National Geographic News
Photo of a Great Dane named Babe.

Pets, like this Great Dane named Babe, have become the subject of legislation and court battles, and in some cases even have their own legal representation.

Photograph by Sharon Rodgers, National Geographic Your Shot

Rachel Hartigan Shea

National Geographic

Published April 6, 2014

We love our pets. About 90 percent of owners consider their pets part of the family. More than 80 percent of us would likely risk our lives for them. Last year, we spent $55 billion on the animals that share our lives.

This is all fairly new. Dog and cat ownership has quadrupled since the 1960s, and our pet expenditures have more than doubled since 2000. As more and more cats and dogs (150 million in the United States) have licked and purred their way into our lives, they've also worked their way into the legal system. Pets have become the subject of legislation and court battles, and in some cases even have their own legal representation.

"As pets have become family in our homes," writes David Grimm in his eye-opening new book, Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs, "they've also become family in the eyes of the law."

National Geographic talked to Grimm about whether pets are property or (legally) people, and about what their evolving status means for the animals and for the humans who love them.

I have a dog and a cat. What legal rights do they have?

The last couple of decades, there have been a lot of laws that target cats and dogs specifically and give them what a lot of lawyers would consider rights, whether it's the right to be free of cruelty, the right to be rescued from a natural disaster, or the right to have their interests be considered in a courtroom.

It's still the case that cats and dogs are considered property. Technically, in the eyes of the law, they are no different from a couch or a car. But there have been a lot of legal changes that have really blurred that line between animal and person, and between property and person, especially when it comes to cats and dogs.

In custody cases, judges have started talking about the best interests of the cat and which home it would be better in, which you would never do for a couch or a lamp. If a cat or a dog is killed, owners are starting to be able to sue for mental suffering and loss of companionship, which traditionally have applied only to spouses and children. You are really seeing this revolution taking place in the legal system as well as in our homes.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is fighting the idea of legal personhood for pets. Why are they against it?

Veterinarians have realized that it's to their benefit for us to treat our pets like children. If you treat your cat like a toaster, there's no way you are going to spend $500 at a vet. If you treat your cat like a member of the family, you'll spend thousands of dollars on chemotherapy for your cat.

Vets have built a career on this sentimental relationship. They are the third most respected profession in the country, right behind doctors and nurses, because people have such intimate relationships with their vets.

However, veterinary organizations like the AVMA have drawn the line when it comes to treating pets like people in eyes of the law. They worry that, "Oh, my God, if this person considers their cat or dog a person, if I make a mistake they could sue me for vet malpractice. I could be sued for tens of thousands of dollars for an animal that's only worth 50 bucks."

The veterinarians are in a very tricky situation. They benefit when we consider our pets members of the family, but they are also starting to see the other side of that, too. When we view our pets like children, we sue like they are children when things go wrong.

Why, after thousands of years of domestication, are cats and dogs only now becoming part of the family?

I think it's really the confluence of a lot of factors. First of all, you have the disappearance of all other animals from our daily lives. At the turn of the 20th century, animals were still ubiquitous, horses were everywhere, pigs roamed the street. Those animals have all disappeared.

Also, we used to live with a lot of people in our houses—grandparents and parents and cousins. Now you have a lot of people living just as couples without kids, you have empty nesters, you have huge divorce rates, people living by themselves. There's a real emptiness in our homes that cats and dogs have filled. This isn't fringe behavior to treat a pet like a member of the family. It's not the crazy cat lady or the crazy dog person. It's society.

Some people you spoke with warned that giving legal rights to pets undermines what it means to be human.

One of the people I talked to was a Pepperdine University law professor named Richard Cupp. He's actually a big animal person—he has dogs that he considers members of the family—but he is very concerned about this idea of granting pets rights and considering them people in the eyes of the law.

His idea, which is shared by a number of legal advocates, is that humans are unique. Only we can have rights because rights imply responsibility and an understanding of how society works and how the law works. All of human civilization is built on us not only understanding our own rights but also understanding the rights of others. Giving animals rights completely shatters this: Not only are they not human, but we have no idea that they can even comprehend this status and these rights that we've given them.

If pets get legal rights, do owners lose some of their own rights?

That's something that the AVMA has brought up as a counterargument. If your cat was a legal person, and your neighbor thought you weren't treating your cat well—you weren't feeding the cat enough or you weren't springing for that $5,000 chemotherapy—your neighbor or something like a pet protective services could step in and take that animal way, just like if you mistreated a child.

