Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Canine Antinatalism: Is it wrong to let your dog breed?
I'm getting a dog soon. So I was wondering whether, just for funsies again, it would ever be moral for a person to allow their dog to breed. At first I started with ye..then n..then settled on just, I don't know. I ran into a rather serious roadblock at this point - being that I just don't know whether the issue of consent can apply to a dog. It is wrong for people to have children - this is quite simple, you are doing a harm to whoever you create, since they will inevitably suffer in their life, and you do not have the power to choose for non-existent people bla bla bla read the blogs in my blogroll. I think I have tackled a little with this before, but more in a consequentialist way - that is to say I believed that one must necessarily eliminate the kingdoms of life to prevent the extreme amounts of suffering that will continue after humans die. Now I'm not so sure. The problem is, again, consent is something an animal cannot give. Either they are not intelligent enough to understand the idea, or humans simply cannot express the idea to them (though since some higher apes may speak in sign language, I don't know whether this is actually possible or not). But you say, surely we don't need to have the consent of animals? They're just animals. Except so are we. And if it is wrong to forcefully sterilise a human being, then, provided you believe that the animal can't consent, it's probably wrong to do the same for dogs etc. Except I just don't know if I'm right about that. We do so much these days that animals cannot consent to, but is in their best interests. Isn't this the same sort of thing as making decisions for the mentally retarded, or for children? So if a dog can live longer, suffer less instances of cancer, and will avoid creating new lives with new suffering (though with doggy blankets and little clothes as well), then surely, if we take what is done with the mentally unfit as right, then it must be right to prevent animals from breeding, especially if it benefits them like it does with dogs. I'm still, almost characteristically, unsure about this though. Personally I think it's true that I should neuter my eventual dog just because of the benefits to him/her. But on a grand scale, it's still a little weird to say that it is in the best interests of all life that all life is sterilised - despite how not committing immoral acts probably is in their best interests. But if you do that, then why not prevent them from doing other (from a human point of view) immoral acts? You would have to muzzle and put on a nutrient drip every predator out there. But the thing is, if we are going to apply human values on how we treat animals (not killing them, not eating them etc.) we are going to have to apply human values on how animals treat other animals - especially if from my favourite negative utilitarian view that it would decrease suffering. This is going to be a lot of hard work and bother. But only for future generations, haha.