Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Francione on Pets

Listen to what Gary Francione has to say about pet ownership in a February 2009 interview:

In short, he argues that "we cannot justify domestication" or continued breeding of animals to serve as companions, but that we have a moral obligation to take care of the animals that we have already brought into existence.

Francione draws a somewhat gratuitous comparison to slavery in response to a question about humans who may have no source of friendship other than their companion animals. This analogy is weak since the primary concern with slavery was not whether the individuals should continue to exist and breed into the future, but whether their status should be that of a subordinate class of people. Since there is no way for most dog species to survive without human guardianship, opposing the pet industry is equivalent to opposing the legitimacy of the existence of these animals. Ridding ourselves of the mindset of domestication does not just require that we get rid of the pet-owner relationship, but that we actively do things to get rid of the species as well.

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