Or some people might say, "Look, pets are people so we can't spay or neuter them if it's against their will. And we can't buy or sell them." As farfetched as some of this stuff may sound, we're on this dramatic trajectory, and it's really unclear where we're going. There are a lot of unintended consequences to treating pets as people.

What do you think of the comparison between the animal rights movement and civil rights?

It's a very touchy subject. On the one hand, you obviously don't want to compare the journey of animals to the journey of blacks because a lot of people would be offended—and rightly so—by that comparison. On the other hand, these animal rights and animal law advocates need some sort of road map. When you look at the journey of pets, pets went from being wild animals to being co-opted by human society to being turned into property. Now some people are trying to fight to turn them into people.

That's exactly the same journey that blacks were on. When blacks were in Africa, a lot of white culture considered them wild animals; they were abducted and brought into society, and for centuries they were considered property. They could be bought, sold, and abused really without repercussion. Then you had the rise of the abolitionists who helped turn them from property to people. Animal advocates see that as an instructive road map.

But Africans were always people, and dogs are never people.

That's what critics say. We may have pretended for a while that blacks weren't people, but they were always people. Critics shoot back at the animal activists and say these animals are not people. You can pretend as much as you want that a dog or cat is a child or a person, but basic biology tells us that these are not human beings.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Follow Rachel Hartigan Shea on Twitter.

49 comments
Elizabeth Brinkley
Elizabeth Brinkley

Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?

Here are some of the differences:

As animal welfare advocates. . .

· We seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals.

· We support the humane treatment of animals that ensures comfort and freedom from unnecessary pain and suffering.

· We believe we have the right to "own" animals -- they are our property.

· We believe animal owners should provide loving care for the lifetime of their animals.

As animal rights activists. . .

· They seek to end the use and ownership of animals, including the keeping of pets.

· They believe that any use of an animal is exploitation so, not only must we stop using animals for food and clothing, but pet ownership must be outlawed as well.

· They want to obtain legal rights for animals as they believe that animals and humans are equal.

· They use false and unsubstantiated allegations of animal abuse to raise funds, attract media attention and bring supporters into the movement.

· (The Inhumane Crusade, Daniel T. Oliver – Capital Research Center)

For more information:

www.naiaonline.org

www.saova.org

http://www.cfodconline.org/

www.humanewatch.com

www.bewareanimalradicals.com

http://www.exposeanimalrights.com/

Sylvia Mastrantonio
Sylvia Mastrantonio

~*~ IT DOES NOT TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO REALIZE THAT ANIMALS ARE NOT HUMAN, SO WHY PEOPLE KEEP SAYING OVER AND OVER ... AN ANIMAL STILL IS NOT A PERSON / PEOPLE ..... YES, DUH, THEY ARE AN ANIMAL .... BUT THAT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THE MOON IS THE MOON AND THE SUN IS THE SUN .... THESE MORONS MISS THE SIMPLE FACT ... ANIMALS ARE " LIVING BEINGS "  .... THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE, CARE AND RESPECT ... IF ONE BELIEVES NOT, THAN THEY SHOULD EXPLAIN WHY THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE, CARE AND RESPECT!

Richmond Acosta
Richmond Acosta

When I was a kid, it is normal for our teachers here in the Philippines to describe the family structure as Parents, children, and the dog. While the dog is always in the equation, grandparents are optional. :)

Rose Laughter
Rose Laughter

As much as I love animals, I don't believe they are human.  However, having said that, I see no reason why animal rights can't be improved to cover the new things that are occuring with animals.  Unlike humans, there are many species of animals.  I think we all agree that pets should have some extra protection, but what about animals that we have found suffer when mistreated?  Whales, dolphins, elephants and some of the great apes to name a few.  They should be protected from poor treatment too.  What about animals that we slaughter.  I eat meat, but I prefer to know that what I'm eating wasn't scared to death!!!  Also, animals that are slaughtered for their fur?  I have seen some horrible video of small animals being skinned alive for their fur.  Their little skinless bodies were still moving!  We are going to have to understand that just because they aren't human doesn't mean they shouldn't be protected and there should be some harsh consequences for (humans) who treat animals poorly. With animals we could break laws down to species or what the animal is used for.  But there is no excuse at all to not protect the innocent and animals are nothing if not innocent!

