Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Legalized Sentience for all New Zealand Animals

"Animals are now legally recognised as 'sentient' beings in New Zealand"

The legal status of nonhuman animals living in New Zealand has been changed to "sentient" beings.  In the U.S., as we've discussed, nonhuman animals have the legal status of "things"––which may be changing soon for two chimpanzees (NY Hearing on May 27th).

I'm hoping there will be a mass nonhuman animal exodus to NZ very soon. Have a look at this short article to read what the change in legal status will mean for nonhuman animals.


  1. This was an awesome article to read as it shows that society is making some progress with our relationship to animals. I have felt like our relationship with animals will not change and if it does, it will take many years to change, while the word "change" could really mean anything. I do not exactly know how our relationship to animals would change, whether it is freeing animals from cages, restrict the use of antibiotics, pass laws that prohibit animal testing, etc. I feel like it will take time for any of this to happen. After watching the video in class today I heard someone say that the professor should warn us when she is going to show videos that contain content that may be disturbing to people. However, this is the main problem of why we have to watch animals being tortured, its because of people like this who would rather turn their heads away and pretend that animals live a happy life. Unfortunately, the animals on the screen do not have the option to turn away and pretend like they are not being tortured because they are suffering from every broken limb and burn they are being thrusted upon. If people continue to complain to not have an option of what they watch, and if others refuse to listen of real problems, solving the animal abuse problem will keep going further and further away down the timeline.

  2. I believe an important shift in the minds of humans needs to happen in order for society's relationship with animals to be mutually beneficial. Humans need to stop categorizing animals into groups labeled pet, creature, or food. The dog you adore and take care of is just as much as a mammal as the cow you eat in your burger. People are lying to themselves when they pretend that certain animals deserve a happy, painless life, while other animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens, deserve a lives of fear, depression, and suffering. The "Behind the Mask" video shown in lecture on Wednesday briefly displayed the atrocities that happen everyday in labs and factory farms which to many students, were too graphic for comfort. It is films like this one that society needs to be exposed to in order to truly understand what goes on behind the closed doors of animal exploiting institutions. People need to feel uncomfortable enough to find the exploitation of animals disturbing (because it is) and take action to change the treatment of these animals that are alive simply to benefit humans. Changing the legal status of non-human animals would be a giant step towards animal welfare and liberation, which is a decision that would contribute to the well-beings of all of Earth's inhabitants, and not just centering around the needs and desires of humans.