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i propose the following as an unequivocally moral means of effecting a population reduction:

kill everyone who abuses their dog. not little kids who pull their dog's tail out of ignorance, but people who beat their pets. these people can be buried in a giant mass grave to provide a source of fossil fuel to long-future generations, with revenue from the sale of the fuel going to long-future humane societies so fewer animals are needlessly put to sleep due to lack of funding for their continued care. alternately, their remains can be ground up and used to make dog food for abandoned pets.

what makes this unequivocally moral? dogs are perfect creatures, in terms of virtue. they don't care what you look like or how much money you make or whether you leave your socks on the floor and don't do the dishes. they're not going to dye their hair black to establish their independence. (it's already established - they're animals. they survived before domestication, they could adapt to survive without it.) they're not going to put you in a rest home or steal your boyfriend or your car. all they want is what you can give them - food and love and a warm place to sleep - in return for what they can give you - lots and lots and lots of love. people who beat dogs are evil and the world is better off without them.

a friend told me a story about a kid who would get his dog to do tricks, then give it a treat and tell it what a good dog it was, and then hit it. just to see how much he could fuck it up. bastard.

(this is mostly a joke. i admit i'm a little rabid about dog abuse. but don't fucking hit your dog. your dog loves you, and if you put that much effort into changing its mind, someone very large needs to come along and hit you.)

thelady - a lot of what you say applies to kids, too (helpless, dependent, inferior in legal and moral status, dumb for a few years, etc..), but i'd hate to think that the only reason people have kids is to pass on their genes and to have something to beat and subjugate in the meantime.

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