Hello, thanks for asking this question! This is a bit of a subjective one, but I’d say as long as the service dog is well taken care of, loved, and has enough time in between helping their person to be a dog and have some fun, then I do not consider it to be exploitation.
Where the waters begin to become a bit more murky is when we look at police animals, which are often seen as workers before they’re seen as animals. The police dog situation seems more unethical and exploitative than someone who needs a dog to guide them or be with them when their mental health issues flare up.
Expecting a dog to sniff out drugs in an airport all day is different (to me) than expecting them to take the lead and protect their person on a walk or provide support (largely in the form of cuddles, love, and fetching prescriptions from the other room) when needed.
It’s that fine line between a pet that also serves a purpose and and animal that is solely being used for its natural and trained abilities. Overall though, its all about the care they’re getting, and that goes for all animals.
Guide dogs have a very high sense of purpose which they have partly acquired via a human person training them to look after a blind person as an example and probably enjoy very much being a guide dog more so than just an ordinary pet enjoys being a pet, so in many ways they are grateful to man to have equipped them with this high sense of purpose. One could argue, a shepherds dog has a higher sense of purpose and a wolf even more so, but the sense of purpose of a guide dog is high good enough, don’t you think for it to be just simply happy and feel he is valued.
they have robotic replacements for guide dogs now. There’s really no need to have them if you can replace them.
I personally don’t believe in pets, because there’s going to be some exploitative aspect of it. If it’s not the pet industry – what’re people doing to the animals? If they’re putting them to work leaving them out all day to be guard dogs, etc. then is it really for the animal’s benefit or ours?
A lot of people take advantage of the idea of disabilities by having an excuse to exploit an animal by lying about it. This was seen heavily with ‘companion animals’ for ’emotional support’. The thing is we should ask ourselves – what part of us is a weakness and how come we’re not fixing it ourselves and instead relying on animals? Like for animal testing when we can just avoid getting ill instead. Even if we do fall ill, why aren’t we looking at ourselves for a solution and be our own guinea pigs?
I feel if we have issues – we should take on our own burdens – because it’s our own personal responsibility. If we don’t, we’re irresponsible – and that’s what I see with companion animals – because we’re not looking towards solutions to better ourselves but instead applying a band-aid by outsourcing to others to bear the grunt work that someone else just doesn’t want to do – even though it’s something they either caused or is theirs – they need to do it.
Would you be ok with someone asking someone else to write someone else’s paper? Then why would you be ok with asking someone else to see for you or calm you down? These just don’t fix the problem – the problem of ourselves – the lack of prevention and being proactive – when the easy fix is to look to ourselves to be the best that we can be! No one wants to live with consequences or hard times, but I feel it’s a trait we’ve lost and veganism brings us back to our roots.