Friday, August 03, 2007

This week's Featured Book is People, Property, or Pets? edited by Marc. D Hauser, Fiery Cushman, and Matthew Kamen and published by Purdue University Press.

“What's the difference between owning a painting, a dog, or a young child? For starters, you can't own a child, but you are legally responsible for their care. You can own a painting and a dog; both fall under the jurisdiction of the law and in particular, property rights. But why should a dog, man's best friend, an animal with a mind and emotions, fall under the same general category as a painting? Juxtaposed in this way, the question seems silly. How could the law be so foolish? Can't lawyers see the difference? Why shouldn't dogs end up in the same category as young children, a category of living things that require our care? If the law recognized dogs, along with cats, cows, mice, monkeys, birds, and flies as requiring legal guardianship, this would have radical consequences for how we live our lives. We couldn't keep animals in zoos, couldn't eat them, use their fur to keep warm, or test them with drugs to improve our own health. Their lives would be different, and so would ours. This book explores these issues, but does so in a fresh new way. Rather than engage the debate from the perspective of a single voice, or the combination of voices from different experts, we present a set of essays from a lawyer philosopher, biochemist, psychologist, and animal scientist, together with a group of educated students engaged in the debate. The essays are set up to present both sides, some adopting arguments in favor of a shift to legal guardianship, while others support their status as property. Experts in the field will be engaged by the subtle issues surrounding this debate, while educators will find the student essays refreshing and of interest in class room seminars.” - Book Description

People, Property, or Pets? will be available to borrow after Friday, August 10, 2007

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