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Legal personhood for non-human animals (Part 2)

To argue that human beings are better would be to ignore the ways in which other animals are unique in their own way, and the courts need to be reminded that we, as human beings, are still animals.

LINDA ROLAND DUNILL: ‘One of the things that is implied in the refusal to grant personhood to non-human animals, in my view, is the strong aversion to the notion that one day a human being may find his or rights trumped by those of a non-human animal… To argue that human beings are better would be to ignore the ways in which other animals are unique in their own way. Therefore, an inversion of thinking needs to occur, and the courts need to be reminded that we, as human beings, are still animals… As scientific advancements mean that we increasingly understand different animal species better, it may very well be that different animal species will begin to be treated differently under the law in accordance to their species specific needs.

However, the present paralysis in this area of law means that all animals suffering in captivity end up being unfairly boxed under the categorization of ‘property’ – a violent simplification that is borne of the fact that there are a number of animal species, idiosyncratic in their own way, and who serve human beings in different ways, if at all. That is to say, they are all boxed in the same category as ‘property’ because it is just easier that way – and they all continue to suffer because we are too lazy or it is ‘too hard’ to try and change things’. SOURCE…

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