Callous Disregard

In the 2015/16 financial year, 137,391 animals were surrendered to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Australia. Whilst our circles of empathy retract, our spheres of consumerism expand and other animals have increasingly come to represent consumer items to us. In accordance with the image of the Western nuclear family, designer breeds are bred and sold like commodities; specific and primarily aesthetic genetic traits are selected for and less desirable units are disposed of at recycling facilities aka animal shelters. But our callous disregard extends well beyond the moment of surrender as every sentient individual is assessed as to their "ability" to be re-homed. Basic mammalian traits are suppressed and punished; those abilities to further an individual's survival - those selected for in nature - are abhorred and ultimately will serve as the catalyst for an individual's destruction.

A past lecturer of mine termed the phrase callous disregard in this context and spoke of the seemingly unique human ability to switch off our empathy at will. The backrooms of animal shelters are where we do this best. In this supra-Darwinian and Orwellian setting, fitness is quantified only by obedience; instinct is punished.