Education & Reference
When Animals Sue
Source: National Review Online - by Wesley J. Smith, Published March 3, 2010
Should animals, like indigent criminal defendants, be provided with legal representation by the state? It could happen. As Time has reported, on March 7, voters in Switzerland will decide whether to give “domestic creatures . . . the constitutional right to be represented by (human) lawyers in court.”
What? Treating animals at law as if they were human? Don’t laugh. Lest we be tempted to dismiss the referendum as just the latest European post-modernistic folly, the effort to open our own courtrooms to animals is quietly advancing. Indeed, “animal standing,” as the issue is usually called, is at the very top of the animal-rights movement’s policy wish list.
But animals suing? For most people, the very idea is a surreal fantasy out of a Far Side cartoon. But from the viewpoint of animal-rights ideologues, nothing could be more logical. The dogma of animal liberation demands the obliteration of all animal industries and, eventually, the eradication by attrition of all domesticated animals. As Wayne Pacelle stated in 1993 before being appointed to his current post as head of the Humane Society of the United States, “One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are the product of human selective breeding.”
What could further the eradication goal more dramatically than allowing domesticated animals to sue their owners in court? The real litigants, of course, would be animal-rights activists — committed true believers who would use the raw power of litigation to force animal industries to their knees. Imagine the chaos: hundreds of animal lawyers, filing thousands of lawsuits, leading to hundreds of thousands of depositions, forcing industries to spend tens of millions of dollars on lawyers and legal costs defending their husbandry. No animal industry would be safe, and many would not survive.
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