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Are guide dogs for the blind exploited like any other? – Insurance for Pets


Paris, Saturday January 25, 2019 – Many comments
are currently interested in some form of  »
radicalization « Which would manifest itself in the expression of
different ideas. Many spheres would be concerned and the
feeling of acting for a  » just cause  » could
favor acting out, censorship and taking of
speech, yet considered in other circumstances as
dangerous and in any case going beyond the legitimate framework of
challenge and defense from his point of view. The actions of
certain animal rights groups, notably directed against
butcheries, thus aroused strong disapproval, even
in those who are very sensitive to animal suffering. The
violence and the stigma of a category of people have been
effect deemed perfectly inappropriate and by no means
legitimized by the urgency of the subject.

How dare you ?

However, the denunciation of this radicalization,
necessarily worrying, because ignoring the principles
essentials of a reasoned debate, can sometimes lead to some
deformations. Thus, some French media have recently
moved by an anecdote reported by the Daily Mail. The latter has
painted a portrait of 30-year-old blind Jonathan Attenborough
for five years, and assisted daily by Sam, a guide dog
blind. The young man reported how twice these
past few weeks he had been publicly criticized for
the use of an animal; a first time in courteous terms,
a second time more virulently. However none
physical violence was perpetrated and he was never threatened with
losing your dog, contrary to what was supposed
some presentations of this story in the press
French.

Beyond shortcuts and sterile arrests

The shortcuts that we have read confirm how the
radicalization of certain speeches prohibits listening. In front of
the excess of certain methods, it is impossible to hear the
message transmitted and appreciate the quality of the arguments. However,
the issue of using animals to support people
with disabilities is the subject of further reflection by
some animal advocates who go far beyond
the humiliating and easily destabilizing side of a
handicapped person (at least loose method and
sterile).

Holidays

Many blogs discuss this subject and invite a perception
different. Thus, the Antispecies Notebooks offer to discover
the reflections of Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, authors of
Zoopolis – A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011). It’s about
first of all, unlike the classic associations of
defense of animals, not to consider dogs helping
blind and disabled people like  » victims
« .  » We should feel sorry for these animals (…). Those are
the victims. They are like children
»Note the
authors who compare this perception to that of people who
use these animals and often adopt an attitude  »
full of pity, paternalism and anthropocentrism
« . However, for Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, another point of view
can be adopted by considering these animals that work for
man like  » workers « . However, they note:  »
There is no labor code regulating the conditions
of work, health or well-being of these employees. Certainly these
dogs are working but they are not considered to be
workers (…). Service dogs should have
rights because they deserved them. They should benefit from
regular weekly holidays. They should benefit from
annual vacation. They should have a minimum wage. This
money, held by a neutral third party, would finance their time
rest. Free days spent with other dogs playing,
run, jump, swim, make friends. Without any obligation or
task, no work. Their salary could finance pensions
of disability in the event of an industrial accident. He would be employed at the
creation of retirement centers which they could themselves
profit once their mission is completed
« .

Dressage review

If we can smile at the description of such a social code of
working dog (and one might wonder if unions
could be considered as well as a right to strike), we measure
how much the radicalization of speeches and deeds masks the
content of certain reflections that invite us to question us on
our relationship to the animal. Similarly, the author of the blog Une
earthly suggests not to settle for the feeling of
praised the animal, which would be well treated or happy to
to work.  » Support animal exploitation on the pretext
that animals ‘like to work’ that it’s a ‘exchange of good
compromise ’,‘ the harmony between two hopefuls who help each other
mutually like other species do in the wild,
that they are « well treated » is to forget all that
involved
»And in particular with regard to the guide dogs
dressage that would not be  » confuse with education
« . Dressage explains the author would be a deviation of some
natural abilities of the animal. Now, according to this activist
anti-specialist  » the dog and other animals get nothing
of dressage, this is just enslavement on the part of
the animal for the benefit of humans
« . However, she
stresses the need not to vilify the blind and the
people with disabilities who use animals to help them.  »
I do not criticize blind people who use
guide dogs, I’m just trying to suggest alternatives for
that they can be independent and autonomous without exploiting the
animals. Why can’t our society contemplate the
creating jobs to help the blind, but perhaps with a
another approach in their training. Encourage the help of
technology, creating new jobs (…). And why not
adopt a dog or volunteer at a shelter, but
without asking the animal for anything
« . With those
questions, we measure the difference that exists in the link of
trust between two humans and a human and an animal. Both
links are probably not superimposable. The dependence that
would create between a man and his human assistant would indeed
very different and less emotional. In the relationship with the animal,
the quality of support is also linked to the fact that
a person with a disability feels that they are giving almost as much (and not
money!) to the animal by loving it, welcoming it home and
by giving him certain care that he receives benefits from him.
No doubt, such a balance would be very difficult to find in the
case of a human-to-human relationship. Generally, we measure
how difficult it is to adapt our conventional filters
of interpretation of human relationships to an animal / human relationship
and this is what sometimes makes the confrontation with
antispecies who sometimes adopt logics which present
certain limits or face rhetorical dead ends.

Exploitation?

More prosaically, if it is not excluded that the animal can
derive a significant emotional benefit from this relationship with humans
(it is true impossible to measure and whose evaluation is
necessarily biased) which exceeds a simple ratio
professional, for animal activists, dogs
guide for the blind are covered today (no more regulatory framework
protector of social rights « Dogs) of a
exploitation. Thus, Sue Donaldson and Will Kymilicka judge  »
Somewhere between the donkey whose presence among the
sheep keep predators at bay, and the guide dog
blind man who, after being subjected to months of training
intensive, spends most of his life serving as an instrument for
service of a third party, we cross the line between
the use of the holding
« .

If many objections could be made to
such developments, objections related to the degree of support of each
to antispecies theories, we observe through these examples that
the caricature of certain actions is to the detriment of
the expression of reasoning which if they probably will not be
considered always relevant are very far from a
gratuitous violence and sparing the sufferings of
the man.

We can reread the developments of:
Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, translated by Cahiers
antispecies:

and

An Earthwoman:


Aurélie Haroche