|On Animal Freedom liberty is
looked upon as a major good. There's nothing like liberty!
The joy, however, is slightly qualified because freedom
can't go without drawing
borders, but also because freedom
does have less attractive sides. One-sided freedom in
economics can lead to the law of the jungle. This means
that whoever is economically in the strongest position
(and has the least scruples), determines how tasks and
labour are being organized. There is a danger then that
the well-being of the workers - man and animal - is not
taken into account anymore.
In an empty, meaningless life freedom leads to boredom. In this article we outline the emptiness in both man's and the animal's existence.
Boredom is a sign that the individual is not able to
meet himself and his inner needs, even when there is
sufficient time to do so. Progress in society brought
freedom. We no longer need to search for food all day
long. However, not everyone found a satisfying answer
yet to the question how to make life meaningful and
how one can live one's life in an optimum way and according
to one's nature. This goes for men and women, whereas
for the animal it goes that often enough it is being
withheld the circumstances it requires to be able to
live up to its natural disposition.
In our society we drive a hard bargain. Everything
is being organized as efficient as possible. The merriment
faded away, and all is left without frills. During our
hours of leisure, we have to make life attractive again.
While at work one is the bosses' slave, and while in
spare time a slave of making the very most of it. Addiction
is a continuation of weariness.
We argue that some distance among people and among man and animal is only natural and not so very wrong. It is a way of paying respect. What matters, is how you deal with that distance.
|Pets and boredom
People keep pets to enjoy from
time to time, when it suits them, to have them around.
Many people imagine they are useful by offering a home
to an animal (and in the case of animals who were sheltered
in an asylum, this is a realistic opinion of course).
Others just think animals are there to amuse or please
Of course this situation is not to be replaced by a
stray cat's life, in which the animal has to find it's
food all by itself. What this is, is an appeal to "bell
the cat" and not to take up a cat as your pet too
recklessly. Also it is a plea to have your pet neutered
in order to prevent it from having (too many) unwelcome
Animals in the park and boredom
Feeding the ducks in the park or the animals at the
children's zoo, in the company of small children: it
seems like an innocent pleasure. By doing so it would
also seem that the animals can profit from our prosperity.
The animals in the park look as if they take no part
in the affluent society, but by feeding them they are
nevertheless made dependent on people, and next to that
there is an other, unintended consequence.
What makes things extra dramatic is that ducklings cannot be protected by their mothers during such times, for meanwhile she's being chased again by the male ducks.
By NOT feeding ducks and other waterfowl during spring and summer, you can to a large extent prevent that boredom strikes with these animals. Having to find it's own food, the bird is occupied with other matters and thus distracted a bit from it's mating urge.
|People feeling bored
Usually boredom is a luxury problem: there
is plenty of time, but you don't feel like doing anything.
When we think we have to spend our time as best as we
can, this condition of lethargy may become annoying
due to our feeling of guilt.
|The purchase of a pet
for the purpose of chasing away boredom and loneliness
Grandma is all alone in her senior apartment and in order to give her something to do, she gets a canary so she'll have something to take care of. But does she have to, at such an old age? The thought itself that an animal brings some distraction is correct, but the animal isn't being asked anything. And wouldn't it be better if Grandma takes a little more exercise herself to come into contact with other people, outside her room? With the small bird in it's small cage in Grandma's small room, now two beings are tied.
The quality of the communication between two or more people is the best guarantee to avoid boredom and loneliness. A talk with an animal is like a talk with yourself in the mirror.
|If you wish to live after your
own nature, then the motto is: "Know your own motives
and try to find out how you can realize yourself and your
dreams in your very own manner." This know-how and
experience makes it easier to either empathize with someone
else or set a good example.
It is the challenge of modern times to create a filling-in of natural life, without falling into reconstructing some kind of "nature" on pocket-scale or into a regression in time. It is old-fashioned to look for imitating or surpassing nature, f.e. by rivalry in pursuing sports or designing a "natural" garden with a pond and animals on a few square meters only. It is pointless and dangerous to try and shift our natural limits by practices such as doping or extra training. It brings a new addiction.
History's lesson is that liberty is not only something we have to award ourselves with, but others as well: mankind, and at present the animals. Becoming engaged to help establish freedom for others, may very well be the best meaning as a gift to one's own life. In any case it is the best way to expect some good from other people, voluntarily and without committing, and it gives a clear conscience.
If you're a real good and creative cook, you're a gem
to yourself and to others. Being a vegetarian and not
keeping pets under boring circumstances, are healthy
and unconcerned ways to ensure your own freedom and
that of the animal. It prevents from boredom and situations
as described in this article.
|Boredom and industrial
The animal kept in industrial farming,
although being (narrowly) housed and nourished, during
it's short life
is supposed to only produce much and fast or grow quick
until it is considered ready to be slaughtered.
It would be much better if animals could not get bored because they could find enough distraction (outdoors) in a natural environment. That would evoke their natural behavior: scratching, grubbing, running, take dust-baths, grazing etcetera. The natural situation enables the animal to put forth it's intrinsic nature. Being able to do so, is an/the intrinsic value for/of the animal.
The (re-)creation of natural environment of course costs money, but can't that be overcome? Also: is it indeed necessary to eat so many animals by way of food? Is it really social to keep, like The Netherlands do, as many as 70% extra farm animals under minimal conditions in order to conquer the consuming market of an other country?