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Animal Ethics


Introduction

A long time ago, before evolution turned the primate into the businessman carrying a brief case, the topic of ethical considerations concerning animals was as talked about as an episode of Barney at a dog trainer's convention. Why is this? I believe that this is because nobody bothered to decide to give the issue any thought. And how could they? Back in the day of the cave man, people spent their days' hunting, and looking after family. Whatever animals they owned were used for hunting purposes, or food. Today we as society still use animals for hunting and food purposes, however I am sure that we have a more animalistic view now than the cave man did back years ago.

Over the years, as we have evolved into what we are today, ethical and principle considerations have evolved right along with us. What I can not understand, is why it took so long for people to start considering the feelings of animals!

In today's society, many animals are abused, neglected and tortured in various hideous ways. Back in the day of the cave man, I am sure that similar behavior took place. Is it a case of evolution installing a sense of compassion towards our animals, or is it something deeper? I do not know the answer to this, but I do know that values and ethics are passed down from generation to generation, and it is up to us today to instill our values on the next generation so that we can continue to provide the optimum environment for our animals to live in and enjoy.

In the following paper, I will analyze key ethical principles that I have, and relate them to some of society's most talked about animal related issues. In doing this I will discuss issues from both sides of the fence however, emphasis will be placed on my own beliefs as this is afterall a reflection paper. Some issues being discussed in this paper include: Views on service dogs, animal rights, and animal-master bond just to name a few.

Service Dogs

"Dogs that have been specially trained to assist a disabled person with certain daily tasks." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

This definition given by the above source is the best way that I could ever describe a service dog. Having the ability to further one's independence is an amazing feeling that is not felt until one is in the position to do so; yet in a lot of cases, people have a negative outlook on the use of dogs or other animals as providers and assistive partners for those who need them. I myself, am a huge service dog advocate. Being able to witness first hand what a dog can do for a disabled person has made me wonder why there are people out there who disagree with the service dog concept; however, There are people out there who simply view the dog as "man's best friend." These people have the belief that a dog is a pet, and should be pampered, and not forced to be given the responsibilities that service dogs are given. I can totally understand why these people would be against service dogs based on their own values, however what I do disagree with is the way that these people go about degrading the work put in by thousands of dedicated individuals to ensure that a successful dog/handler team is formed. Rallies against the use of dogs for service needs are held now and again, and you can not get away from people staring or yelling "slave labor" as you pass them. What these people do not understand, is that service dogs live more productive, healthy and fulfilling lives than most family pets.

Because of the work that these dogs willing and happily perform, they are subjected to very high quality care, (e.g.) top of the line dog food, ample exercise and against popular belief, a lot of normal doggie activity. The aim in a dog's life is to please, and I wish those people against the use of service dogs could be there every morning when I ask Luther if he is ready to go to work!

Animal Master Bond

The saying "dog is a man's best friend" is one that I hold a lot of respect for. First of all unconditional love from a dog to a master is incomparable to that of another human being. Second, dog's do not blab secrets that you tell them! All kidding aside, the dog has and will be one of man's best comrades, because they have what we all want and need, this being an ability to put up with us, understand us better than we think they do, and the ability to make us feel better when we are sad.

On a personal level, I love spending time with my dog, and would rather his company to the company of most people. No he can not talk to me or give me advice on problems that I tell him about, however he is always there for me with a lick and a tail wag, letting me know in his own way that he loves me and wants to be with me.

I do believe that I may have an unhealthy relationship with my dog. When spending the majority of your day in close proximity with an animal I have found it impossible not to grow used to the constence of him being there. On an ethical level, people may view this as unethical due to the fact that it may look to them that I need my dog to function as a human being. This is not the case. I need my dog to assist me in day to day activity that could be performed minus the dog, however is greatly enhanced with the assistants that he provides me.

Of course you will get the "oh he's so smart," or "Oh he is so well behaved in public," kind of people, however others again may view the fact that the dog is so in tune with what I am doing as a negative. I have talked with people in the past about my dog's willingness to be with me and why he travels everywhere with me instead of lying in the corner 24 hours a day or chasing cars like normal dogs. The animal bond works two ways: them being, the dog bonding to the master and the master bonding to the dog. I never knew the feeling of a human dog commensal relationship until I got to know my own dog, and it is a feeling that I will not trade for the world, and I would say that Luther feels the same as I do. We both respect each other, we both know what is expected of each other, we both know what buttons to press and not to press, and we definitely know how to have fun either with each other or apart. However going back to the unhealthy bonding issue, this is where I believe I may have gone wrong with my dog.

By spending so much time together, we have become used to each other's company, and when we are apart, I miss him terribly and I know he feels the same way I do. Dogs wear their emotions on their paws, and I can tell when he is stressed or upset as I'm sure he can tell if I am feeling different than normal. This said, I would not trade or relationship for the world. Luther makes my life easier, and in return, I provide him with love, a stable home, and everything else that a big slab of lab needs to enjoy his life to the fullest.

Animal Rights

Being an animal lover, it is hard to understand the difficulty over the years to ensure animal rights are afforded to our animals. We as humans have the power to control a lot of external powers that may confront us, however our animals don't, and for the longest time we have ignored this fact and focused on fending for ourselves. This puzzles me because I am sure that over the years, we have noticed that human rights issues have become more and more prominent. People fighting for their rights is a great thing, however why is it so hard to believe that animals shouldn't have rights also? Just because the common dog can not stand up and say, "I have the right to pee on any patch of grass that I want," does not mean that that right should not be given to him/her does it?

I am not a huge animal rights advocate, however I do believe that they do need to be prominent in society so that people know that they can be held responsible if a right to an animal is withheld, the same way that some one can be held responsible if a right to a human is denied.

Do We As Humans Have The Right To Make Decisions For Animals?

The answer to this question I believe has changed over the years. Years ago before the cat and dog were domesticated, I share the belief that these animals had the ability to fend for themselves without any human interaction. Now that we have taken steps to domesticate the common dog and cat as well as numerous other types of mammals, reptiles and birds, I believe that we do play and need to play a role in the decision making process that these creatures go through.

When we domesticate an animal we suppress its natural instincts that it is born with. This sounds harsh, but it is so true. Take for example the undomesticated dog. The undomesticated dog kills for its food as today's domesticated dog is fed from a bag or a can. I would like nothing better than to delve into the mind of a dog to find out which he prefers, however that component of science is unfortunately yet to be developed.

Being able to modify such an important aspect to the dogs life pattern scares me because it shows me how much mankind can dominate basically anything living that it chooses; this said, I do believe that humans do need to play a big role in the lives of today's pets. Suppressing an animals instincts is quite different from eliminating them. Stray dogs will still form packs and can be cause for concern if not delbt with. Your cute little guy could be all hunkie dorie in the daytime, and turn into Wolf Dracula at nighttime while you are sleeping, returning to curl up by your fireplace the following morning. The pray drive of the common dog is what can get him/her into trouble and this is why I believe that human, master bond is so important.

Speaking from experience, having a good relationship with your dog or cat helps to eliminate bad decisions that your pet can make. Sometimes, your furry pet is triggered by primitive instinct, the same instinct that mankind has tried so hard to suppress due to its unwantedness in human society. This is an excellent example of why I believe that we need to play a part in the decision making of our pets. I think ethical beliefs need to be modified when discussing domesticated or non-domesticated animals. Thanks to the effort of mankind, we need to assist our domesticated friends because they do not have the capability to fully function by themselves. I do not mean to sound derogatory by this last statement. I am 100% thankful for the work that our predecessors have put in to allow us to enjoy the company of a non-human companion. My belief is that most domesticated animals live better lives than they would've led in the wild so how can domesticating an animal b unethical? I'm guessing the response to this question would very depending on the person answering it, and that is ok. People's opinions will be different based on their ethical beliefs and I would never try to push my beliefs on to some one else, however I think I speak for the majority of the population when I say that without domesticated animals in our lives, life would just not be the same.

Conclusion

I wish I could say that both nondomesticated and now domesticated animals have thrived on evolution as we as humans have, however I do understand that a significant component of animal evolution is due to man's interference. Whether we like it or not, mankind was and is responsible for a large aspect of the animal kingdom as we see it today. Clearing land, expansion and willingness to befriend, has greatly altered natural evolution and has imposed the will of mankind on to our co-habitating non-human species. In today's world I am grateful to have the option of walking up to a dog or a cat and petting him/her, an option that I would not have before domestication became prominent. In today's society, animals play a huge role in the lives of millions of people worldwide. Whether it be by fulfillment, labor related or just company, it is very evident that life would not be what it is today without the domesticated animal along side us. These animals provide us with friendship, love, protection, a good laugh, and stress relief and it is because of all these positive factors that make me selfish as well as very thankful that evolutionization has occurred to the level that it has.

