So what’s the moral: that life is simply unfair, and that the sooner we get our minds around this, the unhappier we can be? Cockatoos get to sing on a perch, while chickens wind up as coq au vin? I slow-roast the ribs of cows with a special rub of cumin and molasses, but the dog, on special occasions, gets to wear her own special custom-made cowboy hat, with little holes in the brim so her ears can get through?
It doesn’t sit well with me, the fundamental unfairness of life. But living with contradiction is something that humans have to learn to do. Dogs, like Chloe, do not. They have one job, which is to make us feel loved. Dogs are good at that. So are cockatoos, I guess.
The degree to which animals make us feel good about ourselves does seem like a strange metric for deciding the fate of other sentient beings, though. Some of those decisions involve life and death, not just who gets Special Songbird Mix and who gets the chili oil. Sometimes I fear that it’s all random, that in the end my friendship with Chloe the dog is just the result of vagary and caprice.