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Scotland brings back tail docking - Are we surprised?

The Scottish government has voted to allow tail docking on some dogs. A lot of people are angry at this.

If you're angry and you're not vegan, ask yourself why you're upset. If it's because you don't like unnecessary suffering, think about the fact that our subjugation, exploitation and killing of billions of living beings every year for the sake of our tastebuds (and other purposes) is just as unnecessary. If you're against inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals you should be vegan.

If you're angry and you're vegan, keep in mind that this is an illustration of the fact that until we tackle our society's use of animals as property, as our things, there will only ever be tinkering at the edges with ineffective welfare laws, some of which will come and go with the winds of politics (fox hunting, badger culling, tail docking, snares ....).

Consider the many years animal welfare organisations have been using their donations to work with the government to try to secure these welfare laws, celebrating when the law was brought in, and now no doubt we will see them appeal to your outrage in seeking more donations to try to have the same law reinstated.

While the majority of our population thinks it's acceptable to bring billions of animals into existence year after year, subjugate, exploit and kill them when they are very young, for nothing more than our tastebuds, animals will not have rights. Unless and until animals have rights their interests can and will be outweighed by business interests, agricultural interests, our interests. Until we recognise that animals are living persons who should not be our property, they will be used, hurt and killed.

Is it wrong that we cut off the tails of puppies? Of course it is. But that's not the fundamental problem. As Tom Regan said, the suffering, the mistreatment adds to but is not the fundamental wrong. The fundamental wrong is our using living beings as our things. That wrong is what we have to tackle.

That may seem more difficult than campaigning against tail docking. In some ways it is. It's certainly more difficult to have a discussion with someone about why all animal use is wrong than it is to sign a petition against tail docking (along with thousands of non-vegans who will also sign that petition). But it's also essential. It's essential that we focus on the fundamental wrong and tackle that wrong. If we don't, nothing will change. If we do, everything will.

Stop the demand, end the violence.

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