Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pet hates

Yesterday it was the Pet Shop Boys, today it's just the pet shop. Ms ND and the Dude came running this morning to see what had me groaning in frustration. How many times do I have to say it? Pets are not people.

If it is true the highest test of a civilisation is the way it cares for its most vulnerable, then Australia's animal welfare record has nothing to do with it. Australia's human welfare record does: we could do a lot better when it comes to the way we treat the disabled, the mentally ill, the elderly -- who ARE our civilisation's most vulnerable members. Pets are not members of civilisation, they are commodities and luxuries.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's okay to mistreat animals. And I'm not saying people shouldn't keep pets. In fact, I agree with the majority of the article: owning a pet is a choice and a responsibility, not a right, and people need to think carefully about doing so. However, humanely killing unwanted dogs and cats that are incapable of existing by themselves in an environmentally friendly way is not a violation of civilised standards. It's a shame, but it won't be the downfall of our society.

Argue with me if you like: I'm sure Dr Peter Singer would.

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