Animal
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Animal
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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
9 August 2000 Issue

They Are Not Our Property

We are beginning with companion animals, as people have close relationships with them, usually as adopters rather than "owners." Changing people's minds is a difficult task, but the rewards will be enjoyed by animals everywhere. To transform their social and moral status from property to living beings with their own needs and interests initially requires language changes from "owner" to guardian, "pet" to friend, "it" to he/she, "that" to a given name and other like substitutions. The 1995 Summit for the Animals passed a resolution, signed by 19 national animal organizations, committing to these very changes. To promote the new language and the ethic underlying it, our campaign is committed to a nation-wide effort to reach the hearts and minds of the public, with the help and support of animal organizations everywhere. When momentum is achieved, a legal test case will be sought.

Society's acceptance of a new belief system which rejects ownership and embraces coexistence with non-human animals will radically alter their plight across the board, while helping shelters to substitute adoption for purchase and enhancing activists' efforts to promote their agendas. We -- you, the animals and I -- are in this together. Let's lay siege to the blasphemy of animal ownership and herald a new state of affairs. They are not our property. We are not their owners.

(Text inspired from letter written by Alan W. Boessmann, D.V.M., former director of Animal Rights Advocacy, In Defense of Animals, to animal shelters and advocacy groups across the country to launch "They Are Not Our Property" campaign.)

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