A new law in Spain means that animal companions will now be treated as the sentient beings they are in legal cases such as divorce, rather than as belongings like pieces of furniture.
This is an important step forward and wonderful news for animal companions.
Now, animal companions, such as dogs, cats, and birds, are considered “living beings endowed with sensitivity” instead of objects.
What Does This Mean for Animal Companions?
It means that in legal battles like a divorce or separation, the judicial authority will consider the animal companions’ needs and entrust them to the most appropriate family member – even granting shared custody where possible, rather than giving the animal by default to the person who bought them or paid their adoption fees.
The new law points out that it is prohibited to abuse or abandon an animal, as they are sentient beings. If anyone finds a lost animal companion, they must now return them to their family unless there’s a clear indication of neglect.
What About Other Animals?
While this law signifies great progress, there’s still more to be done. Speciesism lies at the heart of this new law, because while animal companions are protected from abuse and neglect, no other animals are. The new law does nothing to protect those raised for human exploitation, such as being killed for experiments, food, clothing, or entertainment. Speciesism justifies loving some animals while exploiting others. Cows, pigs, and chickens are capable of feeling fear, excitement, love, and sadness just as dogs and cats do, so they deserve to be protected from abuse, too.
You Can Oppose Speciesism!
We don’t need to wait for more laws to be introduced – we can all act to combat this systematic oppression by going vegan.
Buy cosmetics that weren’t tested on animals, choose vegan food and fashion, and stay away from animal circuses and other forms of animal-based entertainment. Always reject the exploitation of animals.
Take a stand against speciesism now and join in our January Vegan Challenge: