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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 Mon. May / 20 / 2019

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Petco last week opened a 1,350-square-foot “health and wellness kitchen” for pets at its flagship New York City store in a partnership with JustFoodForDogs.


‘Tamagotchi’ Digital Pets Make a Nostalgic Return on May 13 - Variety
‘Tamagotchi’ Digital Pets Make a Nostalgic Return on May 13  Variety

Bandai America is bringing the nostalgia-infused virtual pet craze of “Tamagotchi” to a 21st century audience with “Tamagotchi On,” a revamped take on the ...


Fate of pets aboard jet that skid off runway in Florida remains unclear - NBC News
Fate of pets aboard jet that skid off runway in Florida remains unclear  NBC News

The 143 people aboard a charter jet that that skidded off a runway into a river in Florida are safe but at least some of the pets in the plane's cargo hold have not ...


Bill aims to address pets' needs in a divorce - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bill aims to address pets' needs in a divorce  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Current Pennsylvania law provides no special provisions for pets in divorces.


The Central Florida Zoo wants your exotic pets - Orlando Weekly
The Central Florida Zoo wants your exotic pets  Orlando Weekly

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens wants your exotic pets, whether you own them legally or not. The zoo's "Pet Amnesty Day" allows Central...


Pet of the Week: Meet Rosie! - WMTV
Pet of the Week: Meet Rosie!  WMTV

SAUK COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- This week's Pet of the Week is Rosie! She is a young, New Zealand Mix looking for her forever home at the Sauk County ...


Petco Opens A Pet Kitchen In New York City, Leaning In On Retail Experiences For Pet Parents - Forbes
Petco Opens A Pet Kitchen In New York City, Leaning In On Retail Experiences For Pet Parents  Forbes

Petco is taking experiential retail to a new level with the opening of its first-ever pet food kitchen today. Created in partnership with JustFoodForDogs, the new ...


Harford considering lowering temperature pets can be left in cars - Baltimore Sun
Harford considering lowering temperature pets can be left in cars  Baltimore Sun

Harford County is considering lowering the temperature threshold that a domestic pet can be left in a vehicle from under 80 degrees to under 70 degrees.


Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/14/19) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/14/19)  ABC15 Arizona

Want to save the life of a shelter pet and bring a new best friend into your home? There are hundreds of adoptable cats and dogs awaiting a new home. Here are ...


See The Secret Life of Pets 2 First at a special Early Access Screening - Rotten Tomatoes
See The Secret Life of Pets 2 First at a special Early Access Screening  Rotten Tomatoes

The Secret Life of Pets 2 follows the latest shenanigans of Max, Gidget, Duke, Snowball, and the rest of your favorite Pets characters. Joining them are a ...


CBD & Cannabis for Pets in Pain - Project CBD
CBD & Cannabis for Pets in Pain  Project CBD

The state of veterinary medicine has advanced significantly in recent years and thanks to the availability of more effective medicine, many pets are living longer ...


Secret Life of Pets 2 Early Screening Announced With New Trailer - Screen Rant
Secret Life of Pets 2 Early Screening Announced With New Trailer  Screen Rant

The Secret Life of Pets 2 has announced that fans now have the option to purchase early screening tickets and released a new trailer.


These Otters Are Popular Pets in Asia. That May Be Their Undoing. - The New York Times
These Otters Are Popular Pets in Asia. That May Be Their Undoing.  The New York Times

Asian small-clawed otters are increasingly popular as novelty pets, particularly in Japan. Now international trade in the species may be banned.


Why a goat might be your perfect pet - USA TODAY
Why a goat might be your perfect pet  USA TODAY

The most important thing to know about adopting a goat is that you must adopt at least two: Herd animals are profoundly unhappy when alone.


Pet-loving prowler sneaks into home, pets dog, washes dishes — and takes nothing - New York Daily News
Pet-loving prowler sneaks into home, pets dog, washes dishes — and takes nothing  New York Daily News

A caring crook snuck into a home, pet the dog and washed the dishes. Then she left.


Up to 700 dogs, cats available in Tampa Bay Regional Mega Pet Adoption event - ABC Action News
Up to 700 dogs, cats available in Tampa Bay Regional Mega Pet Adoption event  ABC Action News

Up to 700 dogs and cats from multiple local counties will be available for adoption as part of the Tampa Bay Regional Mega Pet Adoption event. Hernando ...


A cardiac nurse couldn't afford a pacemaker for her dog, so she started a program to donate used ones to pets - CNN
A cardiac nurse couldn't afford a pacemaker for her dog, so she started a program to donate used ones to pets  CNN

Cardiac nurse Terri Matula couldn't afford to buy a pacemaker for her beloved dog more than 20 years ago, so she started a program to donate used ...