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TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. September / 15 / 2019

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Pro Pets: David Kaplan and his rescue, Yoshi  NBCSports.com

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Usual, unusual pets on display soon at Pet Expo in McCormick  WJBF-TV

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Steps for Pets gives sheltered animals a paw up on life  WeAreGreenBay.com

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You can support efforts to save pets  Greensboro News & Record

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Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

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Monday, September 16: For the Love of Pets  WCVB Boston

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Davidson County Meals on Wheels for Pets has critical need for pet food donations  WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

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Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

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Staying up to date on your pets vet appointments  Kotatv

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"VFD Rescue Me" Social Media Campaign Partners with Pets  ValdostaToday.com

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This Colorado company allows employees to bring their pets to work  WKRG News 5

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Synchrony Financial bets on Americans' growing obsession with their pets  CNBC

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Pet Vet: Choosing a new pet  WNDU-TV

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Virginia animal shelter to use facial recognition technology for lost pets  CBS17.com

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Meet Doris & Ariel: Gwinnett Animal Welfare's pets of the week  11Alive.com WXIA

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Alabama vet specializes in acupuncture for pets  AL.com

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The 'Golden Girls' Are Now Chia Pets  RADIO.COM

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Where Does Your Pet Want to Live?  The New York Times

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Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (9/11/19)  ABC15 Arizona

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Find A New Four-Legged Friend At Pet Food Express Bay Area Pet Fair In Pleasanton - CBS San Francisco
Find A New Four-Legged Friend At Pet Food Express Bay Area Pet Fair In Pleasanton  CBS San Francisco

PLEASANTON (KPIX) – Thousands of people came out to the Alameda County Fairgrounds for the Pet Food Express Bay Area Pet Fair, on Saturday. They were ...


More than a dozen pets live with Johnson and Wales University students - Turn to 10
More than a dozen pets live with Johnson and Wales University students  Turn to 10

Johnson and Wales University lets students bring a special part of home back to school. A walk onto either campus, you may see a four-legged friend walking ...


How to Change FL4K's Pet's Name in Borderlands - Heavy.com
How to Change FL4K's Pet's Name in Borderlands  Heavy.com

Want to change the name of your Vault Hunter or FL4K's pet in Borderlands 3? Here's how to use this feature and name your cuddly, killer companion.


Green Bay: The Kaylee Project aims to educate about leaving kids, pets in hot car - WeAreGreenBay.com
Green Bay: The Kaylee Project aims to educate about leaving kids, pets in hot car  WeAreGreenBay.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — A brand new initiative launched Thursday to educate people on the dangers of leaving kids and pets alone in a hot car.


Feeding pets raw food is not considered by pet owners as a significant source of infections - Science Daily
Feeding pets raw food is not considered by pet owners as a significant source of infections  Science Daily

An extensive international survey indicates that pet owners do not consider raw food to considerably increase infection risk in their household. In the survey ...


Adopt these pets: A coonhound mix, a Lab mix and a cat - STLtoday.com
Adopt these pets: A coonhound mix, a Lab mix and a cat  STLtoday.com

These pets are available for adoption from the Humane Society of Missouri. Hours and directions • hsmo.org. Because of the quick turnaround time of these ...


Two bats test positive for rabies in Cowlitz County, some pets exposed - KOMO News
Two bats test positive for rabies in Cowlitz County, some pets exposed  KOMO News

COWLITZ COUNTY, Wash. – Two bats tested positive for rabies in Cowlitz County, and health officials said some people's pets were exposed to the disease.


Meet the Seattle Labradoodle who landed on a list of ‘wackiest pet names’ - Seattle Times
Meet the Seattle Labradoodle who landed on a list of ‘wackiest pet names’  Seattle Times

A "Harry Potter"-obsessed Seattle couple gave their dog a magical moniker that ended up on a list of the "20 Wackiest Pet Names of 2019."


Milton Harvest Festival features pet parade - Sunbury Daily Item
Milton Harvest Festival features pet parade  Sunbury Daily Item

MILTON — Pets paraded Milton on Saturday morning at the start of the second day of the 43rd Annual Harvest Festival.


Debra Karplus/Voices | A walk down pet memory lane - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Debra Karplus/Voices | A walk down pet memory lane  Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

Growing up, my first exposure to pets was the nondescript dog Spot, white with black markings, and his buddy, Puff, the orange marmalade cat, in the Dick and ...


Pet contest, blessing Sept. 21 - News - Canton Repository
Pet contest, blessing Sept. 21 - News  Canton Repository

ALLIANCE First Christian Church at 1141 W. Beech St. will host a “Show Off Your Pet and Pet Blessing” at 1 p.m. Sept. 21 in the pavilion behind the church.


Pro Pets: On the farm with Keith Jones and his mini donkeys - NBCSports.com
Pro Pets: On the farm with Keith Jones and his mini donkeys  NBCSports.com

Flyers color commentator Keith Jones takes us on a tour of his farm to show off his dogs and miniature donkeys.


Your Pet Will Get All the Treats in One of These Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes - PEOPLE.com
Your Pet Will Get All the Treats in One of These Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes  PEOPLE.com

Get your pet's Halloween shopping done right now.


Is CBD safe for your pets? - CNET
Is CBD safe for your pets?  CNET

A leading veterinary cannabis researcher explains what experts do and don't know about giving animals CBD.


