Dogs react to the world around them in a manner eerily similar to human children. That includes their reasoning level, emotional maturity, and ability to interact with humans. The question that’s being asked is:
If dogs are proven in the near future to be sentient on the level of human children, should they cease to be legally treated as property, or as animals?
The New York Times recently published this study by neuro-scientist Dr. Gregory Bern that, after years of study, may break open the world of canine-human interaction forever. Should this study, or others, discover that indeed our canine companions are no longer just “dumb animals,” where will that lead? Will other highly intelligent beings like whales, dolphins, horses, and many farm animals be similarly studied and categorized as such?
This not only excites me as a lifelong dog companion, but as a staunch animal welfare advocate and vegetarian.