dogs and cats, animals honorary

An extract from Theory of the class of leisure by Thorstein Veblen 1899, 1970 (trad), Chapter VI. The rules monetary good taste p 92 (Al Tel Gallimard – 1978)

“The case of animals to be honorary deemed beautiful is interesting, because they offer in the alternative a basis other than merit. Except for birds, which have their own non-profit to occupy a rank in this class, these animals deserve particular attention, including the cat, the dog and the horse saddle. The cat is the least honourable of the three, because it is less wasteful ; it may even make it useful. And then this is not a temperament well suited to the intentions honorary : the cat lives with man, hand-in-hand companion; he did not deign to know nothing of the report of rank…It does no complacency to facilitate the comparison jalousante of the owner and his neighbors, except when it belongs to a race of fantasy, as this is the rare product that is angora : he then takes his small side honorific, since it is more expensive and may claim to a certain beauty-type-pecuniary. The dog has advantages, as much for its futility as for its special gifts. It boasts very pleased to make him the friend of man; we praise him for his intelligence and his loyalty. Mean that the dog is man’s servant, that he is endowed with a servile obséquieuse and blind, and that it is prompt as the slave to guess the mood of his master. These are qualities that have perfectly the report of a rank, and it should be here regarded as useful. ”

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