The issue boils down to the differences between the two animal movements in this battle: animal “rights” versus animal “welfare.” Animal welfare is based on the belief that we humans have a moral obligation to treat animals humanely and responsibly. Animal welfare is about eliminating cruelty and avoiding unnecessary suffering. Animalrights organizations, on the other hand, see no difference between any live beings. Michael Fox—from whom I learned a lot when, as a fledgling dog trainer, I read some of his early books—is now a senior scholar at the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS, an animal rights organization). Dr. Fox clearly stated his position when he wrote, “The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration.” I have nothing against ants (unless they’re trying to destroy my house, in which case it’s war!), but I can’t help but feel sympathy for Dr. Fox’s child.
There are multiple quotes attributable to members of the “rights” and “liberation” movements that are equal to and even more incredible than this, as well as articles that outline the subtle and not-so-subtle movement toward achieving the Animal Rights/Liberation agenda—with the movement from “owner” to “guardian” taking center stage. The two major agendas both include this lexicon change. One agenda is achieving acceptance by dog owners of the word “guardian.” The second agenda is more dangerous—it uses the law.
The use of the word “guardian” started in the San Francisco Bay area with an organization called In Defense of Animals (IDA). The IDA was founded in 1999 by Dr. Elliot Katz, who equated animal ownership with human slavery, declaring that we don’t “own” our pets, we simply have “guardianship” of them.
Dr. Katz and his compatriots in the movement claim that the word “ownership” implies a slave/slave-master relationship. He opines that slave-masters were, by definition, cruel, so calling oneself an “owner” presumes cruelty. The converse would be that guardianship means better treatment—that a “guardian” is kinder, gentler, and more responsible than an “owner.” It defies logic to think that what one calls oneself affects overall behavior. If this were the case, no parent—or “guardian”—would ever abuse a child; no “loving spouse” would ever kill his wife and unborn child. Changing the word from “owner” to “guardian” simply means that abusive people abuse under a different title.
So now apparently we are being herded to the place where politically, we are not able to have a pet. Next time the vet wants to use the term "guardian," they will get a piece of my mind. Further, insanity like this should warn us that seemingly unbelievable and illogical beliefs in any arena of our lives can cause the rabid and ideological left to organize and aggressively attempt to change our lives much for the worse.