What Do Your Pets Mean To You?
My mother believes there are two kinds of people: those who love animals and the rest of the human race. Over the past 50 years, she has cautioned me against the people who do not like animals. “They are not to be trusted”. I get her point and there is some relevance to it. I have no need to tell her that I want my teacher, masseuse and social worker pals to like animals but my lawyer, electrician and accountant do not have to! LOL
Bioethics, anthropology, philosophy and related areas of study are interesting to me. I recall stumbling upon some of Peter Singer’s work around Bioethics in college. Peter is a Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His book Animal Liberation
had a big impact on my philosophy and thoughts around human’s relationship with animals. I am a teacher and school psychologist now, and our treatment of other’s is important to me. Some people can easily separate themselves from other animals in a hierachical fashion; others cannot. I find I can identify both types by their personality. My tribe sees no hierarchy.
Best quotes from book:
“We have to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.”
“What we must do is bring nonhuman animals within our sphere of moral concern and cease to treat their lives as expendable for whatever trivial purposes we may have.”
“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?”
I have had beef once since 1984 (I did it for my mother). I do not eat beef (or anything with eyelashes). I have stopped eating fish and poultry again within the last 6 months. There is no need for a 50 year old woman (sliding on out) to eat animals. The babies have been birthed. For me, the mental gymnastics required to keep doing it is insane. My thoughts are similar about plants. I am constantly looking to avoid leather/find ways to keep my feet warm during cold winters. All furniture has been replaced with fabric. I experience extreme shame when I use animals in ways I would never consider using humans. It is that simple.
Minimal judgment toward anyone outside of me. We are all on our own trajectory. Instead, I will reflect upon what pets mean to me:
- I suspect my pets are like my husband and children; their needs are my priority.
- I suspect they have similar importance to me as my family, but priorities go to the greatest need. My human family would come first during emergencies (there will never be an emergency, knock on wood). My family would never make me choose.
- They are my companions; they make me laugh. They bring more purpose and meaning and they get me out of bed in the morning. They call me home from work at night.
- They help me see I am part of a larger thing called life; they make me grateful for the opportunity to participate, meaningfully and integratedly. You are one with life when you surround yourself with life.
- As a breeder, I get to share this gift and the gratitude. It is larger than me and makes a better tomorrow for others. What a joy.
What do your pets mean to you?