It's hard to know where to put myself and all that anger. My usual solution is to spend time with the dogs I share my life with. I'm not unaware of the irony of spending time with animals whose freedom has essentially been removed. Don't get me wrong here, the dogs I live with have fantastic lives within the parameters available to me, but they are still subordinate in our human-centred world, at least in other people's eyes. There are three of them – Squirt, Loki and Bailey. All very different in terms of size, outlook, personality and ways of interacting with me. But all precious individuals who have a right to live, love, and be happy.
I once wrote, somewhere else;
I think 'through' my dogs. That is not to say that they are a category through which, by opposition, I define my humanity and their animality, ... Rather, it is to say that I think with, and about, my dogs when I am trying to think about this thing we call 'animal.' I talk to them, I ask them questions, I think what their worlds might be like and how they may be ordered (olfactorily, for instance instead of cerebrally), I try to think what they might want or wish for, what makes their lives different to mine (other than four legs and a furry face). I am curious about this 'we' that we constitute – canine and human – and how it might be and feel for them. Above all, whenever I read something that claims to be 'about animals,' I place my dogs forefront and centre in order to see how this might apply to these particular, embodied, creatures. In this way, I truly think through my dogs. I can't help it. I am besotted by them and with them. ... [This] ... keeps me grounded. It reminds me that what 'we' do here in academic inquiry has very real consequences – embodied consequences- which are inevitably ramified by the fact that in (most) human-animal relationships humans hold all the cards.