You can make your Sea of Thieves pets throw up - PC Gamer
You can make your Sea of Thieves pets throw up  PC Gamer

Sea of Thieves now has pets, and it turns out that they're picky eaters. I got myself a parrot—it matches my gaudy pirate getup—and took it with my on a voyage ...


Studies: Stressed pet owners, toxic workplaces contribute to team burnout - dvm360
Studies: Stressed pet owners, toxic workplaces contribute to team burnout  dvm360

One recent study explores the effect of dysfunctional workplaces on veterinary team members, while another focuses on the secondary stress involved in helping ...


KCAS Pets of the Week: Francis and Lainey - WOODTV.com
KCAS Pets of the Week: Francis and Lainey  WOODTV.com

If you're looking for a dog to add to the family, consider this week's pets of the week.


Over 70 Percent of Dog Owners Admit They Prefer Spending Time with Their Pets over Other People - PEOPLE.com
Over 70 Percent of Dog Owners Admit They Prefer Spending Time with Their Pets over Other People  PEOPLE.com

Dog lovers really love their pets, sometimes even prioritizing their pooches needs above their own.


An ETF Purrs at the Pet-Care Trend - The Wall Street Journal
An ETF Purrs at the Pet-Care Trend  The Wall Street Journal

Spotlight: Pet-care companies are doing well, driven by a trend among millennials to spend more on their pets' health than their parents did.


'Fugitive' pig owner must pay $3,000 after pet pig escapes from home - USA TODAY
'Fugitive' pig owner must pay $3,000 after pet pig escapes from home  USA TODAY

The pig's owner, Mcgregor Wallace, purchased Leroy as an emotional support pet. He was cited by Columbia, South Carolina, officials for owning a pig.


CVAS Pets of the Week 9-14-2019 - Franklin County Free Press
CVAS Pets of the Week 9-14-2019  Franklin County Free Press

Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter has lots of adorable pets who are looking for forever homes.


Three people charged after 30+ pets seized in Bibb County bust - 13WMAZ.com
Three people charged after 30+ pets seized in Bibb County bust  13WMAZ.com

MACON, Ga. — Three people are in jail amid an animal cruelty investigation in Bibb County. According to Sonja Adams with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office ...


Pets Can’t Save Struggling Food Makers - The Wall Street Journal
Pets Can’t Save Struggling Food Makers  The Wall Street Journal

Like other struggling food brands, J.M. Smucker has been looking to pet food as a growth driver. But whenever multiple competitors jump into a promising field at ...


I Don’t Want Dead Aunt Mildred’s Pet Parakeet - Slate
I Don’t Want Dead Aunt Mildred’s Pet Parakeet  Slate

Care and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Submit it here or post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group.


How To Protect Your Pets During An Earthquake - LAist
How To Protect Your Pets During An Earthquake  LAist

As Californians, we've long accepted that earthquakes can hit anytime, anywhere. When that immovable, solid earth suddenly shifts beneath you, it can be scary ...


Nevada animal cruelty laws limited in protecting animals with breeders, pet retailers - KRNV My News 4
Nevada animal cruelty laws limited in protecting animals with breeders, pet retailers  KRNV My News 4

Michael Schneider and Leilani Tau-Schneider, the owners of two puppy stores in Sparks and Reno, were indicted last week on five charges of practicing ...


Essential travel kits for active pets - Popular Science
Essential travel kits for active pets  Popular Science

Sweet travel accessories to make a trip with your pet way easier.


Yep, you can fire your Sea of Thieves pets out of cannons - PC Gamer
Yep, you can fire your Sea of Thieves pets out of cannons  PC Gamer

The latest Sea of Thieves update, Smuggler's Fortune, is live, and it brings new voyages, skeleton sloops, bugfixes, and especially the Pirate Emporium, where ...


Concern over pets being allowed on open-door helicopter flights - WABC-TV
Concern over pets being allowed on open-door helicopter flights  WABC-TV

There are already serious concerns about open-door helicopter tours after one crashed into the East River, and all five passengers died. Now, the concern is ...


Animal Protection League to travel to Jefferson offering discount pet services - Marshall News Messenger
Animal Protection League to travel to Jefferson offering discount pet services  Marshall News Messenger

Jefferson and Marion county area pet owners will have a chance on Monday to provide their pets with low cost animal services when the Animal Protection ...


Attorney: Proposed pet store ban in Stamford may be illegal - News 12 Connecticut
Attorney: Proposed pet store ban in Stamford may be illegal  News 12 Connecticut

The Stamford city attorney says lawmakers' plan to ban pet stores from selling dogs and cats may be illegal.


Lindsay Pollard-Post: Get pets to safety during disaster - Chippewa Herald
Lindsay Pollard-Post: Get pets to safety during disaster  Chippewa Herald

Don't tough it out. Get out.” That was a FEMA official's no-nonsense warning to residents in the path of powerful Hurricane Dorian. To that, we would add, “And ...


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