Howard Houston
Howard Houston

Giving animal's right means nothing to the animal. What it does mean is that anyone can sue you to take away your pet and this is happening more frequently. It use to be that before the state could take your property they had to prove you guilty as charged. Right now in this country people are taking pets and livestock from their owners because they want to sell these animals or keep them.  A false charge is brought and then the animals are taken before the person is even brought to trial. 87% of all persons charged with abuse were found not guilty and still lost their animals because of laws that allow the shelter or state or officer to confiscate and keep these animals. This is theft under the color of law. It is against your constitutional right to a fair trial because you lose even before you have had your day in court. This is the goal of animal rights to take away your property.

David Shantz
David Shantz

We whould look closely at these rights, and indeed all animal rights. To my mind pay-to-kill hunting is about the most abhorrent abuse.  If dolphins or dogs were being murdered for sport with multiple gunshot wounds, there would be uncensored global outrage. This is exactly what is happening to Elephants, Lions and Giraffes in Africa - can we put an end to the worst abuses before we engage on the top of the pyramid?  http://bit.ly/1gMx9Ea

JR Baker
JR Baker

Nobody seems to recognize the fact that if we allow owners to sue for loss of companionship, veterinary care will skyrocket in cost due to increased malpractice insurance which will in turn, make veterinary care cost prohibitive in many cases. How much help will we be doing by making the cost to adequately care for a pet more than the average pet owner can afford? Furthermore, now these previously good pet owners who can no longer afford good care  will be prosecuted for neglect, abandonment, etc.

JR Baker
JR Baker

Nobody seems to recognize the fact that if we allow owners to sue for loss of companionship, veterinary care will skyrocket in cost due to increased malpractice insurance which will in turn, make veterinary care cost prohibitive in many cases. How much help will we be doing by making the cost to adequately care for a pet more than the average pet owner can afford? Furthermore, now these previously good pet owners who can no longer afford good care  will be prosecuted for neglect, abandonment, etc.

mary boothe
mary boothe

I think animals should have animal rights but only humans can have human rights. I believe animals should have the right to food, shelter, a loving home, and care. I think they should be treated better than property in court cases. But, they are not people.


Sharalyn Pliler
Sharalyn Pliler

I know the world is full of people who will argue with me, but one of the happiest moments I've had in recent history has been when I read that in India, dolphins have been granted personhood! In another country chimpanzees, who share 98 percent of our DNA, have been granted rights. Recently I met a man who wanted to be a vet but didn't believe in euthanizing animals, so he chose to be a dentist. In my opinion, these are signs that humanity's consciousness is waking up to intelligent levels. As this article says, animals are not things, like furniture, and the way I would say it is that are  just less developed versions of humans, our evolutionary little brothers, which means that humans have a responsibility to them. I wish the people who do factory farming--building and perpetuating concentration camps for animals-- would realize that.  Historically, animals have been at our mercy...and we seem to ever put profits before mercy.

Jeff Sinclair
Jeff Sinclair

Hey, if corporations can be legal persons, and they aren't even a living thing, then obviously animals should get a boost in status.


Taelin Free
Taelin Free

Of course dogs should have rights, the entire animal kingdom should. The same for the Earth.

Karen Chen
Karen Chen

Yes, our dog is a member of our family.  Yes.  Does he deserve to live in comfort and security? Yes.  Does he have same rights as people? No.  Does he have the cognitive ability to control certain natural instincts such as procreation? No.  


No matter how dressed up and pampered your pet is, they are still animals.  We are humans must respect that.  We are also responsible for the care of these family members that we have brought into our lives.  We also as the "superior" beings, and I am using this term loosely given all the cruelty that we can inflict, must protect the innocent.

Emily Grossman
Emily Grossman

Pets can also be included in Family Court Orders of Protection in New York State! A violation of this Order of Protection leads to a warrant for an arrest to be made..

m s
m s

Law is just having to adjust to the science of it all. Psychologically for example, a death of a beloved pet isn't because it's a pet, it's considered by many to be a member of the family, like a child. When sudden death occurs it is just as terrible a shock to the human mind as a sudden death of a family member and should be treated as such.


I think people are confusing the issue here, they aren't human beings but they have certain rights as living beings and that's the point that the courts are making.


There will most likely be a second ratified living being bill of rights one day if this continues and we survive ourselves.

