Although I was brought to live with these people at the age of six months, I have never felt myself to be a piece of property owned by them. Quite the opposite. I have agreed to stay with them because they are simply too idiotic to be left to their own devices. When I hear someone refer to donkey "ownership", I simply roll my eyes heavenwards and say a silent "tsk,tsk".
A friend recently sent me this news clipping which perfectly illustrates my point.
ABU DHABI - A donkey at an Algerian market ate the money of a man who came to buy him. Now the would-be buyer and the would-be seller wonder whom the animal belongs to, reported Al Shuruk al Yawmi, a newspaper published in the Algerian town of Tizi Ouzou. It said the vendor and purchaser were haggling over the price and failed to notice the donkey consuming the stack of banknotes meant as payment for him. The case has been referred to the Algerian Supreme Court.
The donkey had no other choice. He ate the banknotes to express his displeasure at the entire concept of someone "owning" a being who is in every way their superior. Also, banknotes make a nice, dry snack.