Should A Right to Animal Companionship Be Added to the Bill of Rights Act?

Animal companionship is neither a luxury nor a vice

The next attack by the do-gooders on the freedom of people to live their lives unmolested by government interference seems like it’s going to involve attempts to make companion animals illegal, usually on the grounds of some environmentalist excuse such as protecting wildlife. This essay argues that the control freaks need to be headed off at the pass on this issue, by enshrining the human right to animal companionship in the Bill of Rights Act.

The do-gooders have learned nothing from their failed attempts to ban alcohol, cannabis, psychedelics, and currently nicotine. Wielding the power of the state as if a waterblaster, they have attempted to blast away evil by getting the Police to smash in the heads of anyone dealing in this contraband. As anyone with an IQ over 90 could have predicted, this clumsy and cack-handed administration of punishment has only led to immense resentment and unfortunate unforeseen consequences.

People will naturally disobey unjust laws. So when the control freaks try and ban people from owning cats, as has been suggested by the mad witch Eugenie Sage with regards to Wellington, we decent people need to be ready to take counteraction. In fact, we ought to take pre-emptive action now, and agitate for the right to animal companionship to be added as a amendment to the Bill of Rights Act.

There are three major reasons why this should happen.

The first reason is that cats and dogs, and the presence of cats and dogs, are part of the natural life of humans. As described at length here, humans have lived with cats for so long on account of needing the cats to control the rodents that attacked their grain supplies, that we have essentially formed a symbiotic relationship with them. We have lived with dogs for even longer.

Cats are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of pest control. Dogs are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of hunting and security.

There are tens of thousands of rural dwellers who could tell you about the consequences of not owning a cat when you live in the country, as many Kiwis do. The consequences are to have everything in your house destroyed by rodents. The situation is not much better in the cities, because wherever people live they store food and throw away rubbish, and either action attracts rodents.

Because rodents and disease are constant companions, owning a cat is an essential part of home hygiene. People who are aware of the hygiene benefits of cats would no sooner not own one than they would stop washing their own hair.

The second major reason why a right to animal companionship ought to be enshrined in the Human Rights Act is because of the mental health benefits of animal companionship. These benefits are so great that any attempt to take them away from people ought to be construed as cruelty, the same way that it is illegal to withhold a medicine from people.

Loneliness is one of the biggest killers in our modern societies, and is a main driver of suicide. The natural tribal model has collapsed under the pressures of industrial capitalism and the population explosion brought about by the Green Revolution, and there is ample evidence that a lack of healthy social relationships is what is responsible for the increasing rates of youth suicide.

Science has shown that for people with compromised social support networks, such as the elderly or the unwell, animal companionship has a massive positive effect on their mental health. For people in these situations, quality time with a cat or a dog might be the only quality time they spend with any sentient being, and can easily be the difference between psychological good health and mental illness.

The third major reason to write something about animal companionship into the Bill of Rights Act is to pre-empt Government overreach. We already know that the kind of person who runs for Parliament, and who succeeds in becoming a lawmaker, is usually a power-crazed control freak with little to no respect for the free will of the voting public.

The thought that these overpaid bureaucrat-psychopaths in Wellington are sitting around thinking up new excuses to take rights away from people is enough to stoke outrage. Where does it end? Do we get told how many calories of food we’re allowed to consume per week, or how many hours we’re allowed to spend on the Internet?

The control freaks need to be pre-empted with a clearly defined and explained law that makes it illegal to ban either cats or dogs from a given neighbourhood, or to discriminate against a potential property tenant on the grounds that they own a pet. The Bill of Rights Act should be amended to state that New Zealanders have the right to animal companionship.

New Zealand has, sadly, destroyed our hard-won reputation as a human rights leader with our complete failure to deal with cannabis law reform. We could win that reputation back by taking intelligent and progressive measures to combat mental illness. One of these measures could be the entrenchment of the right of New Zealanders to have animal companionship in their place of dwelling.

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