I finished reading Adam Hine’s (2010) Duncan the Wonder Dog (Show One) today, and one of the things it does is not only to have animals to talk but actually to center the “values” of the story from the animal point of view. (I have a longer review of the book here; there are some spoilers.) In one long section, a human diary details various life problems and tangentially addresses things going on with one of the house pets, a dog named Bundle. As Bundle becomes ill, the house’s cat berates Bundle’s human “mom”, who works at a shelter for lost animals:
The poorest most pathetic humans live like gods compared to any animal. It doesn’t matter who you were with, they won’t get rounded up and burned in an oven if they walk the long way through somebody’s back yard! You wear clothes and Bundle wears a collar that you gave him to match your carpeting and all he wants is for you to be here. He’s dying and he just wants you to be here with him. Who cares about the fucking shelter! (315, emphasis in original)
The book in general goes a long way toward making unambiguous the terrible (or at best, ambiguous) plight of animals in our human culture, but I saw clearly how this attached to the issues of slavery (resegregation and mass incarceration) and adoption as well (as human trafficking).
In particular, the way that the status of house pets, adopted children, and modernized slaves intersect and diverge interests me. For example, the trafficking of pets and adopted children (both domestically and internationally) differs from how incarcerated slaves are trafficked (but not how former domestic and international slaves were trafficked). How pets and slaves were subjected to breeding regimens, while adopted children are not is another variation (though all three were subject to sexual predation). All three are subject to RAD reactions. And so on.
What are other interconnections and disconnections you find and/or have experienced about this triad?