Petty pet tyranny

Portrait painting of pets63% of U.S. households own a pet; 40% a dog.

73.9 million dogs are owned in the U.S.

Pet spending in 2005 was over $35 billion!

$2.4 billion was spent on grooming.

Towns, cities, counties, and States are making many new laws, often forcing dogs into chain-link compounds, er, dog parks. Convenient control. Dastardly efficient, and wrong.

In Germany, protests have swelled with as many as 12,000 marching against repressive dog laws.

Were owners more able to understand their pets, to select appropriate pets, and to access adequate guidance, governments would be less able to justify repressive rules.

Animal ‘protection’ laws often exceed their goal of protecting animal welfare and extend into managing human behavior as well. These laws belong neither to the ideological “right” nor to the “left,” and rules made to protect animals fall sometimes within a progressive agenda, sometimes within a repressive one.

“We tend to think that the history of animal protection is simply about the relationship of humans to other animals, or that it is coupled to liberalism and other movements of liberation from feudalism to modernity.

But Kathleen Kete at Cabinet Magazine states that what is at stake in the history of animal protection is power… A Beastly Agenda.

“Puritans in England in 1654 issued the Protectorate Ordinance, the first legislation in Europe against cruelty to animals.

The law was passed during the radical stage of the English Civil War as part of the Puritan program to reform “mankind” and establish a godly republic on earth. It was part of a widespread attack on popular recreations – such as dancing round the maypole – which were believed to distract the lower classes from their main duties to be sober and Godfearing.

Reading the Bible led Puritans to the conclusion that humans have a duty to, if not be kind to animals, at least not cause them any unnecessary pain.

“Animals, too, were expelled from the Garden of Eden as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. We are responsible for their state of suffering and therefore have a duty to mitigate their suffering as much as possible.”

Our place within the natural world is often reflected in our relationship with our pets and tainted by unnecessary and repressive rules that stand between animals and humans.