July 18, 2019 | 74° F

Animals deserve more respect

Letter to the Editor

In the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ “Ethics in Science” colloquium, students learn about today’s issues and work toward affecting society in a positive way while working on specific issues on subjects we chose and are passionate about. I learned about how our companion animals are considered property and not living, breathing creatures. Imagine that. Animals should not be considered inanimate objects! As a consequence of being labeled as property, animals and their owners are denied of many rights.

A new and ideal solution to this problem would be to change the property status of animals to something called a “living property” status, an idea coined by David Favre, a professor of law at Michigan State University.

This is great because it is not radical and will not implement a huge change but rather helps animals in a way that is both practical and possible. It simply aims to place a higher importance on the interests of animals and to give them certain basic rights, such as the right to have adequate living space. Dr. Fagan, an Associate Professor of Animal Science here at Rutgers University, and I hope to pursue this issue further with Dr. Favre.

A petition has been made on change.org titled, “Change the status of animals from ‘Property’ to ‘Living Property,’” to ask our U.S. senators to switch the property status of companion animals to a living property status.

A YouTube video and link to an academic paper can be found in the description for anyone who would like more information on this topic. All that is needed is your signature, and anyone who feels the cause is worthy can sign. With yours and others’ signatures, we hope to influence our legislators to begin discussing the issue with the goal of changing the law in the near future.

Kerri Close is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior majoring in animal science.

By Kerri Close

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