Here in the natural habitat of The Curmudgeon, I guess we’re what you call animal lovers. I’m personally not militant about it, but I think animals are cool and we should probably keep them around, and when I hear about “vanishing species” and animal abuse, it really gets my goat. So I was tickled to hear that Switzerland is considering giving animals the right to legal representation. This could really happen. Orwell’s Animal Farm come to life: “Four legs good; two legs bad.”
You know what this means? There’s gonna be more lawyers. Packs of them. Whenever there’s a new addition to the legal system, specialized lawyers spring up from nowhere and everywhere. They’ll come out of the woodwork. Entire litters of pre-law students will shift their classes to animal law. You couldn’t make more lawyers if you started a vigorous repopulation program. Have them mate in captivity then return them to the wild, just like they’re doing with the wood rat in Key Largo.
And it could spread around the world with an unstoppable momentum. There will be animal lawyers everywhere and it will be fabulous. Milk cows can sue for “cruel and unusual punishment,” and Pigs will give a teary, heartfelt speech from the witness stand, “He forces me to live in squalid conditions. It’s like…a sty, you know? Just mud. And I’m supposed to wallow in it? I don’t think so.”
Oh, the possibilities are endless. And eventually legal rights will be extended to lower species. Before you know it rights will be extended to crustaceans…then to worms. Yes, even two-headed hermaphroditic invertebrates will have a voice. And what of plants? Aren’t they living things? Don’t they have feelings? You bet they do. And they feel it when we pull them out of the ground and eat them without mercy. Free the turnips, I say!
Well, I for one hope this all comes to pass. I think I might have a new career here. I’ll get cases, even if I have to chase the city’s “dog catcher” trucks. My phone number will be 1-800-274-8837. That’s
1-800-CRITTER. I’ll have a slogan in my advertising to attract new animal clients. I’ve written the slogan already:
“Hoof & Mouth. Your Hoof, My Mouth.”