The Corner

PC Culture

It’s Unjust Patriarchy to Own a Pet!

A Yorkshire Terrier rests with its owner during the final day of the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England, March 10, 2019. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Never mind the joy our pets provide us. Never mind the happiness and the love exchanged between pets and their owners. Animal-rights activists believe that animals should not be owned for any purpose, and that means they will eventually try to prevent us from owning pets.

They usually hide this aspect of animal-rights ideology in order to sucker pet lovers into filling their coffers. But occasionally, some candor breaks out. Case in point: Corey Lee Wrenn — the founder of the Vegan Feminists Network (of course), who has a Ph.D., don’t you know — writes at The Conversation (and featured in RealClearScience) that owning pets is unethical. From the column:

But although we love them, care for them, celebrate their birthdays and mourn them when they pass, is it ethical to keep pets in the first place? Some animal rights activists and ethicists, myself included, would argue that it is not.

The institution of pet-keeping is fundamentally unjust as it involves the manipulation of animals’ bodies, behaviours and emotional lives. For centuries, companion animal’s bodies (particularly dogs, horses and rabbits) have been shaped to suit human fashions and fancies. And this often causes these animals And this often causes these animals considerable physical harm.

Excessive in-breeding and some other pet-husbandry practices can be a problem and should be addressed by breeders and, if necessary, in law. But eliminating pets? Please.

Like the rest of her animal rights-believing ilk, Wrenn argues that what is done to an animal should be judged in the same fashion as if the same thing were done to a human:

Pets also symbolically reinforce the notion that vulnerable groups can be owned and fully controlled for the pleasure and convenience of more privileged and powerful groups. And this has implications for vulnerable human groups. For instance, sexism is partially maintained by treating women linguistically as pets – “kitten”, “bunny” – and physically by confining them to the home to please and serve the family patriarch.

It’s the Patriarchy! Good grief.

And we mustn’t ever leave out the old speciesism trope:

Ultimately, companion animals, by their very position in the social order, are not and cannot be equals. The institution of pet-keeping maintains a social hierarchy which privileges humans and positions all others as objects of lower importance – whose right to existence depends wholly on their potential to benefit humans.

Such anti-human exceptionalism lurks at the core of the animal=rights ideology — as distinguished from animal welfare, which is part of HE. For example, several years ago, PETA ran its notorious Holocaust on Your Plate campaign, which argued — seriously, not satirically — The leather sofa and handbag are the moral equivalent of the lampshades made from the skins of people killed in the death camps. Vile, but that’s the kind of immoral thinking that naturally and logically results when you believe fervently that animals and humans are moral equals.

Back to pets: Alas, sometimes pets are abused — and we have animal-welfare and anti-cruelty laws to prevent and punish such despicable behavior — as we should. But imagine how successful our society has become that the age-old friendship between humans and their pets becomes the subject of intense concern over supposed victimhood.

Animal-rights activists want to abolish the ownership of any and all animals. They won’t start with our wonderful companions, but if they are ever able to eliminate the raising and consuming of food animals, the use of animals in medical research, for clothing, horseback riding, seeing-eye and service dogs, beekeeping, etc., they will next be coming for your beloved pets.

Remember that the next time an animal-rights organization tries to convince you to cough up a donation.

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