My goodness! That is quite the pot-stirring provocative article. Thanks for posting it.
For me it illustrates how many ways of viewing the world exist. I value what opens my eyes. This article may keep me from "throwing the first stone" at those who make decisions that I consider environmentally or socially irresponsible.
I'll also point out that the theory (mentioned in Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation") that dogs and humans co-evolved. According to the theory without dogs our primate ancestors would not have evolved into the humans we are. Thanks to dogs goes the theory we could hunt larger game and we could evolve in a ways that emphasized intellect over other senses and brawn.
I am sure that a society without companion animals would be different in some ways that would be perceived as positive. But I am equally sure that in some ways it would be less emotionally full and human.
But, since I prefer cats over dogs I will be sure to use the argument in my discussions with my DW when it comes time to replace our aging doggies.
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