Welcome Home

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Coming Soon! Welcome Home: An Animal Rights Perspective on Living with Companion Dogs & Cats

Seventy-three million American families share their homes with 165 million dogs and cats. For the vast majority of people, the bond they share with their animal companions is a familial one, born of mutual affection and love. But according to the loudest voices in the American animal rights movement today, these relationships are inconsistent with the rights of those animals and amount to little more than one of “master” and “slave”:

“Let us allow the dog to disappear from our brick and concrete jungles—from our firesides, from the leather nooses and metal chains by which we enslave it.”

“This selfish desire to possess animals and receive love from them causes immeasurable suffering.”

“Domestic animals are neither a real nor full part of our world or of the nonhuman world…They exist forever in a netherworld of vulnerability, dependent on us for everything and at risk of harm from an environment that they do not really understand… We may make them happy in one sense, but the relationship can never be ‘natural’ or ‘normal.’ They do not belong stuck in our world irrespective of how well we treat them.”

Interspecies relationships in the world are not rare and they are relationships that humans generally celebrate as evidence of the interconnectedness and beauty of life on Earth. But to those who are supposed to be the standard bearers of our relationships with animals—those often regarded as “leaders” of the animal rights movement—such relationships are “unnatural” and therefore “bad” when one of the parties is a human being. Their proposed solution? The forced extinction of dogs and cats.

With the belief that the “solution” to all dog and cat suffering lies in their eventual extinction, the contemporary animal rights movement not only preaches a view that the lives of dogs and cats are dispensable, their loss and deliberate elimination of no moral consequence, their disappearance from our planet no tragedy to mourn, it embraces an agenda to which no other rights-based movement in history has ever subscribed: the deliberate annihilation of those it has pledged to protect.

Exploring the myths, misperceptions, and logical fallacies upon which such arguments are based, Welcome Home provides an alternative animal rights agenda for companion dogs and cats, one which considers the historical antecedents of those relationships, replaces despair for humanity with optimism, and prescribes concrete action that can be taken today to improve the lives and well-being of these animals.

For the dogs contentedly sleeping on our beds and the cats curled up on our laps, claiming they don’t belong there and our love for them is inherently exploitative is a position born of misanthropy, one that is blind to all the benefits human bestow upon dogs and cats as well as the human potential for empathy, compassion and moral evolution. Long after we have ended the killing of animals for food, long after we’ve ended the commercial trade in sentient beings, long after we’ve rearranged society in countless other ways to better meet their needs, dogs and cats will continue to share our homes. And they will do so because in the end, living with dogs and cats is not only consistent with the rights of animals, but as we evolve as a species to better address their needs, can be the purest expression of it.

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