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“Pets”: The Inherent Problems of Domestication

As a practical matter, there is simply no way to have an institution of “pet” ownership that is consistent with a sound theory of animal rights. “Pets” are property and, as such, their valuation will ultimately be a matter of what their “owners” decide. But you might ask: “What if it were possible? If, as […]


Commentary #4: Follow-Up to “Pets” Commentary: Non-Vegan Cats

Dear Colleagues: A number of people have written to me in response to the Commentary on “pets” to ask about the issue of non-vegan cats. It is my understanding that many cats can live healthy lives on a vegan diet but what if there are cats who absolutely need to consume animal products? In this […]


Commentary #2: “Pets”

Dear Colleagues: The issue of “pets” is a hot button issue with many advocates. Here is something I wrote in the Appendix to my book Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?: Question 3: Does the institution of pet ownership violate animals’ basic right not to be regarded as things? Answer: Yes. Pets […]


Essay on Domestication and Pet Ownership

Our essay on domestication and pet ownership was published by Aeon. It’s generated quite a bit of controversy, including being the subject of a comment by Wesley Smith in the The National Review. The Abolitionist position on domestication is also explored in other posts on this site, including here and here. ********** If you are […]


Some “Animal Advocates” Never Miss An Opportunity to Exploit Animal Exploitation

Just when I think it can’t get worse, it does. Humane Society International is an arm of The Humane Society of the United States. Andrew Rowan is the Chief International Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of The HSUS, and President and CEO of Humane Society International. HSI has a new campaign: rescuing dogs from South […]


A Welfarist Dream Come True: The Animal Abuse Registry

Dear Colleagues: Imagine you want to find a single-issue campaign that will allow you to fundraise endlessly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that you (and, more important, your donors) can “help the animals.” Imagine that this campaign will not require anyone to change their behavior toward animals. They can continue to […]


“Why Veganism?” by Eva Batt (1908–1989)

Although all through the ages there have been many people living a strictly vegetarian existence for one reason or another, it was not until 1944 that a few enthusiastic total vegetarians (later to call themselves vegans) met in London to exchange knowledge gained through personal experience of living on a diet which excluded not only […]


A Debate on “Pet” Ownership

Dear Colleagues: In light of the significant response to the debate on eating meat and animal products, Opposing Views decided to have another debate on animal ethics and focused on the institution of “pets.” I am arguing against the perpetuation of “pet” ownership; the Humane Society of the United States is arguing in favor of […]



Excerpt from Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? I want to consider a number of questions about animal rights that I have confronted over the years. These are questions that have come up repeatedly, and they seem to appear whether the forum is in the United States or abroad, in Western nations […]