Moved to tears by a movie about a faithful dog, a family finally played with their beagle after ignoring him for months. Disillusioned, the beagle escaped from his owners, who five months later bought another purebred in an attempt to mend their dysfunctional, bleeding hearts.
The renegade beagle, Roger, is the only dog in the world capable of experiencing complex human emotions, forming second-order desires, and comprehending abstract ideas on a level that surpasses that of the average human.
“Admit it: Dogs as a species are objectively unintelligent,” Roger said with a hint of self-deprecation. “But humans must treat a dog with the same respect as they would a cognitively impaired human. Why? Because there is no morally relevant difference between a stupid dog and an extraordinarily stupid human. We’re different species. So what? A dog and a mentally incapacitated human are equally incapable of participating in the full range of uniquely human activities. So why treat us differently?”
When reporters asked Roger why he hasn’t spoken those words of wisdom to his former owners, the dog laughed. “Of course I have,” he said. “But they’re too dumb to understand what I was saying anyway. Sometimes they care more about me when they watch some sappy movie about some dog who remains loyal to his owner who’s been dead for years. Sometimes they seem to have a sense of justice when they hear about some animal ethics movement on the news. Other times, they just shrug.
“The main reason they got me in the first place was that they wanted a friend, a companion, something to make them feel good about themselves. So, they thought of me at the outset as some kind of emotional tampon.
“The moral value of even their kindest actions are diminished by the fact that they don’t have a sense of duty derived from rationality, a sense of duty that is immune to the vicissitudes of their fickle hearts. I’d rather have a responsible robot for an owner than some unreliable, if good-hearted, human.”
Having completed his monologue, Roger urinated on a fire hydrant and dug into a pungent bone he had unearthed from the depths of dumpster hell. He devoured the bone in seconds and looked up at us. “Fuck you humans,” he remarked abruptly before walking off and going on with his life as we stood there in shock, and then in tears.