And really, why not?
Humans have always decided what happens to animals without the creatures themselves having a say. What if that changed?
That provocative question is the subject of a recent article in its journal Analysis. Chicago-based attorney Ioan-Radu Motoarcă argues in the paper and an accompanying public-facing essay that though animal cruelty laws have in some ways improved our fellow critters' lives, the world is overall not that much kinder to animals now than it was before those regulations. His idea? Granting animals voting rights by appointing human representatives to vote for them, seeking to serve their interests.
"Thus, monkeys, parrots, and other creatures in the Amazonian forests in Brazil would have a say in the adoption or rejection of laws impacting their environment," the attorney wrote. "Pigs, cows, and chickens on animal farms would have a say on laws related to their life conditions."
Motoarcă acknowledges in his paper that the concept "sounds preposterous," but argues that the radical proposal could be considered a "natural outcome of our fundamental democratic commitments."
Centuries of Concern
It's certainly an interesting argument — to say the very least — though of course, internet culture warriors made a point to poke fun at it.
To be fair, it's a bit hazy how the system would work in practice. Who would decide which specific human representatives would represent each animal, and what their values were? At the end of the day, wouldn't it just be a bunch of humans arguing about what's best for animals, which is the current situation?
Even just treated as a thought experiment, though, it is true that humans tend to animals and their habitats pretty horribly. And at the end of the day, all accepted ideas about governance — like that women or non-white people should vote, or heck, democracy itself — were once radical ideas. So even if this one might be a bit out there, maybe it's worth listening to some well-intentioned ideas from the fringes.
More on animals: Autopsy Found That Neuralink Implant "Ruptured" Monkey's Brain
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