Jan
08
BREAKING NEWS In Animal Rights! FBI Re-Defines Cruelty


Breaking news in animal rights! Well not necessarily
breaking you know I’m not a news channel so it happened a couple days ago. Recently
there have been some interesting developments on the legal side of animal rights both at
the state and federal level. And I’m going to tell you all about them. Hi it’s Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome
to another vegan nugget. Today we’re going to look at some very recent changes in the
legal classification of animals and animal cruelty. There will be links to the original
court documents and other resources in the blog post for this video, which is linked
in the description below. First let’s head over to Oregon where the Supreme Court issued
two rulings recently granting animals legal protections formerly only given to humans.
As reported by Arin Greenwood of the Huffington Post. in a severe animal neglect case, State
v. Nix, the court held that the 20 goats and horses found starving on Arnold Nix’s farm
amongst the bodies of others who didn’t make it could each be considered individual
victims under the law. And in a second case State v. Fessenden, the court upheld the warrantless
seizure of a starving horse under the “exigent circumstances” exception of the Fourth Amendment. So what does this mean exactly? Well, typically
in animal abuse and neglect cases, multiple animal victims are merged into one count,
denying the individuality of each victim and their right to justice. This happened initially
in State v Nix, the case with the starving goats and horses, but was overturned at the
Oregon Court of Appeals as the court found nothing in the statutes saying explicitly
that the term “victim” was limited to human beings. And the Fessenden case, allowing
for the warrantless seizure of animals in imminent danger, has removed a lot of the
red tape that often led to animals dying before law officials could obtain a warrant. While these are certainly advances in our
legal view of animals, I feel that their celebration should be taken with some caution. Neither
case changes the fact that animals are legally considered property. Animal rights lawyer
Dane Johnson of the Animal Legal Defense Fund brings up the critical lacking of these developments,
saying “Why…do we consider the recognition that individual animals are as much victims
of inflicted suffering as human crime victims significant when we kill billions of sentient
animals in violent and painful ways every year unnecessarily for food? And that, to
me, is the main point her. The vast majority of animals abused, neglected, tortured and
killed are our food animals- and they remain without any legal protection. But again that
is not to say that these advances aren’t a good thing. Now let’s move on to the federal level development:
the Associated Press reported on October 1st that the FBI has now deemed animals cruelty
a top-tier felony. Up until now, animal cruelty was filed under a label of “other” making
it difficult to find, track and count. The main motivation for this change was to keep
better track of potential serial killers in the making. It’s widely known that in their
youth, most serial killers abused, tortured and killed animals before later moving onto
their human victims. The FBI hopes that better tracking of animal abuse can head off the
development of future killers. While this reclassification was motivated
solely by the interest of protecting humans, it does give more legal clout to the crime
of animal cruelty. However, it is again limited mainly to pets and those animals deemed “worthy”
of protection by our society, excluding the 150 billion animals that we kill every year
for our consumption. So here is my take on all of these developments:
it’s great seeing some legal advances which benefiting animals but with the extent of
animals suffering and death in the world, these developments are barely a drop in the
bucket. We need to protect those animals who are most exploited- our food animals. Until
we can rectify our collective cognitive dissonance and speciesism that allows us to place the
rights of one species of animals above another, there is no true victory. Now I’d love to hear your thoughts on this
news. Do you think these are great victories? Do you think that the battle for animal liberation
be won in a courtroom? Let me know what you think in the comments below and please share
this video around to spread the news and get the discussion going. And if you’re new
to my channel I would love to have you subscribe- here at Bite Size Vegan I address all aspects
of veganism and always in 5 minutes more or less. Give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed
hearing about current events in animal rights. Now go live vegan and I’ll see you soon! Subtitles by the Amara.org community