Brian Edwards
Brian Edwards

I jokingly refer to my dog and cat as my furbabies and I adore them both but I know they are not human because they can't talk back to me but if they did the dynamic between us would be very different. Be that as is may, I am terrified by the fact that basically I am the only person in the universe who cares if they live or die especially if they are missing.
Advances in research has shown that they aren't the living machines the Victorians thought them to be so I think a form of limited personhood is proper. This franchise should go to all animals but that's just my take.
As for fears of million dollar law suits for dead hamsters, This is really only going to happen if the courts are being frivolous. Clear guidelines and caps on things like mental suffering should deal effectively with this.

Csimensis .
Csimensis .

I love my dogs, but I do not think they are people and I never will. I do think that they deserve rights, however. But just think about it, if you treat a dog just like a child and dress it up in human clothing and keep it from being in the mud and sniffing stuff, then that dog will probably not be as happy as a natural dog would. Dogs are meant to do dog stuff and they do not think like us. Yes, they may love us and we may love them but we are separate species and we should not assume that they are identical to us.

ADVENTURE MAN C.
ADVENTURE MAN C.

I love animals but they are not humans, they should not have our rights. Simple as that.

Christina East
Christina East

Interesting but this has been a controversy for a while. How far do you take the legal rights of the pets..

w. yang
w. yang

animal is animal,never can be humanbeing

J Shaffer
J Shaffer

The police started it, when they made police dogs the equal of human officers regarding assault and the like. I've said for years. . . if "assaulting" or killing a cop dog is the same as assaulting or killing a cop - then my dog is a member of my family, and anyone who tries to harm them will be treated in the exact same way as a person who harms any human member of my family. They will be beaten until they stop twitching - if they're lucky..

Jessie Roeder
Jessie Roeder

"You can pretend as much as you want that a dog or cat is a child or a person, but basic biology tells us that these are not human beings."

Although I don't believe cats or dogs are persons, person does not solely mean human. I would argue that the great apes and cetaceans should be considered persons right alongside us.

Diego Terneus
Diego Terneus

If the Supreme Court considers corporations to be people,  it makes just as much (or more) sense to me that animals have that right too. 

D. Spicable
D. Spicable

I been saying it, I been saying it all along, people will soon be marrying their pets

J Haskins
J Haskins

God save us from ourselves!!

Marcella Covault
Marcella Covault

Decent discussion that addresses the main issues with "animal rights". What it doesn't do is address the "animal rights" movement's sociopathic goal to remove animals from our society through legally making it too difficult to have a pet in our lives. It has nothing to do with abuse or neglect---it is to elevate animals' legal rights (with the AR legal juggernauts suing on behalf of animals) so that it's not worth the hassle, cost, or fear of persecution to even have an animal in one's life. The AR movement, which arrogantly says it takes the moral high ground (when superimposed on our society) is actually morally bankrupt and insane in its "true believer" cult-like philosophy. An extreme minority is attempting to use Alinski's 'Rules for Radicals' to intimidate and force the majority to accept their ideology. Look up the animal rights goals---they use animals to punish humans for using animals (clothing, food, pets). That's insane!

Emilia Nallen
Emilia Nallen

Many people see their dogs or cats a their baby, including me. This actually 

might be a step closer to less abuse and neglect that animals endure each day.

Elizabeth Brinkley
Elizabeth Brinkley

Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?

Here are some of the differences:

As animal welfare advocates. . .

· We seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals.

· We support the humane treatment of animals that ensures comfort and freedom from unnecessary pain and suffering.

· We believe we have the right to "own" animals -- they are our property.

· We believe animal owners should provide loving care for the lifetime of their animals.

As animal rights activists. . .

· They seek to end the use and ownership of animals, including the keeping of pets.

· They believe that any use of an animal is exploitation so, not only must we stop using animals for food and clothing, but pet ownership must be outlawed as well.

· They want to obtain legal rights for animals as they believe that animals and humans are equal.

· They use false and unsubstantiated allegations of animal abuse to raise funds, attract media attention and bring supporters into the movement.

· (The Inhumane Crusade, Daniel T. Oliver – Capital Research Center)

For more information:

http://www.cfodconline.org/

www.humanewatch.com

www.bewareanimalradicals.com

http://www.petpac.net/

http://www.exposeanimalrights.com/

www.naiaonline.org

www.saveourdogs.net
www.nathanwinograd.com
www.saova.org

Darla W.
Darla W.

My husband and I are empty nesters. We love our dog very much. So much, in fact, it's almost like he's our child. But, to give a dog human rights is a little too much. I mean, what happens to the dog or me, if a nosy neighbor decides leaving him alone for 8 hrs a day while we work is abuse or neglect? I think we're opening up a whole new can of worms.

