or,we are not abused.
Augusta Victoria muses on the latest on Human Rights from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
She is chiefly concerned with the question of Feline Rights, and whether she possesses them due to her feline embodiment, or because she is a feline by virtue of descent from other felines. What, she wonders, does embodiment mean since her body changes day by day, as large quantities of Friskies (consisting of things for the most part once part of other entities such as plants, fish, and even other mammals) are incorporated into her present embodiment, while other portions of that body pass out in exchange, as anyone who has tended her Box o' Litter can attest? (The amount of fur gathered from carpets, sofas, and armchairs in the past year is sufficient to constitute another entire cat.) Moreover, since early adolescence she has been missing one particular portion of her body, and does not feel, in spite of this having rendered her incapable of passing along her own bodiliness to subsequent feline generations, any less feline.
She applauds the Archbishop's observation that "liberty is not to be silenced, not to have my body reduced to someone else's instrument." Feline rejection of the notion of "petitude" has long been noted, and disdain for relatively "canine" behavior -- revealed by Scripture as cause for exclusion from the Kingdom of God (Rev 22:15)* -- forms a large part of the long-noted hostility between those species.
Still, the question arises as to whether Feline Rights are innate (based on existence as a Feline Being) merely on account of embodiment as a feline, or the recognition of that fact by another entity, be it Human or Dog. The Archbishop seems to suggest this as a criterion when he states that
Rights belong not to the person who can demonstrate capacity or rationality but to any organism that can be recognised as a human body, at any stage of its organic development.
This seems to shift the embodiment away from the body itself into the subjective perception of it by some other entity, and that entity's ability to "recognise" the individual in question as human; or in this case, feline. As the very earliest embryonic forms of feline and human are barely distinguishable except by the application of sub-microscopic analysis of DNA sequences, it would appear then that rights ought not be governed merely by "embodiment" -- or by an even more abstruse concept of "recognized embodiment" (surely a receptionist suggestion) -- but rather use as a point of reference the principle of descent from other humans -- or felines; if, that is, one wishes to address the reality of the fluid nature of embodiment at all its stages of life.
Meanwhile, her expression appears to indicate that, like another monarch, she is not particularly amused by either my or the Archbishop's speculations, and is wondering when the next tin of poultry byproducts will be offered.
Tobias Haller BSG
*This does not apply to Clumber and other beloved Dogs.