Too cute not to touch
You see a moving, breathing, purring ball of furr screaming ”touch me, I am harmless!” You give it a nice pat and it seems it doesn’t mind your touch or even reciprocates with what-looks-to-us-humans a faint gesture of appreciation. The magical moment is over and both of you part your ways: the ball of furr to its ball of furr things and you to your work, bills, and perfect relationship. Something like animal abuse is the last thing that crossed your mind.
But did you just commit animal abuse?
Yes, I am asking you whether you have just abused the animal you patted, and yes abuse here carries the full weight of the word. The kind of abuse that may get you into serious legal trouble.
How can this be?
Human entitlement leads to animal abuse
First of all, let us all remind ourselves that we are just a species among other species. As humans, we take it for granted to believe that we are the species. It is this sense of entitlement that clouds our judgement to the significance of such acts.
Second, as you already know, free will is sacred and our bodies are extensions of our free will. We cannot act out our free will unless we use our bodies to do so, and therefore we have supreme command of what to do with and what happens to them – including whether we want to be touched by others or not.
Now, imagine that you are an attractive woman. You walk down the street and a specimen unbeknownst to you gives you a tap on the shoulder; when you turn around to face him/her/it to scream harassment and court of law, he/she/it strokes your reddened cheek, tells you how cute you are, and walks away as if nothing happened.
Do you see where I am getting at? Of course you do.
If you enjoy free will, so should others
”But animals love being touched!” you exclaim. ”They just can’t say it and they do not have a will!”
It would have been okay if you hadn’t had a will and touched the animal, as in animal touching animal, because you would not have known the moral implications it carried. However, because the opposite is true; because you enjoy free will and are aware of its existence, you have a moral obligation to respect the supreme will of the animal over its body despite its unawareness of it. How many times have you heard the one and only ”With great power comes great responsibility.” and thought about it this way?
”Does that mean we shouldn’t touch animals?” you ask.
It would do more justice to the animal if we wait until it initiates physical contact.
What do you think? Do you believe that touching animals should be considered animal abuse? Should humans touch animals at their whim?
Share what you think in the comments below! Thanks for reading!