Dave L asked me this, in that post so far below:
What does “animals don’t belong to people” have to do with me feeding my chickens and letting them roost in my shelter? Serious question. When they want to run away I let them–it happened once. Beyond a reductionist similarity to slavery, what’s the problematic part? Perhaps you mean acquiring them from the factory farm system at first, which is true. I was actually ignorant of that practice until after the fact, and regret not sourcing them better. But beyond that, which can be avoided, what’s the root issue?
And I said the bestest response ever:
For me it’s that we shouldn’t have domesticated these animals, and should now stop using them. Once upon a time humans needed animals to survive, so we did what all starving people do: we ate whatever we could. And so the cycle of animal domestication began. But now we can survive just fine (in fact, we thrive) without eating animals. So we have a moral obligation to stop doing so, because causing harm and death to someone unnecessarily is not a morally permissible thing to do. (And eating eggs means killing male chicks, as we all know by now.)You can argue forever that you’re providing a pretty sweet life for your chickens–as, indeed, I’m sure you are. Most likely it’s a safer and easier life than they would have in the wild. But it’s not a wild life, not a chicken life, and it never will be, because it can’t be. And that’s the root issue. You don’t have the moral right to decide how that life is lived. Alice Walker once said this great thing: “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” That pretty much sums up my beliefs about the issue. Whether or not animals are kept in large or small cages is not really my concern (though it is the concern of many animal rights people, which is good). My concern is that there are no more cages.
I believe that when someone has ethical beliefs, they are morally obligated to speak up. So I laid out some reasons for why keeping chickens in New Paltz backyards isn’t a good idea. You guys really really REALLY hated my reasons. OK. We don’t share the same set of morals. That’s just life. But I’ll never stop fighting for you to come over to my side. It’s so much tastier. And: you can sleep at night.