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Thread: Should animals (esp. pets) be considered property?

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    Ксеркс, царь царей xerx's Avatar
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    Default Should animals (esp. pets) be considered property?

    According to this source, they are still considered as such.

    Under most state and federal laws, animals primarily are regarded as property and have little or no legal rights of their own. Because of this status, generally there is a presumption—provided no law is violated—in favor of the owner’s control and use over the best interests of the animal. If, for example, someone decides that the family dog or cat becomes “too much trouble,” the animal companion can be legally relinquished to a veterinarian and euthanized.
    https://www.petfinder.com/helping-pe...ights-animals/

    What do you think?

    P.S. I don't actually know how accurate "petfinder.com" is, but that description matches my vague impression of the current state of animals rights. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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    What's the purpose of SEI? Tallmo's Avatar
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    I remember Derrida criticizing the concept of "animals" because it covers very different life forms, anything from bugs to dogs etc. There is not much reason to group these together and can make us insensitive in how we relate to them. I think I kindof get his point.

    So a pet snake is different from a pet dog and should maybe not have the same legal status.
    A true sense-perception certainly exists, but it always looks as though objects were not so much forcing their way into the subject in their own right as that the subject were seeing things quite differently, or saw quite other things than the rest of mankind. As a matter of fact, the subject perceives the same things as everybody else, only, he never stops at the purely objective effect, but concerns himself with the subjective perception released by the objective stimulus.
    (Jung on Si)

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    FreelancePoliceman's Avatar
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    There are certain connotations of the word own I don't think are healthy in general. That seems to signify some static relation, and an attitude of complete domination over what you own, as if either owner or owned thing can be abstracted from the rest of the world. No society permits people to have complete control over what they have; a "homeowner" can't place booby traps inside his house for thieves, for instance. Nature also doesn't permit this -- you can't stop something from decaying, or it might be suddenly destroyed or stolen despite your wishes. I think possess seems better -- seems to evoke an image of temporarily taking something with you, and acknowledging that something might cause you to stop possessing it.

    With animals it's even better. You can force or persuade an animal to come with you, but it has its own will, and there will always be ways you can't completely control it. It's good to keep in mind that animals have their own will and own mind, simply because they do.

    People are the same. Laws can't completely control people; they just attempt to regulate their interactions with other people and with the state. You can't really prevent people from keeping animals as food, pets, or object of study -- people have done this for thousands of years at least, if they weren't keeping pet beetles or something with them ever since they evolved. You can't really stop people from exercising their will on animals either; if you go for a hike you'll kill probably kill hundreds or thousands. All you can do is regulate how this happens, and you need some framework to do this. If you're raising dogs, should it be legal to euthanize it? Probably. Should it be legal for your neighbors to euthanize the dogs you raise? Probably not. You need to establish that certain people can only kill certain animals, or take them to another home, or decide on their medical treatment, and so a legal principle that animals are or can be property seems unavoidable.
    φιλοκαλοῦμέν τε γὰρ μετ᾽ εὐτελείας καὶ φιλοσοφοῦμεν ἄνευ μαλακίας.

    It’s hard to translate this literally and poetically into English, but this is my attempt at a translation: “For we love beauty, that we attain good ends thereby, and we love wisdom, though not in a way that makes us soft, nor that causes us to value weakness.”

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    Poptart's Avatar
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    Animals want to be dominated. AAALT.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    i dont know all the legal terms or anything but if i have a pet its mine and i have responsibility for it and its wellbeing. its the same as having a child

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    jason_m's Avatar
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    On a personal level: they seem to have some consciousness and experience pain, so they should have rights. It is sad to see an animal suffer.

    Logically: it is just a big question of where you draw the line. Animals in nature don't really seem to have rights, neither do animals on factory farms. How do we then grant rights to some animals but not others? There doesn't seem to be a clear answer...

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