Individuals who have the power to make changes should not allow pets to continue to be categorized as a property. Laws need to be implemented to identify all animals as a life. Animals are not objects; they are sentient beings. Therefore, severe prison sentencing should be a suitable punishment when animals are abused and trafficked to different countries as someone’s feast. Animals breathe and feel different emotions just like human beings. The difference is they cannot verbally communicate with us to tell us when they are suffering. We can only see the emotions on their sadden faces and their withdrawal behavior.
When animals are deemed as a property a value is placed upon them; whereas, there is no price that can be placed on a life. If animals are not identified as a life soon they will continue to be subjected to more abuse and victimization, because the charges will not be as severe.
For instance, if a dog is stolen from their owner/family and the perpetrator is caught and charged, the charges would only be petit larceny. Which New York law classifies petit larceny as a class A misdemeanor (NY Penal law 155.25). Unfortunately, a misdemeanor in New York may only include imprisonment for a term of less than a year, and fine that does not exceed $1, 000 dollars (Penal law 70.15 and 80.05 (1)).
Kidnapping which can carry lengthy prison
Whereas if a human being is abducted from their family or love one and the perpetrator is caught the charges would be kidnapping which can carry lengthy prison sentences (Penal laws 135.05, 135.10, 135.25, and 135.20). Although, each state may have slightly different laws petit larceny is still a misdemeanor and kidnapping is a serious crime. Even though both lives can suffer the same outcome, a life perceived as a property would still be valued less than a human being known as a life.
Inopportunely, in regard to the situation where dogs and cats are abducted we can only pray that they were not victims of the dog and cat meat trade where many lives of domesticated animals have been tortured and senselessly murdered.
Some people may argue it is a selfish act to label animals as a property when most people seek companionship, and love from them, while others debate that if they are identified as a life they cannot easily be neutered. In general, people will have different views, we cannot all agree on certain matters. But we cannot deny that many people have benefited from manipulating animal breeding. And many animals have suffered as a result of it.
Animals are killed each year across
Without the protection of legal rights as a life, animals will continue to be exploited in society. They can be used as economic gain, experiments, sold, etc. Although, there are existing animal welfare laws millions of animals are killed each year across the world in animal research. Take a deep calm breathe when I say this, not all of those animals are domesticated they are also wild animals. Some of those wild animals were probably abducted from their natural habitat at a tender age. Where is the morality there? The people who have the power to make a difference should not continue to push this issue aside.
Too many animals have lost their lives without a fighting chance. When will the needed change come? All lives matter is a phrase some people commonly use including me. But we sometimes forget that where the law is concerned not all property matters.