In a previous article, I mentioned the concept of dogs just being property, so Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels seem to think it’s okay to do what you want with them.
I want to make sure that readers are perfectly clear where I stand on the issue of property, so that I don’t get lumped in with animal rights groups that think nobody should own pets.
As far as I’m concerned, it should be legal to:
- own dogs, responsibly
- breed dogs, responsibly
- train dogs, responsibly
- work with or play with dogs, responsibly
- make health and welfare decisions about your dogs
It should be (and sometimes already is) illegal to:
- fight dogs
- torture them
- abuse them
- fail to care for them
- breed them without conscience or concern
In Canada, we don’t even have property rights in our constitution, but in the United States, the right to own property does not equal the right to do what you want, when you want, with whatever you want, regardless of the pain suffered by others or the consequences caused.
We have the right to own cars. We don’t have the right to race them.
We have the right to own land. We don’t have the right to build whatever we want on that land without respect for the environment around it.
We have the right to raise our children and make decisions for them. We don’t have the right to put their health and welfare in jeopardy while making those decisions.
In other words, in many areas of law and life, we have the right to do something, within the boundaries of reasonableness.
Animal ownership is reasonable. Animal abuse is not.