Animals as Property by Doris Lin

In this article, the author argues that animals should not be treated as property. She says that ‘we should not own non-human animals because we do not own humans, and treating animals differently is speciesist.’

One of the more interesting arguments that the author makes – and one that might be good for discussion – is that, in cases of divorce, the partner who does not take the pet should be granted visitation rights to that pet. She suggests that it is the legal view of pets as property that prevents ex-partners gaining access to beloved pets.

This is an accessible article. Although it refers to the legal status of animals in the United States, the differences between their animal laws and ours do not seem significant; importantly, the arguments that the author offers stand independently of the legal facts that she considers. This article is rather one-sided. Teachers might consider asking students to think of ways in which somebody might argue against the author’s claims.

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