Michael Marinsky
Michael Marinsky

Mark Twain - If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the difference between a dog and a man.

Annabelle  Sparling
Annabelle Sparling

Not sure why you have to jump from property to person. There IS an in between. Enjoyed the article.

Andrew Booth
Andrew Booth

I love dogs but my wife and I never had children. I think those natural parental feelings that most parents are lucky enough to be able to expend on their children find their outlet with people like us on our cats and dogs. We do treat our pets as family members as that's the best we have and we have to have something to love. 

However, I would never lose sight of the fact that a dog or cat is not a child. My wife and I love our dog and give him the best life we can - but there's no way we would risk our lives for the dog or spend thousands on chemotherapy. We would for a child of course, but not a pet. 

We must keep a check on reality. However, Western society does seem to be losing touch with reality in the last three or four decades. I'm just not surprised that things are going this way and animals are now being thought of as people. It really won't be too long before some owners start advocating marriage with their pet - and this society will scramble to oblige them!   

 

Karen Vegan-Call
Karen Vegan-Call

@Elizabeth Brinkley This statement: · "They use false and unsubstantiated allegations of animal abuse to raise funds, attract media attention and bring supporters into the movement."  is a false allegation in and of itself.

It is a general blanket statement. Animal rights activists often go undercover to expose crimes with video in order to prove the point--we take the blinders off. We also expose others to the idea that the word "humane murder" is an oxymoron. 


Notice the words you used for animal welfarists: "We", vs. animal rights activists, whom are called "They". That's purposefully divisive. People who truly cared for another's welfare would never justify murder of that being at any stage in their existence.

The rest of the claims about animal rights activists would be correct if you place the word "abolitionist" before it. 

Also: animals are not things, are not its...they are others, someones, hes and shes...since they are not ITs or dead objects (and were not born simply to be murdered--the act of murder itself never being compatible with the word "humane", nor can the words "humane rape", "humane torture", "humane holocaust") they can not be property. An animal's body is not the property of anyone except the property of that animal. 

Some better websites: 

www.earthlings.com

www.humanemyth.org

www.vegweb.com

www.vegankit.com

www.gentleworld.org

Documentary debunking the human superiority myth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqT82oGeax0

Watertight logic in one sentence that tells people why heart disease is the #1 human killer globally:

"Because humans get atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis
is a disease only of herbivores, humans also must be
herbivores." -William C. Roberts, MD


http://www.unleashed.org.au/community/forum/topic.php?t=6656

Emma Hoppe
Emma Hoppe

@Sharalyn Pliler  Mice share 99% of their DNA with humans. It's far less than a percent difference between chimps and humans. That only serves to show you how little DNA needs to change before a huge amount of expression changes and you get separate species. There are three billion base pairs of DNA in the human genome. If you're only talking in terms of dividing my 100, then a single nucleotide change that may cause you to have red hair instead of brown is 0.0000000333% (if I'm doing my math right...I may be off by a factor of 10 or so this late at night). 

I'm not saying that animals shouldn't be treated respectfully, only that there is something different in humans that allows us to have rights. Until your dolphins and chimps can enter into the same social contracts we have, I don't believe they are entitled to the same rights we are. With great [rights] comes great responsibility, after all. ;)

Karen Vegan-Call
Karen Vegan-Call

@Karen Chen How do you know dogs don't have the cognitive ability to control certain natural instincts such as procreation? The same can be said of humans.

Just because you don't speak the dogs' language is no indication that they're doing or not doing something consciously. We do not judge someone's intelligence (much less an entire species) or their value based on the idea that one does things according to the way certain humans have decided to live in a way that's convenient for humans. 

Documentary debunking the human superiority myth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqT82oGeax0


C. Dufour
C. Dufour

@Jessie Roeder  no parrots or crows man, come on! alex was smarter than a dolphin!

Bea Elliott
Bea Elliott

@Marcella Covault  Hello - I don't think everyone who seeks a better life for nonhumans sees these animals in a future without human contact. Just as there has always been "more than enough" human children who needed foster and adoptive homes - I imagine there will always be fellow earthlings who also require human help. That said... Do we really want a world where we continue to "breed" millions of a certain "type" of pet while millions of others are killed for the want of a home? Isn't that a lot of *punishment* to cats and dogs due to human error, neglect and ignorance?


