The character of a nation and its creatures(pets): immoral.

Farinelli, il ragazzo, was a very famous ‘castrati” of the italian 1700s thrown into a cojonesless life by his brother to help support with his soprano falsetto, the family status, after their dads’ untimely death. I doubt very much that are many examples of voluntary human castration to achieve “American Idol” status (although I wouldnt be surprised some parents have seriously considered it).

Enter pets: Unless you are a breeder or a true animal lover your house animal ( dog, cat, tarantula, crocodiles, dinosaurs, etc) is probably neutered or spayed, that is, your pet is a “fixed animal”, lacking essential organs, parts and piping that define the species. Animals are fixed not for the purpose of exacerbating a given quality such as howling or meowing-a la castrati-; (equally horrendous) pets are fixed so they dont reproduce. The physical consequences of fixing are horrifying (disputed by anyone that has a pet, but the physiological evidence is overwhelming)and your pet wont sing the soprano falsetto. We dont know what fixing does to their animal “nature”: I suppose we would have to redefine Nagels’ question; what is like it to be bat? to what is it like to be fixed bat?

We dream our pets are happy puppies in our company. Moreover, fixing animals and make them pets confers high moral character to the owners, people from PETA, the Humane Society (really?), animal shelters and so forth. It has been sanctioned that if you dont fix your animal you are a cruel, criminal inhumane animal owner, contributing to te overpopulation of abandoned animals and pets that overwhelm the country and city budgets. I find this position to be morally repugnant, Why so? It is incongruent to argue for a humane treatment of animals AFTER you fix them. The rational and humane thing to do is not having a pet if one cant deal with the consequences of having a full animal, not a pet. This reflects the character of the nation, well, pet owners. Many of the people that supports the, mainstream: cut cut cut is against meat ranches that dont provide humane (what a asinine word) treatment before you-metaphorically- kill to eat. Population control is not the issue here, the issue is treatment of sentient beings

It bothers the hell out of me that Ms Natalie Angier at the NYT gives terrible arguments on behalf of keeping the status quo of “petting”. Heavy on the reasoning is the fact that there is a 30/40 billion industry behind our apetite for enslaved, unconditional, sterile animals, qualified as creatures by Ms Angier. I dissent: a fixed dog is no longer a canine creature. It is less. Overpopulation and pet widespread abuse are NOT arguments to fix animals. Dont fix them, dont have pets, own an animal. The overpopulation issue will be gone in less than 1 year. I guarantee it. That is the character of this nation when it comes to their animals: inmoral. Once again rather than facing the issue at stake, we “fix’ it. As in “fixing” anything (wall street, the price of oil, ncaa games, nba games, presidential elections, nfl games, ad infinitum) In the same special NYT ” special issue” about us and ‘animals”: “No Face, but Plants Like Life Too” by Carol Kaesuk Yoon is a rather insanish simultaneous raving and ranting for, eating or licking rocks? Whats up with the NYT?

While writtin’ this I noticed at huffingpost that a tibetan mastiff was sold for 10 million $ in China. Well done. Hopefully many ancient breeds will start showing up at dog fashion pasarelas (catwalks!!). I would support a moratorium and boycot of pet shops for say, a year?

I read today Bittmans’ comentariolus at NYT regarding similar issues: he totally ignores fixing animals to make them pets. Castrating animals for food, the steak, is a compounded moral problem for human carnivores, could be argued. Castrate and eat. Double jeopardy.

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