The failure of Sonoma authorities to protect a dying horse highlights the importance of providing legal standing to the powerless.
Yes, until the law stops seeing animals as 'property' nothing can really be done - Judge Judy said the law sees animals as property 'but I see animals as soulful'. The law has to change to make anything in the world change.
Organized religion is complicit with the legal system that regards non-human beings as "things" as this statement indicates:
According to the Catholic Church, “Brute beasts, not having understanding and therefore not being persons, cannot have any rights. The conclusion is clear. They are not autocentric. They are of the number of THINGS, which are another’s: they are chattels, or cattle. We have no duties to them…. Nor are we bound to any anxious care to make [their] pain as little as may be. Brutes are THINGS in our regard: so far as they are useful to use, they exist for us, not for themselves; and we do right in using them unsparingly for our need and convenience….” Jesuit Joseph Rickaby
And there's more:
Echoes of the animal-machine idea occur in statements made by Pius XII to the effect that when the "lower" animals are killed in a laboratory or an abattoir, “their cries should not arouse unreasonable compassion any more than do red-hot metals undergoing the blows of the hammer, seeds soiling underground, branches crackling when they are pruned, grain that is surrendered to the harvester; wheat being ground by the milling machine." All of these groups, commercial, vivisectionist, and ecclesiastical, are quick to raise the cry of sentimentality when any attempt is made to consider the mental or emotional life of "subhuman" creatures. SOURCE: "Men, Beasts, and Gods - A History of Cruelty and Kindness to Animals" -- Gerald Carson (1972)
Here's how the Pope's "teachings" have impacted how "wildlife management" considers animals (excerpts):
Years of education — formal or informal — about wildlife management and conservation have shaped our views and beliefs about the natural world. Words like ‘crop’, ‘harvest’, ‘stock’, ‘cull’, ‘yield’, and ‘surplus’ used in biological sciences and by government institutions in reference to wildlife have been so broadly and indiscriminately disseminated that they have achieved a predictable outcome — stripping us of compassion towards non-human animals. Once they are turned into ‘crops’ to be ‘utilized’ and ‘harvested’ for food, all the majestic creatures we had so much affection for and were so fascinated by as children are no longer permitted to feel pain or experience anguish. Words have rendered their suffering irrelevant. In the end, as a result of verbal reframing, it is not what really happens in blood-stained fields and forests that determines our emotional reactions but rather the words we use to make what happens there palatable.
That is why words matter. They make us kind; they make us laugh; they make us cry. We avoid the truth and harshness of the language by softening it with euphemisms. Sometimes, a harmless or even genuinely empathetic rationale guides us, as when we say that someone ‘has passed’ or ‘moved on’ instead of ‘died’. Often, however, and I would argue it is the case with wildlife management, diluting the plight of slaughtered animals in the concoction of euphemisms has more sinister undertones. No, it is not empathy we are after. In contrast to saying ‘passed’ or ‘moved on’ when referring to a person who died, using the words ‘harvest’ or ‘cull’ to describe a systematic annihilation of animals reveals heartlessness rather than compassion. In the final display of our lack of mercy, animals are deprived of their dignity not only by the very act of having been cold-heartedly killed but also by the way this decimation is presented to the public. This is wrong. Deep down we know it, we feel it, and our euphemistic strategies reveal this uneasiness, this inner struggle.
SOURCE: "Discarding euphemisms: the fate of animals deserves truthful words" by by Gosia Bryja, PhD, link: https://gbryja.medium.com/discarding-euphemisms-the-fate-of-animals-deserves-truthful-words-b0de83ed7dae
This is utterly
heartbteaking. So the "owner" will not be punished in any way? There are animal cruelty laws in place that protect at the very least, dogs, cats and horses!
wishing you and all the other defendants all the luck in the world! thank you Wayne for your continued efforts and sacrifices
I am so fucking angry about Ruby. This is an incredible piece Wayne and I have believed in animal personhood for a very long time. Thank you for sharing this valuable information and perspective. I'll see you on the 8th in Santa Rosa. We've got your back(s).
This is too heartbreaking !
I’d post Ruby’s owners name and information…why hadn’t this gone viral?
Is something being done to honor “Ruby” and address the matter of her “former” owner?! This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sonoma County has been failing over and over in SO MANY WAYS!
You hit the nail on the head. Animals are not things or mere means to human ends, they are ends in themselves. They are individuals with dignity.