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WITHOUT CONSENT: A vegan-theological argument against animal ownership

Regardless of whether animals are treated as ‘pets’ or industrial commodities, they lack freedom, which posits them as non-human slaves. This contradicts the vegan value of freedom by removing their agency and using force to bend animal behavior to our human needs, without consideration of what the animal really wants.

ALLISON J. VAN TILBORG: The fundamental issue of vegan ownership of animals is one of agency. There is no freedom without consent, and animals, by circumstance, are unable to consent. Humans have misconstrued their might with right–their ability to overpower (“take care of”) other animals, with an endorsement to do so.

Just as the characterization of women as property has fallen out of fashion, and the enslavement of fellow humans has lost its zest, so too, I pray, the view of animal ownership loose its appeal one day. Animal ownership, whether for food or company, denies the owned animal a life free of human-inflicted suffering.

It is not easy to accept the role that, we as vegans, play in causing suffering to our pets. But it is undeniable that veganism and animal ownership are incompatible with our values of freedom and non-harm. Instead, we must look toward a model of synergistic relationships that exist outside the schematic of ownership. SOURCE…


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