabilities? I myself suffer from a shitload of emotional limitations, and gods do I remember the day when Rainee was first introduced to our home. She was basically a kitten at the time, a tiny little thing. And on that day, I was so lost and depressed I was just laying on the floor, with the will to do only nothing, feeling unloved though my mind *knew* I had two poly companions that loved the hell out of me as well as lifelong blood and chosen family and friends. Well for whatever reason, when my "hinge lady" placed Rainee by my side and handed me a feather toy, Rainee immediately inspired me into playing with her, staring at her wild jumping (with backflips!), and shit, straight up making me feel like I was alive again.

From that day on, Rainee has been an utterly loyal and faithful friend to me. Nothing fake or trivial about what Rainee has to offer! Can I say the same about what I offer her? Gods, I just don't know. I try -- I do try. How does one convey adequate appreciation to a cat who's employed her feline magic into saving one's emotional life? OMG ... [sobbing] ... Who's really dependent on who, I wonder ...

I'll never know "if it was worth it." How can anyone ever possibly know? You can't measure or put a price on those types of things. Fuck, it sure seems to have been worth it for us humans. Maybe non-humans have in essence selflessly sacrificed themselves for us just because they just plain cared. Maybe? We've already established that none of us knows what our pets are thinking.

Sure you could argue that you might still get all that with a non-human person who was 100% independent and could come and go as he/she pleased. But we keep our pets safe and sound and in that way, we know they'll always be at home waiting for us. Hell of a deal for us humans. The non-humans? Well, they'll never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, for what that's worth. Shelter; no cold, rain, driving snows. And the "friendship" (be it trivial or profound, illusion or real) that human "masters" extend to their non-human "slaves." Pets are "house slaves." As deplorable as deporting some poor slob from Africa and turning him into a house slave? These are the kinds of riddles I just don't know how to answer.

Re: forcing spaying and neutering upon a non-human person ... tricky, since there's no way to know whether the non-human does/would want/consent to the operation, and thus, no way of knowing/agreeing on whether that operation constitutes force. We are only guessing at whether the non-human person (if he/she knew what the hell we were doing to him/her) would agree with us that the operation was a good idea and for the best. Yet another unsolvable riddle, in my mind.

Similar to the riddle of infant circumcision, I suppose. I personally like being circumcized, and fancy that I prefer having had it done when I was too young to dread the ordeal. But that's me; plenty of other men feel violated by having been thus mangled. And of course we could argue about foreskin pros and cons all day; ultimately much like clothes and shaving it's a personal/cosmetic choice. And yet that baby boy has no choice ... or has he, if he'll grow up to like the decision that was made for him? Maybe others can solve that riddle, but I can't.

Re: human overpopulation ... well that's an easy one, Utah (especially Utah Valley) being, like, the ultimate example of overpopulation!

Re:
Quote:
"Is this [sexual mutilation] an adequate solution for either non-humans or humans and if it is, is it a permanent solution to always be practiced?"
Don't know and it gets worse. That particular riddle is going to become increasingly complicated as life extension is developed. And I can practically guarantee that life extension will be developed (for all animals, both human and non). Just a matter of time. Guess we'd best start puzzling over its implications ahead of time (but who knows where to begin with that puzzle).

Re:
Quote:
"How do we get back to that: the times when a long time ago humans and certain non-humans were 'truly friends?'"
With a time machine, by setting all the non-human people loose, or (if this last one be possible) by somehow inventing a whole new way of relating to each other (as "masters" and "pets"). Yeah yeah I know, that's a dumb-ass answer on my part, stating nothing more than a combination of the obvious and the absurd. Sorry but I just can't think of any answer that sounds better to me. In other words, I'm (once again) stumped.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:29 AM
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Re:
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"Is releasing all 'non-human pets' to go anywhere they wish to go the solution?"
*The* solution? It's certainly *a* solution. One of several (many?) possible solutions, some good, some bad, some better than others, who knows which is which, everyone seems to have different opinions about it and none of us seems to be able to agree. Personally, I'd prefer not to put the non-human pets through that ordeal even if it *is* the solution. But, that's just me. What's my opinion worth? I let other people decide for me that I'll let my hair get cut, that I'll wear clothes in hot weather, and that I'll walk around with a flayed penis. I'm no genius, I'm just your average quirky fool with a weakness for "going along to get along." Oh sure I try to be unique in my own way, but that doesn't mean my opinions are worth a damn. As always, I make the best guess I can about things and just run with it.

Interesting question: Would it be okay if any humans were to own a "human pet?" Interesting answer: Some BDSM folks actually kind of do that. It helps that the "pet" expressly consents, but then we are talking about creatures who can verbally communicate with each other.

And there's the riddle of "traditional" marriage: kind of a "co-ownership" type of situation, wouldn't you say? I personally mildly (or not-so-mildly?) dislike it, but so very many people out there sincerely see it as the best thing since sliced bread, and ya can't argue that there aren't some (seemingly) very-happily-married couples out there.

Re: transferring a wild/feral cat/dog to the pound ... oohh, that's a really harsh one. Well, I think *most* pound-consigned pets luck out and get adopted, even though *many* (far too many) get put down, so technically we are "putting the odds in the wild/feral cat/dog's favor," if you consider captive domestic life to be a happy ending. I can't answer a riddle like that. I suppose since cats and dogs have already been bred (over thousands of years) to specialize in captive domestic living, I'll (reluctantly) vote for the "pound solution." But I can also easily understand the argument for leaving the already-undomesticated critters be. Or better yet (maybe?), like you said, transfer them to a national park or something, where they won't have to contend with the man-made disadvantages of living on the streets in the city, and can enjoy the fresh air and glorious view (that comes at the, in my perspective, terrible cost of the harshness doled out by the wilderness).

