I recently ran across an NBC Connecticut video news piece that raised my hackles. A deceased Virginia woman’s will gave specific instructions that her healthy pet dog was to be euthanized and placed in her casket for burial. Put aside that Virginia law, as do many states, prohibits this burial practice.
What this story highlights yet again is the controversial issue of pets as personal property versus having rights not just as a cognitive animal, but for many people as a full family member. For some people, even kids.
I asked CCBS’ Scientific Advisory Board member and world renowned ethologist Dr. Mark Bekoff to comment on this story.
Marc, who is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals immediately replied “REPREHENSIBLE.”
Marc sent me his past article entitled Should Zoo Workers and Veterinarians Kill Healthy Animals? and asked me to share this with everyone. The article starts, “Many people are not aware of two practices in which healthy animals are killed. These are "management euthanasia," practiced as standard operating procedure by some zoos, and "convenience euthanasia," practiced by some veterinarians.”
There is much to learn from all of this and I hope that you will take a few minutes to delve into this.