I recently commented on a blog belonging to a Veterinarian who promotes and practices supplementary Holistic care methods. The post tells of a recent invitation he received to appear on a television show about and for women, in their weekly “Pets and Pet Care” segment. He asked for opinions as to what he might talk about if he decided to accept the invitation. I want to share my comment here:
“I would definitely use the opportunity to acquaint viewers with a revolutionary notion. We all should be familiar with the fact that dogs, cats, and other pets deserve our love and the best care possible. But that should come from a respect for them as moral persons first. And once we acknowledge that, it should not be a huge leap to acknowledge that all animals deserve that same respect. And that respect should include one most basic right – not to be exploited (used) as property or resources… whether that use be for food, clothing, entertainment, the making of household products, and yes, even as pets.
I know, I can hear the outrage (of other readers) at the mere suggestion we should abolish (the Institution of) pets but I assure you if you do the research, you will understand that, by our exploitation over centuries, we have turned once free and wild animals into sorry, often weakened, mere shadows of their former splendour and all totally dependent on humans for their survival. The pet industry, through breeders and many other stakeholders, seeks financial gain by continuing this exploitation. And as you know, every year millions of these animals end up being horribly abused, neglected, or dumped in shelters where *most* end up euthanized (or gassed). Then there is the multi-billion dollar international pet food industry, which is basically an offshoot of our own cruel and manipulative “food animal” exploitation.
Needless to say, I think it is our moral obligation to *adopt* companion animals whenever and wherever possible. But it is also our moral obligation to not cause any others to be brought into existence.
With some reflection and research on the subject of Abolition, everyone can determine the most obvious and easiest way to show respect to *all* animals is by adopting a Vegan worldview, and i underline that means not just a diet.
I highly recommend researching the work of Professor Gary L. Francione at http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/ The site has searchable blog essays, links to his books, audio/video presentations and interviews, podcast commentaries, and a lot more. Over the last 30 years Professor Francione has developed his “Abolitionist” approach to Animal Rights and you will see his arguments for Veganism as a moral baseline make a lot of sense.
I hope you will consider looking into this monumental but necessary social paradigm shift in the near future. And just maybe some of it could be touched on in this TV interview. It will definitely spark some needed thought and dialogue.
Thank you for your consideration.