Pet ownership compared to slavery

Are pets really slaves?

Is pet ownership immoral?  That's what two law professors claim in their essay, "The Case Against Pets."   The professors say the domestication of animals takes away their rights and is similar to torture and even slavery.

Gary L. Francione is professor at the Rutgers School of Law and is one of the authors.  It is co-written by Anna E. Charlton, an adjunct professor at Rutgers and the founder of the Rutgers Animal Righs Law Clinic.  The authors also live together.

Francione says, "We can not justify the domestication of animals.  Animals are property.  We believe that becasue they are property we treat them as things.  We can not justify that.  We can not eating them, wearing them, using them for entertainment.  But we also can't justify bringing them into existance so that they can ammuse us as their pets."

The pair live with six dogs but Francione says he considers them "refugees" becasue they are rescue dogs and not purchased.

"As much as I love our dogs, I could put them in the car right now and take them to a kill shelter and say 'if you can't find someone to adopt them, kill them' I have ultimate power and control over their lives," Francione says.  "I think there is something very wrong with that."

The authors say that domestication and pet ownership violate the fundamental rights of animals.  The complete essay is available at aeon.co.

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