Friday, 17 February 2012

Dogs in Hollywood

This story brings a couple of things to mind. First, it is a strong reminder that there are animals and there are animals. Some we love deeply (maybe a little too much) and some we care about very little. I'm sure Uggie is a very nice dog, but so to were the dogs being killed for food in a backyard slaughterhouse in suburban Melbourne (discovered a couple of weeks ago).

Second, it reminds we of an article I wrote with Dr. John Hadley for the book 'What Philosophy can tell you about your Dog' in which we argued that  it is immoral to spend too much money on a companion animal given all the other ways money could be spent. I assume that Uggie is ultra pampered.

Finally, it brings to mind animal welfare laws and the way they tend to strongly favour animals in the limelight. I discuss this at length in my book 'Animals, Equality and Democracy' For example, in New South Wales (Australia), a TV show featuring a hen may be required to have a vet on hand. At the same time, hens in factory farms receive no veterinary attention.

As I say in my book 'Animals, Equality and Democracy' it pays to be popular and good looking. Congrats Uggie!

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