Sandra Higgins discusses the petition to ‘Make unlawfully killing a pet an offence akin to murder, not criminal damage’ with Declan Meehan on East Coast FM radio

The Joint Committee on Public Petitions and the Ombudsmen recently considered Public Petition Number P00020/24 ‘Make unlawfully killing a pet an offence akin to murder, not criminal damage’.

Criminal damage refers to damage to property. Murder refers to unlawful killing of a person. Other animals are currently the legal property of the humans who own them. If they are harmed or killed, the only legal recourse available pertains to the harm caused to the property owner and not the experience of suffering or loss of life of the animal who was killed. For it to become unlawful to murder an animal, the animal must be regarded as a person with a mind and feelings who experienced harm and the loss of their future life.

Sandra Higgins discussed the petition on East Coast FM radio with Declan Meehan.

Some of the questions addressed in this short interview include:

Will this ‘diminish the status of humans’ to have a law like this?
Were this to become law, would it have public support?
Are our ‘pets’ any different to the animals we use as food or for any other use?
Do laws governing ‘humane use’ (animal welfare laws) make any difference to other animals?
What do animal rights mean to other animals?
Is there a difference between avoiding immoral action because it is illegal or avoiding it because we know it is wrong?

Although the ultimate goal is for other animals to be recognised legally as non-human persons, protected from being exploited or killed just as humans are, Sandra argues that laws reflect the culture and at the moment our culture is not vegan and accepts animal use. Therefore, the work of Go Vegan World is to help educate people to recognise that other animals are feeling beings who suffer and are killed when we use them. Most of us do not require the law to prevent us from kicking a dog, for example. We don’t engage in this kind of violence because we know it would hurt the dog. Once we realise the consequences for other animals when we purchase eggs, dairy, fish, flesh or clothing that uses the wool or skin of other animals, we will realise that making non-vegan choices has the same consequences as kicking a dog or killing a dog. Awareness and a conscience are all that are necessary for us to abolish animal use from our lives and live vegan.

For more information on animal rights and veganism, please visit the following links at our website.