"Within our philosophy and within our culture, we cannot take seriously our love and dependence on animals without turning them into medicine and making ourselves sick. We can accept our dependence upon animals only if sanctioned by the medical or legal establishment, circumscribed by the regulations of these institutions, through which we subject ourselves to pathologization and further objectify our animal friends and family."
The author makes some good points about how our culture insists on measuring animals against human standards in order to "justify" the granting (or withholding) of subjectivity to them. The older and smarter I get, the more I try to be mindful of anthropocentrism, and to push back against it. Making the human the benchmark against which everyone and everything else is measured is so deeply ingrained that it takes conscious and concerted effort to put pressure on and interrogate it. What does it matter if animals are "capable of many of the same intellectual feats as humans"? The subjectivity of non-humans is valid because it EXISTS
, not because any human uses their putatively "superior" capacities to declare its validity, or to confer it on them.http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... mals/?_r=1