Friday, March 27, 2009

An Animal Rights-ish Feeling

I have to admit that I like most animals better than I like most humans. When there is a quandary between saving an animal and a human, I don't always have a clear answer. Maybe I'd save the animal because I can eat the animal. Those questions don't answer the big question as well as how I live my life in real life.

Why would I want people to keep pets and livestock if I think that animals are better than humans? Part of the reason is because I don't think that better in some ways means better in all ways. Also, even if an animal or human is better in all ways, we can still associate and live and play together. They're really good at putting on their best to be with their humans and that's why they will always make us feel as if they are better people.

Love and happiness are resources. These are resources that humans provide for animals.Love is something that humans seem to be uniquely able to be good at in the company of an animal, largely because of something that I tried to explain earlier. A companion animal relationship is based on shared love, happiness, and pleasure. Farmers who keep livestock and draft animals also find that kind of relationship.

An animal that might have been doomed to a lonely search for the rare morsel of food, and that would have starved to death if it didn't, can find a precious resource in humans. Wild deer, bears, and raccoons routinely beg for food, or steal it, or scavenge it from humans because humans are good at getting food and often have a lot of it.

Even if animals are better than humans, smell better, are more pleasant to the touch, are happier beings filled with more light, are somehow morally or ethically better, they have uses for us and they love us. Nature produces an animal that can do everything that requires technical expertise simply because nature accretes genetic and outside-world information and that's how to deal with it, to produce a brain that can process this information in practical ways. Of course the other animals that are part of nature want a part of this. They have curiosity, even a sort of intellectual curiosity. They helped make us. They definitely have a right to share.

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