Also I don't think anyone is out to "force" anyone else to accept their position. What I do think though is that the suffering of nonhumans is an urgent issue and much of society is in a daze or stupor as to how critical things are for them... More than 58billion land animals are killed every year just to satisfy our desire for meat, dairy and eggs. Which by-the-way are not a critical "necessity" for human survival... Then there's the trivial, but horrifying fact that gloves made from "dog leather" can be bought internationally --- There's a world of suffering in between those two facts put upon every species imaginable.


Every absurd "use" for nonhumans has been rationalized to the point where merely having the "right" not to be killed is denied to animals. Of course it's "insane" to grant other animals the right to vote, drive, marry, or to pursue an education --- But the "right" merely to have one's own body protected from deliberate, intentional and needless harm? I don't think that's so insane at all. I call that compassionate.

Bea Elliott
Bea Elliott

@Elizabeth Brinkley  Hello Ms. Brinkley - I really have to disagree with much of what you say... I'll start with the notion that "they believe that animals and humans are equal". We are equal in these points that matter: We all suffer equally. We all want to live equally. We all want to avoid being harmed or killed. (equally so). 


Please give specific accounts of where/how "false and unsubstantiated allegations" were made? As far as I've been able to follow, every single investigation into factory farms and slaughterhouses has led to prosecutions and convictions as well as plant/ranch owners vowing to correct said infractions. These harms done included everything from stomping on the backs of dairy cows and pigs, anally electrocuting them, wringing the necks of sick/dying birds, poking the eyes out of cows, kicking pigs as well as skinning baby dairy calves while they were fully conscious. There have also been extensive investigations and videos made public that have shown horrific conditions at "puppy mills" and other dog-breeding/dog-fighting facilities. Surely you've seen some of them as they've been very well documented throughout the internet. All one has to do is search "puppy mills" or "factory farms" or "slaughterhouse violations" to see that these are much more than "allegations".


As to the rest and all the links you provided it's no secret that these are all fronts for dog-breeders and the meat/animal industries. They have an interest in keeping the public mis-informed... There is no "agenda" for those who are in favor of fair, kind treatment to nonhumans. I believe anyone who is sincerely interested in providing "loving care" to these animals insures that their lives are as long and as safe as possible. Not strategically orchestrated to have them "used" and killed at a fraction of their life expectancy. I believe that other animals are here with us - Not for us.

D. Spicable
D. Spicable

@Elizabeth Brinkley to be able to claim rights, the pet will have to speak for itself first and foremost.  no human can begin to comprehend what all an animal wants or needs or what is even wrong with them in most cases

Bea Elliott
Bea Elliott

@Darla W.  Hi Darla W. - On the flip side there's instances I see around me almost on a daily basis... I'm not a "nosy neighbor", yet I witness dogs being chained for a days/weeks on end. They are generally without water and are barely fed. They stay in 100+ degree heat and of course in other parts of the country, many have perished in sub-zero weather. I don't think that fair treatment or good care is giving dogs "human rights" - They won't be voting, driving or marrying... I think just the right to live unharmed, and cared for by responsible humans, would be about all they'd ask for and all they'd need. I think providing them this little bit is a long over-due debt we owe to them, and to ourselves if we wish to call ourselves "humane".

Karen Vegan-Call
Karen Vegan-Call

@Emma Hoppe @Sharalyn Pliler Actually, this statement:

"only that there is something different in humans that allows us to have rights" is called Speciesism. And it's outmoded, outdated, and 100% insane.

Just like all of the other discriminatory "isms" that say, "I can exploit you because you were born into a different category than I am": sexism, racism, agism, heterosexism, nationalism/jingoism...speciesism is based on a feeling of superiority of the own category one happens to be born into.  In your case, you displayed speciest statements based on the false idea of "Human Superiority". 

Documentary debunking the Human Superiority myth (this ought to be required viewing by everyone.): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqT82oGeax0


Ken Lovell
Ken Lovell

@Bea Elliott @Darla W.  


Bea I don't know what country you live in, but as far as I know all first world countries adopted laws prohibiting cruelty to animals decades ago.

Share

Popular Stories

The Future of Food

  • Why Food Matters

    Why Food Matters

    How do we feed nine billion people by 2050, and how do we do so sustainably?

  • Download: Free iPad App

    Download: Free iPad App

    We've made our magazine's best stories about the future of food available in a free iPad app.

See more food news, photos, and videos »