Sheriff: Woman breaks into home, pets dog, washes dishes, leaves - KGO-TV
Sheriff: Woman breaks into home, pets dog, washes dishes, leaves  KGO-TV

A woman was arrested in Ohio after she allegedly broke into a home, petted the family's dog and washed the dishes.


Pet skunk Pongo helps Wakefield nurse's anxiety - BBC News
Pet skunk Pongo helps Wakefield nurse's anxiety  BBC News

A nurse who suffers from anxiety has told how carrying her pet skunk helped her to cope with going out in public. Paula Bevill, from Wakefield, is a fan of comic ...


Miami-Dade County Wants to Outlaw Pet Leasing Scams - Miami New Times
Miami-Dade County Wants to Outlaw Pet Leasing Scams  Miami New Times

Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Barbara Jordan want to outlaw the practice of leasing dogs or cats as pets with the option of repossessing them down ...


Luxury cat food recalled after pets and owners develop bovine tuberculosis - The Independent
Luxury cat food recalled after pets and owners develop bovine tuberculosis  The Independent

A gourmet cat food sparked an outbreak of a deadly strain of tuberculosis which affected around 50 animals and at least two of their owners, veterinary scientists ...


Pet of the Week for May 24 - Tampa Bay Times
Pet of the Week for May 24  Tampa Bay Times

Jinx is a 1-year-old male domestic short hair cat. Jinx loves following his people around. Inquiries about adopting Jinx and other cats and dogs can be made at ...


Why pet antibiotics could make their owners sick - Medical News Today
Why pet antibiotics could make their owners sick  Medical News Today

British-based scientists have detected a gene that helps bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic linezolid. Crucially, this gene may spread to humans.


The Star-Studded Cast of 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' Has Some Surprising Additions - GoodHousekeeping.com
The Star-Studded Cast of 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' Has Some Surprising Additions  GoodHousekeeping.com

We know the movie your kids need to see this summer: 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'. The sequel your kiddos have been waiting for is finally here, and the cast ...


The Cutest Pets in Dallas - D Magazine
The Cutest Pets in Dallas  D Magazine

Cute” is in the eye of the beholder, unless it's won through a local competition, in which case that cuteness is a concrete, inarguable fact. From May 6 to May 20, ...


Doris Day’s hotel in Carmel is one of the pet-friendliest around - Los Angeles Times
Doris Day’s hotel in Carmel is one of the pet-friendliest around  Los Angeles Times

Actress and animal lover Doris Day, who died early Monday at age 97, will also be remembered as co-owner of the Cypress Inn in Carmel, Calif., a place Sunset ...


Meet the pets: Dogs of the presidential contenders. And the tale of Beto's turtle. - NBC News
Meet the pets: Dogs of the presidential contenders. And the tale of Beto's turtle.  NBC News

The 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are going to the dogs — and a turtle. Donald Trump is the first president to forgo an animal companion in the ...


Auburn University veterinarian comments on fresh pet food vs. standard pet food - Yellowhammer News
Auburn University veterinarian comments on fresh pet food vs. standard pet food  Yellowhammer News

As many dog and cat owners become more focused on their pets' diets, some are feeding their pets *fresh* food instead of standard pet food under the ...


Funeral home for pets offers cremation, visitation for family, friends - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
Funeral home for pets offers cremation, visitation for family, friends  WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee

LIVONIA, Mich. — “When they leave their pets here, we treat them like they're still alive. We pet them. We talk to them,” said Bob Sutton who recently left his last ...


US-China trade war could hit American pet owners in the wallet - ABC News
US-China trade war could hit American pet owners in the wallet  ABC News

U.S. pet owners could soon feel the impact of America's intensifying trade war with China deep down in their pockets.


Hamilton mayor says illegal killing of pets was 'public service' - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
Hamilton mayor says illegal killing of pets was 'public service'  New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Mayor Kelly Yaede shared a video to address charges against the Hamilton Animal Shelter and to call for a bigger probe.


Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds - Science Daily
Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds  Science Daily

Research data on bird sightings finds that 56 different parrot species have been spotted in 43 states, and 25 of those species are now breeding in the wild in 23 ...


Pets perish, Slidell home destroyed in fire - NOLA.com
Pets perish, Slidell home destroyed in fire  NOLA.com

A Slidell home was destroyed and pets perished in a fire Wednesday (May 15), authorities said. (Photo courtesy of St. Tammany Fire District No. 1). 0.


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