Thread: Animal Cruelty
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Old May 10th, 2013 (02:39 PM).
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Quote originally posted by twocows:
My belief is that there are two categories under which animals should be afforded protections under the law. The first are wild animals, which should be treated as resources. The second are pets, which should be treated as property. Neither should be abused without justification because the former have some degree of economic or environmental value and the latter have sentimental value. I do believe it is acceptable to harm a wild animal for reasons such as (but not limited to) defense of human life, research, or better quality of life, as these outweigh the justifications for not harming them. However, I believe it is only acceptable to harm a pet to protect human life.

With regards to the animal rights movement, take a look at this. This happened today. This is what many animal rights activists believe: that it is perfectly acceptable to "liberate" animals at whatever cost. This sort of action is outright evil. These types cause significant harm to people and hold back scientific progress (medical progress, no less) out of some misguided sense of justice. The idea that animals deserve the same protections as humans is, at best, flawed and not particularly helpful. However, the way these radicals understand it is outright malignant. Their actions cause real and permanent harm to people everywhere. Those who espouse this belief in this way are either naive and have failed to recognize the consequences of it, in which case they should be made to understand those consequences, or are aware of the consequences, in which case they should be scorned for knowingly advocating or perpetuating human suffering. These so-called "activists" jeopardize scientific progress and human well-being and it is our duty to challenge them and their faulty ideals whenever and wherever they surface.
I like where this is going.

I agree with the bulk of this post, but it does raise some valid questions in regards to domesticated category of animal protection. If these animals are purely chattel, what legal basis would prevent me from kicking my dog, given that my dog is restrained from other humans, let's say kept in a basement, so it's change in temperament would not affect other humans. Further, if I starve a dog, it will likely be weak, posing little threat to other humans. If I have a treasured Picasso painting that I own, I am allowed to poke holes in it or burn it as long as it doesn't harm other humans. So, it is a tough distinction to make if we treat domesticated animals and other forms of chattel and I am not sure that sentimentality is enough. As explained, a Picasso painting is more revered than any given animal; am I allowed to burn it, despite the sentimental pain it would cause others? I would hope I would have the right.

So, perhaps, all animals should be treated as publicly-owned resources. The laws by which distinguish which type of resources one can control but not as private property. Therefore, the dog I "own" would actually be the property of the society and its rules, I am merely a designated authority to the animal as any principal is to a public school or police chief is to a state police office, they don't own it, but exercise authority over it. I am responsible for carrying out the duties of protecting it, an article of public property, and therefore, other people do not have authoritative rights over my animal, I do, though, the state has the ability whether to afford or terminate those authoritative rights as deemed necessary. If the state decides that bodily harm or inadequate attention to sustenance is causation for a termination of my authority to supervise the article of public property in addition to legal retribution for breaching my duty to protect public property, then I would obviously be deterred to do so.
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