Janatari Devi Dasi
Are animals persons? And what does it mean to define an animal as a person? Personhood is a legal concept expanding far beyond biological humans. It is broad enough to not only pertain to humans, it also includes natural monuments and corporations. Under the law, animals are considered things, and property, and are provided little to no legal protection from being used by many as a means to an end. For ethical and legal reasons everything is categorized as a person or a thing. Legally a person is subject to duties and appanages, whereas a thing is considered property. Morally a person is valued for their own sake, and a thing is valued for what can be derived from it. So, what about sentient beings who are considered property? These beings are cognizant and feel both fear and joy.