quinta-feira, 21 de junho de 2018

If dogs and cats had legal rights, how would that impact other animals?

People are duking it out over custody of the family companion animal in divorce proceedings. People are suing for damages when a companion animal is injured or killed. People are demanding consideration of companion animals during disaster response.
I guess that means laws giving rights to, at the very least, dogs and cats should be right around the corner, right?
Not so fast, pardner. There are plenty of adversaries to face down before you ride into that town.




Like who?


Well, the American Veterinary Medical Association, for one. To be sure, they WANT you to consider your pet a beloved family member. But they don’t want you suing the crap out of them when you believe a member of their ranks provides substandard care.
They do have a valid point. If dogs and cats had rights, the cost of veterinary care would go through the roof. Think your vet bills are high now? What would they be if the cost of malpractice insurance was tacked onto the cost? And that thing I’m doing now with using a dog medication off-label with Bubba Cat? I’m sure THAT would not be allowed to continue.

Pet stores and Puppy mill breeders are most certainly not for animals having rights. Would that impact the sale of animals? Probably. At the very least, the standards of care required for breeder animals would be strictly regulated, unlike it is now.

Research labs would not be able to conduct the testing on dogs and cats, because dogs and cats cannot provide consent.

Dog food would be more expensive as the requirements for manufacture would become more stringent. Though, to be sure, dog food is already a cut-throat business, and manufacturers are already employing strict manufacturing standards to avoid recalls that can destroy a brand.

Shock collars would most certainly go by the wayside. Say good-bye to your invisible fence!

If you think the one-upmanship of pet owners is bad now, imagine how it would be if your neighbor could report you for not bathing your dog regularly or not taking him for a walk every day. It would be kind of like child abuse investigations are now: some investigations have merit, while others are nuisance calls made to harass the one being investigated.


If dogs and cats had legal rights, how would that impact other animals?


It wouldn’t take long for courts to rule that the Great Apes should also be afforded rights. After all, they are the animals most like humans in appearance. That would impact research labs and zoos.

Animal agriculture would most certainly be impacted. The cost of meat, milk, and eggs would rise as farms would be forced to provide humane living conditions for animals used to feed humans.

Extermination practices would have to change considerably, as it would no longer be acceptable to just poison rats and mice.

As you have no doubt figured out, this is not a change that people would willingly accept in one lump sum. It’s going to take time, and a continuing change in public perception to get us there.

Are YOU still willing to fight for animals to have rights, or is the cost going to be higher than you’re willing to pay?


The cost of eggs is going to go up because of the law recently enacted in CA. Even midwestern egg farmers will have to raise their prices if they supply to California, because they will have to comply with the new regulations, that require the chicken’s cage be large enough for it to move around and flap its wings. That means fewer chickens in the same amount of space, which means fewer eggs, and higher heating costs for farmers. Of course, you could just buy eggs from your local farms, where you can see the chickens running free the way they are meant to be. The cost will be comparable.

You can always cut meat and dairy out of your diet if the cost irks you.


There should be a way to grant animals more rights in terms of quality of life without granting full “personhood”.

It is good that someone is tackling this subject. Like you say, it is large and complex. Mostly, I see it as sad.

to help animals, and more who think it is lucrative…Their prices reflect their greed in many cases.

There are faults on all sides, over breeding, shelters–(badly named if they ‘kill’), lax laws for abusers, the people who ‘have to have purebreds over mixed breeds, (those people should look at the percentage of purebred animals that end up in “shelters” and are destroyed,) the list goes on and on.

Turning things around takes so long, it sometimes feels hopeless—actually a good deal of the time.

Granting ‘personhood’–I wonder….’Personhood’ is what is responsible for the status of things now….

Thought provoking post. I think animals do have ‘rights’ or at least protection in law. I stand by the RSPCA (and other charities) in their fight for fair treatment of all animals – domestic or farmyard. And to bring prosecutions where necessary. Only by debating animal rights, will more people become aware of the issues and perceptions will change. In the meantime, it is incumbent on all animal lovers to bring wrong-doing to the attention of the authorities and social media.

The protection laws we have in place here in the UK are clearly not working so rights are needed. I don’t care how it effects puppy mills and pet shops. I would be happy to pay more for food. And vet treatment is one of those things you expect as a pet owner. I would pay whatever it took. 

However I do take your point on the off the label medicines. When one of my guinea pigs was ill, they recommended an anti-biotic which was actually for cat use but it worked exactly as they promised. 

However we already see pets as members of the family, why doesn’t...