People's Thoughts on Pets, Zoos, Species Subservience, Conservation, etc.?

I was vegetarian for a while, but with three small kids I didn’t want to impose my beliefs on them. I ended up making two or three dishes for each meal, so decided to stop. I now live with a confirmed carnivore, and I’m not going to sway her. So, practicalities!

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I am fundamentally opposed to the idea of species subservience. I would expound further, but i now have to get ready for church. Maybe on the way i’ll drop off my taxes.

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“Having dominion”. I think the concept of dominion has always been misunderstood. I believe Jesus showed us the true example of dominion when he washed the feet of his disciples. i.e. although they called him “master”, his responsibility as master was one of a caretaker over those under his dominion. An example he set for them (and us) to follow.

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This is a mile off topic and I hesitate to get into a theological discussion, however interesting and central to arguments about the place of animals in culture and the law, but for the sake of clarity:

  1. Dominion means to have power over but it is anyway a translation and;
  2. The original Hebrew text is variously translated as let them have dominion over, let them rule over, let them subdue and rule over, etc.

There have been arguments about the precise meanings of this and other Biblical passages about animals since the early days of the church. For example, Francis of Assisi had a well-developed theology concerning animal souls that was much less absolute about these things than the prevailing orthodoxy that has been in place since Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas incorporated the Aristotelian hierarchy of living things into a Christian Great Chain of Being with humans below angels and everything else below humans. Aquinas was unequivocal that animals were “enslaved” (his description) for the use of humans and that interpretation has prevailed largely unscathed through Schism, Reformation, Enlightenment and everything else thrown at it until very recently. It is the Thomist view (as Aquinas’ theology is referred to for some reason) that is enshrined in the legal frameworks for dealing with animal welfare in most, if not all, Western nations.

On the other hand, I like your idea better.

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Cape Town is currently locked in a Thomas versus Francis battle about our problem animals which are getting in the way of development. ‘We’ prefer to replace fynbos and baboons with must have more vineyards.

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I watch Jack Hanna and he is a big part of Columbus Ohio’s Zoo where they do rehab and keep animals there that can’t go back out in the wild. They teach about these wild animals in hopes, as many zoos, rehab facilities, etc., do, that all people of all ages will learn and come to respect and do all they can to keep the wildlife we have. Last year we lost 3 billion birds. That’s just birds! We think we’re at the top of the food chain and smartest…oh no!
As far as fur family, it is NOT just a perception. If you’ve had pets like I’ve had, you’d know. I still “see” them and feel them around me. They are amazing.

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Ever since I went vegetarian, I find zoos too depressing. None of them provide the animals with enough room.

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Has anyone here heard of a place called Harnass? It’s a place located in Namibia that I recently read a book about. Basically, it’s like an orphanage for wild animals. Usually, however, many of the animals have some large disability or injury that disables them to survive in the wild, and they have to stay at Harnass. I found the book, Soul of a Lion, really cool

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Here is a link to the Harnas Wildlife Foundation. It’s been close to 30 years since I lived in Nambia but the community of wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators was already established in those days. Harnas seems to be in that tradition. Namibia is a gorgeous country with spectacular landscapes, a a unique assmblage of wildlife ranging from mist-drinking darkling beetles to fur seals to desert elephants to fishing owls, and some wonderful people.

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Thank you, I heard about their website in the book but didn’t know what it was! Thank you!