Animals as “sentient beings” in the new Chilean Constitution. Animals #NotFurniture

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Did you know that Chilean law consider animals to be “movable property”? Yes, even though it seems unbelievable, it is a reality:
legally speaking, animals may be treated as objects or things, wich leaves them unprotected when they are victims of abuses and agressions.

Animales are not furniture. They are not things, objects or private property. Animals are our friends, our companions and they are even part of our families. That’s why the new Chilean Constitution should recognised them as “sentient beings”, so they may receive the moral consideration and respect that they deserve.

It has been some time since science has noted that animales are capable of feeling pain, pleasure, fear, and other emotions including stress. Our laws are obsolete and do not reflect this scientific assertion: the chilean Civil Code defines animales as “movable property”. That’s the reason why we want to take this first step moving towards taking advantage of the new Constitution which our government has recently announced. We demand that our legislators include in the new Constitution an article that describe animals as “sentient beings”, instead of things or properties. This first step would open up future discussion about animal rights and will lay the foundation for progress in other areas such as criminalizing animal abuse, irrresponsable ownership, commercial mistreatment, to name a few.

It should also be pointed that in the article n° 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, document considered the constitutional charter for the European Union, animals are describe as “sentient beings”. This has been replicated by constitutions and civil codes in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Catalonia, among others. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness (2012), a group of scientists liderated by Stephen Hawking went a step further and proposed that besides having the capacity to feel, many animals may also be conscious of themselves and their own existence. (should have a footnote so readers can verify these references referred to above).

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