Emma, a healthy dog, was recently killed because her owner, who died in March, demanded in her will that they “spend eternity” together.
Staff at the local animal shelter urged the deceased woman’s family to let Emma live, to no avail. Emma was killed, cremated, and buried with her owner.
People are rightly outraged at the women for posthumously killing poor Emma. But nothing about this ordeal should be surprising.
Nonhuman animals, including dogs, are considered mere “property” in our society. And, like any other property, the owner can pretty much do whatever they want with them.
Millions of healthy companion animals, just like Emma, are discarded by their human “owners” every year because they are no longer wanted, considered too inconvenient, etc. They are either “put down” or surrendered at shelters, where they are killed if they cannot be placed with a new home.
And it’s not just “pets”. Animals used for food, clothing, entertainment and vivisection are similarly regarded as mere “things” / “property”.
For food alone, we kill roughly 70 billion land animals and up to 2 trillion sea animals every year. That’s truly staggering (and, separately, a global environmental disaster too).
But, bottom line, we don’t need to treat animals as our “property”. We don’t need to exploit them for food, clothing, entertainment or otherwise. When will we change our thinking to regard them as “someones” not “somethings”?
We can make this change in our personal lives today, simply by going vegan and respecting all sentient animals. Indeed, the mass violence we currently impose upon so many billions of animals will never end unless and until enough of us make that shift in our personal lives.
So, if you care about animals, please go vegan today. In addition, if you are able, please adopt and foster any animal in need of a home.