[Marxism] What we share with other animals

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 18:21:50 MST 2009


I haven't plunged into this one, because it's one of those hopelessly
irrational arguments that usually do little more than provide participants
with a chance to vent.

But I have to say that the forwarded comment from Gilles hit the nail on the
head.  The question is not evaluating different kinds of life from some
non-existent objective point.  We deal with these things from the only
authentic perspective we know, our human empathy.  I've never met really
humane people who didn't have that empathy for animals and I've never met
anyone oblivious to animals who wasn't also, by degrees, oblivious to
people.

The presumably scientific assessments by animal psychologists are often
worthless and usually a source of comic relief for people who live with dogs
and cats.  Cats, they tell us, have memories that are no longer than three
days.  As though any self-respecting feline is going to take seriously some
stupid test that some particularly self-important jumped-up chimpanzee came
up with!   Ask someone with a cat whether the animal forgets them when
they're gone for a longweekend, or a week, or a summer.

And, as for dogs, they have a definite sense of humor, though it's inclined
to physical comedy.

On the big picture, I was listening to an NPR report on the reappearance of
slave labor in Florida agriculture.  Interesting stuff.  And you know the
bosses who are using debt peonage to enslave the vulnerable...the homeless
and illegals...and locking them in U-Haul trailers overnight, working them,
underfeeding them, beating them...  To them, they're just work animals of a
different sort.

We are what we make of ourselves and what we let the capitalist system make
of us.

ML



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