Unavoidable complication: A feral cat is impounded. Later, the pound runs out of shelf space for the cat. Standard procedure: Put the cat down. Buuut ... since it *was* feral, why not release it back into the (wilds? streets? Which would be better especially if the streets are what the cat was used to?) instead of putting it down? Then at least it'd be (in theory) no worse off than before animal control swiped it up.

Ohhh. I did a "wee" bit of brain straining on this one and ... the bottom line is, *I've no idea whether to recommend re-release or euthanasia.* In my logical mind, re-release seems to make pretty darn good sense. In my illogical heart, it just feels horrible to send that cat back out into that life that seems so pitiless as to suck all the seeming trust and comfort out of the cat's eyes. It's lived a sad, tolling life (especially considering its species isn't really made for life in the wilds, or on the streets). If we can't find a home for it, can we give it a relatively quiet, peaceful departure from this world of sorrows?

Buuut ... then I guess we should put homeless people in pounds, and euthanize them if the pound runs out of shelf space. Why, after all, should we release some poor slob back into the cold, hungry, lonely street life he was toiling through? Obviously that's not how we roll with homeless humans ... but the question remains, *should* we roll that way? Oh man, that puts me in just as bad of a pickle. I suppose I'd vote to at least be consistent and apply euthanasia to all out-of-space-and-out-of-luck ferals, be they human or otherwise. But in the logic center of my mind, I easily see that it makes more sense to re-release such infortunate souls back into the "wilds" of the city, where soup kitchens will keep them alive. After all, isn't there always hope that they'll somehow, someday, find a way back into a home and a good job? Plus, we can *talk* to each homeless human and find out what they'd prefer. Simplifies that riddle a little at least.

Well, what would a wild/feral cat/dog want us to do? In the immediate sense? They've presumably learned to distrust humans and want nothing to do with us (let alone be stored in a cage, with nothing but more human contact to look forward to at best). In the long term? If they "luck out" and once they've become accustomed to their new life imprisoned in someone's home, they might find that they prefer the infantile benefits now enjoyed, over the fierce freedom originally enjoyed. They usually seem to do so (if they get adopted), despite having had to adapt themselves to slavery/captivity/dependency (pick the word you "like" best). Maybe nothing ever really changes on a fundamental level; that is, every living thing always does nothing more than merely try to make the best of whatever circumstances it finds itself in.

That pine tree, growing on the side of a cliff. It was born there; it can't leave; it's "trapped" in that state of affairs. Being a rather unconscious type of organism, it nonetheless (like all animals, captive or wild) makes the best of what it's stuck with. In a philosophical sense, the side of a cliff is kind of a cool (but awfully rugged) place to live, wild and "free," even though the tree probably knows no different. Just an illustration (whatever it's worth) of the principle that all living things (except some humans?) adhere to: Always make the best of things, no matter what one lives (and/or must live) with.

Which despite ending with a period, is not actually a statement but a question and another riddle. Is it "good" to be trapped on the side of a cliff? or in a pot (for a plant), in a home (for a pet), or in a cubicle (for a human)? I guess it's both good and bad, but I don't really know; it just ... is what it is.

And always, always, we could sooo easily argue all day about how "good" domestic life may be for a captive pet (from goldfish on up -- hell even indoor spiders are trapped indoors; they too have evolved to be dependent on a human environment). It's good and it's bad, philosophically speaking, but what I've observed so far is that virtually all pets that are decently treated *seem* to be content (sometimes even happy -- especially when dinner's served or even when they're curled up on their "master's lap") with their lot and, of course, in addition to that, are making the absolute best of all that they experience which is really an accomplishment of theirs that we have to respect.

And that's all I got to say about that.

Re:
Quote:
"The reality of things and the truth of things may not always be pretty, but is any one even willing to even seriously think about these questions?
I'm glad you are, Kevin."
Thanks.
Regards,
Kevin T.
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Last edited by kdt26417; 11-13-2013 at 05:54 AM.
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  #180  
Old 11-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Sure you could argue that you might still get all that with a non-human person who was 100% independent and could come and go as he/she pleased. But we keep our pets safe and sound and in that way, we know they'll always be at home waiting for us. Hell of a deal for us humans. The non-humans? Well, they'll never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, for what that's worth. Shelter; no cold, rain, driving snows.
My ex doesn't want a pet. Ever. But he feeds the stray cats that come to the house (and, due to leaving food out, a couple of foxes and a possum - which could be argued that he's making wild animals dependent on him, but I digress...). Two are feral, in that if they are approached by a human (or even SEE a human), they make themselves scarce.

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.

So maybe, CW, this is your idea of friendship?

Except that these cats never see medical attention. The friendly one? 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.)

I still find it better and healthier for the animal to take them to the vet regularly, and to have regular food and shelter. We've domesticated the hell out of them over thousands of years, I have no problem taking responsibility for a couple who needed a place to go.


Edited to add: ARGH! Sorry for cross-pollinating threads again. Mods, if you want to move this into the "Pets" thread, then please do so. I'll try to be a bit more mindful of what thread I'm in.
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Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
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Last edited by YouAreHere; 11-13-2013 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Cross-pollinated. Again. Sigh.
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