The Agreement of Good Guardianship
Welfare seems to be the basis of care of animals in domestic circumstances. Welfare in many ways gives the impression that keeping the animals for human use and benefit is fine, as long as the animal is not in distress. This applies to animal kept in zoos, farmed for food and our domestic dogs, cats and others considered household pets.
No one really could argue that welfare should not be dismissed nor ignored. There is an ethical case though, to go further than welfare and consider animal rights. Animal rights has been shunned for a very long time by the mainstream. It’s almost considered to be soft, associated with “lefty” vegans and activists.
Labelling is a ploy by industry to belittle the most basic fundamental compassion of humans and switch us away from what our hearts tell us. Industry is about profit. When often our hearts are telling us that some treatment of animals – including ourselves as we are animals too – is well beyond the realms of acceptable.
The difference between rights and welfare is this:
- A pig in a factory farm is kept in atrocious conditions and bred from. This is an animal rights and welfare issue.
- A pig kept and fed well, not abused or harmed in any way living in a free-range environment and repeatedly bred from, without a choice until she is no longer young enough to breed from then eaten we must consider an animal rights issue. Does she have the right to say no? Is she given that choice? I suspect she doesn’t want to be eaten at the very least.
It’s something we must all think carefully about because without humans most animals would have much more freedom, some may not even exist and in the cases of some domestic animals, that might have been the better option for them.
Guardianship Is A Promise
Dog guardianship is an agreement with our dogs. It’s saying to them that no matter how we go to this point, we are here on this Earth together until the first of us leaves it. It’s accepting that many of them wouldn’t survive given the freedom of their wild cousins yet knowing that freedom is still so very important to them and facilitating it as much as we possibly can.
Excellent dog guardianship means we give them the freedom to be themselves, agency over their lives and bodies, freedom to practice natural behaviour, eat natural foods and be respected as the individual they are.
Isn't that what we all want?
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