A new and more humane era may be dawning for animals as
recognition spreads that, like human beings, they are sentient creatures who
experience joy and feel pain and are entitled to legal protection.
“Animal law is a rapidly expanding field that is becoming an important aspect of
our social policy,” says animal rights authority Diane Sullivan, who in 2004
founded an animal rights program at the Massachusetts School of Law at
Andover(MSL). At present, “Legal textbooks on animal rights are replete with
judicial decisions that, in case after case, make all too clear that the law
does nothing to genuinely protect animals. It certainly does not recognize their
true value and special place in our homes,” the law professor says. Recent
studies, she says, suggest dogs possess “a sense of fairness” and are on the
same mental plane as a two-year-old child.