At 05:31 AM 1/12/99 -0800, Terry Donaghe wrote:
>>I'd rather not live in a society where people could
>>torture animals in their own home if they felt like it.
>Why not? Again, as I've said, not too many people are going to
>torture animals in the first place. If you decide to create laws
>against it, you're just cheapening everyone's property by telling them
>what they can and can't do with it.
IAN: But that argument fails to observe the fact that there's a difference between a chair and an animal... owning a self-owner, a sentient being, is not the same as owning a chair. An animal is inherently a self-owner because it claims to own its body; apart from existing, a chair or table make no such claim.
The fact that sawing the leg off a chair and sawing the leg off a live dog would be drastically different events (one being neutral and one being a sight of horror and pain) is just the measure that animals are not the same kind of property as inanimate objects. "Caretaker" is the proper context of the animal "owner."