The UK has apparently promulgated a hyper-detailed set of regulations governing the treatment of animals. Rather than properly guard against actual abuse, it also bans permitting dogs to beg at the table and cats kept from looking out windows. From the story:
The guidelines cover the environment for animals, diet, the company they enjoy, ensuring they exhibit normal behaviour patterns, as well as health and welfare issues. The code of practice for dogs advises against taking a dog for a walk during the hottest part of the day or feeding it less than an hour before vigorous exercise in order to avoid “bloating”. Owners should groom dogs with long hair at least once a day and all dogs should have teeth cleaned with dog chews or canine toothpaste as part of routine care. Training dogs should be done through “positive reinforcement” rather than punishment that can lead to behavioural problems in the future.
Owners can spot signs of stress such as barking excessively, urinating indoors or yawning when not tired. The advice stresses cats are not vegetarians and adults do not need bowls of milk. However they do need somewhere to hide and to scratch claws.
The ironic thing–and I don’t think this is coincidental–as the “welfare” of animals is increasingly particularized to the point of going to the ridiculous and the sublime, weak and vulnerable humans are being denied medical treatment through health care rationing, and Brave New Britain moves toward human/animal cloned hybrids and the exploitation of women for their eggs.
The more we over personalize animals, the more, it seems, we depersonalize and denigrate the intrinsic meaning of being human.