Tim Mercer

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
dog sitting in front of book

New law in Spain classifies animals as ‘sentient beings’

At some point, every pet owner has wondered what their animals were thinking. If you’ve ever stared into a dog or cat’s eyes, you’ve certainly seen a spectrum of emotions and thoughts reflected back to you: love, anger, trust, curiosity, playfulness and so on. Skeptics say attached animal owners are simply projecting human traits onto creatures that still exist purely on a primal level, free of the consciousness that supposedly makes human beings unique.

But a new law in Spain challenges that assumption with real weight behind it, labeling all animals, including wild ones, as sentient beings.

According to El Pais: “From now on, animals will be treated as “sentient beings,” and as such will have a different legal standing than an inanimate object. They will no longer be able to be seized, abandoned, mistreated or separated from one of their owners in the case of a divorce or separation, without having their wellbeing and protection taken into account.”

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