“We Always Hurt the Things We Love”—Unnoticed Abuse of Companion Animals
Departments of Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences and Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Received: 13 July 2018
Revised: 10 September 2018
Accepted: 15 September 2018
Published: 18 September 2018
Over the last half-century, the role of companion animals in human society has changed dramatically. Where these animals were once seen as replaceable trinkets, they have now come to be viewed as “members of the family” by the majority of people who live with companion animals. Yet, despite this new status, we continue to inflict significant harm on these animals, and what is most tragic is that few animal owners take cognizance of the avoidable suffering which these animals go through. What I am primarily referring to is the proliferation of genetic diseases that characterizes pedigreed breeds. Most people bring dogs home while knowing nothing of their biology and genetics. Furthermore, many of the breed standards serve to augment, rather than minimize, these genetic problems that lead to a low quality of life and are also life-threatening. In general, the most popular breeds suffer the greatest number of genetic problems. These problems are perpetuated by non-rational considerations, such as trendiness, appearance in movies, and suchlike.