Re: Question about PETA....

Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 05:07:55 MST

In a message dated 2/18/01 2:11:38 PM Central Standard Time,

> At 11:21 PM 2/17/01, Hal wrote:
> >Actually here in California they are not called pets and owners anymore.
> >Pets are companions and owners are guardians. Some cities are re-writing
> >their legal codes to use the new approved terminology. "Pet" is becoming
> >politically incorrect.
> I don't have a problem with that. So long as the law gives "guardians" the
> same rights against other people taking away their animal companions, I
> think this is a sensible change of mindset. I really don't own my cats in
> the same way that I own a mindless object. Thinking in terms of varying
> shades of ownership relation should help prepare us for relationships with
> various degrees of machine intelligence.

Bravo, Max! As folks on the list know, my daily life is enriched by lots of
contact with non-human animals, and Anthea and I always correct people who
refer to the prosimians in our household as "pets". See

It has long saddened me that the "animal rights" movement is primarily the
preserve of anti-progress types, since I've had the same thought - that the
pursuit of human augmentation and the creation of synthetic intelligence and
life forms is all a part of a continuum of moral sentiment that reaches in
the other direction, as well. I hope you're right, Max, that the growth of
human realization regarding the varying shades of responsibility that are
concomitant with relationships with animals of different degrees of
intelligence and complexity is in fact preparing our culture for ethical
dealings with augmented humans and completely synthetic life and intelligence.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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