Law is the Enemy of Animals

law memeIf there is one overriding cause for animal abuse, exploitation, cruelty, and death it is our legal system.

Under English Common Law, which is followed in almost every English speaking country, and under the Napoleonic Code, which is the basis of law in Civil Law jurisdictions, animals are considered to be personal property.

Our task is either to change the law or to change the system.

Changing the law will likely be even more difficult than it would be to overthrow the system. Property rights are almost sacred under capitalism, and ownership of animals is so accepted and ingrained in the law and in society that only revolution could forcibly end the concept.

Banning animal ownership would end the exploitation and killing industries. People would still have companion animals, but their legal status would be conservatorships, which would prevent people acting against the interests of the animals, just as guardians are required to act in the interests of children.

Hard for a guardian to maintain that slaughtering an animal is in its interest.

To change the law is almost a fool’s errand, but it may be the only errand open to us. Every state would have to adopt legislation that reversed hundred’s of years of legal decisions, precedents, and statutory laws regarding personal property. Or a constitutional amendment would need to be adopted. Neither approach is remotely likely to transpire.

The enormity of the opposition we face on the legal front is compounded by religious myths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all maintain that God gave people “dominion” over animals) and by political and economic systems that value profits over compassion, business over ethics, and political expediency over everything.

Recognizing the problem and solving it are entirely different tasks, of course. And our analysis does nothing more than focus our attention on apparently insurmountable obstacles to Animal Rights.

Whatever our courses of action might be to change the law or the system, clearly they will require a substantial increase in our numbers. Animal Rights activists are such a tiny percentage of the population at present that there is little we could do, politically or through revolution, without growing the movement.

Growing the movement is as important as anything we do for animals in the present, perhaps much more so. Educating, recruiting, and organizing those sympathetic to animals is Job One for Animal Rights activists.

Ending the Animal Holocaust is the most important goal we have, a goal that will prove impossible without ending animal ownership by individuals and corporations.

Campaigns aimed at changing the law, whether or not they succeed, may be the most effective tools available to us to educate the public, recruit activists, radicalize our troops, and to grow the movement.



Author’s Notes:

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

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7 thoughts on “Law is the Enemy of Animals

  1. Fighting for animal protection laws is one of our most frustrating jobs. It may take years of letter writing, protests, visits to legislators. Then we wait for resulting bills (if we get that far) to come up for a vote. If they don’t pass, it’s back to square one. If they do pass, they will probably have multiple loopholes to allow abuse to continue in some form. At the end of the process, we have to hope there are both the funding and the will for enforcement. Of course when someone is found guilty of abuse as drastic as setting a cat or dog on fire and gets probation or community service, we can only wish there were vigilantes.


  2. When you (anyone) decide to open your home to a non-human animal and provide for all its needs, it is your property, regardless of how you want to describe it. Over 200 million canines and felines are in the possession of human beings in this country (collared, tethered and enclosed). From my perspective, the domesticated, abominated feline ought to be eradicated from this continent, and the domesticated, abominated canine ought to be eliminated, as well.


    • Humans domesticates dogs. In doing so they prevented then from being able to survive on their own. Which means every dog on the planet is a human responsibility. We are morally bound to care for them and provide for them. To kill them because they are otherwise unable to live would be comparable to killing homeless people or the disabled, or small children who are wards of the state or in foster care. Your ludicrous rants about dogs are neither realistic nor morally justified. Just as humans are responsible for each other, humans are responsible for creatures they created. Society has not reached that realization yet, but such is the goal of socialism and social justice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AMEN! We really need to change the laws that say animals are “property”. All of we animal lovers know that they are our companions and friends who stay by us no matter what! Thanks for posting this! There are some groups on Facebook who are also trying to change the laws, one of which is “Paw Across America”

    Liked by 1 person

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