“In my house we are five. Mom, dad, brother, dog and cat,” a five-year-old boy replied to the enumerator when he heard that he had asked How many of your family members. “It seems to me a complete lack of consideration that they do not include Pets in the census. They are part of the house and it is very difficult to maintain them,” complains one of the many netizens who have vented their anger on the little bird’s social network for Invisibility of the four-legged furry in the questionnaire.
The Sandra Mercado experience was different. When they asked her about the ages of six members of her family group, she doubted whether they were all of legal age. “It’s putting that all three are minors, but we’re counting the dog as an adult because it’s already 12 years old,” he said, puzzled by the census official. I asked him to write “Multi-species family”indicating that he could explain it in his own handwriting in parentheses Two people and four people (Three dogs and one cat).
According to the latest 2018 Annual Household Survey, only 475,000 dogs and 295,000 cats live in homes in Buenos Aires, so it is estimated that One in every two households has a pet. The dog population increased 10.4% between 2014 and 2018 and the cat population increased by 18%, according to data from City Pets.
In 2016, the Matanza Riachuelo (Akumar) Basin Authority carried out regional work to assess the environmental situation in the area. The municipalities of Avellaneda, Merlo, San Vicente, Cañolas and La Matanza were taken as a representative sample. found that there One pet for every three residents.
Why isn’t this key variable measured in many homes? “We do not have records in other world censuses on the subject of pets. They have to be studied. It is a topic of discussion, as well as many other questions that could be included. It is not a topic to think about today but Can be discussed for inclusion in 2030“, reply from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) before consulting Clarion.
For Elena Liberatore, President of the Administrative and Tax Controversial Court No. 4 of the City of Buenos Aires, the inclusion of this topic would be interesting. “This week’s survey focused on housing and social issues, but Coexistence with living organisms has not been inquired about The census shows the daily life in our lives‘,” Judge refers to this newspaper and omits the term pet because it tends to be skeptical.
Liberatori was the judge who, in 2015, admitted for the first time in the world that an animal is not human: the orangutan Sandra, who left the Buenos Aires Zoo after four years.
Judge Elena Liberatore (center) as she went to bid farewell to the truck that transported the orangutan Sandra, in 2019. Photo: Fernando de Orden/Archive
As with identity, One can perceive oneself as a multispecies family, which would allow the implementation of policies that include non-human comrades. For example, responsible teaching so as not to be abandoned or resolving situations of homeless people who cannot enter to spend the night in a hostel with their dog, which is often the case The only emotional connection. There are institutional imbalances in social assistance for those who are vulnerable because these problems are not taken into account,” the judge describes.
Along the same lines, Andres Gil Dominguez, legal representative of the Association of Officials and Lawyers for the Rights of Animals (AFADA), stated that They should be included because they are people subject to the law With colleges to consider though our civil and commercial law considers them to be things.
“Getting this survey would serve Outline of public policies relating to non-human pets. As a primary focus, it will be necessary for the state to provide primary care, vaccination and sterilization, and education for animal rights so that they are not exposed to more violence,” he envisions.
For many families, pets are just another member. EFE photo/file
They must be monitored to visualize the evolution of Argentina’s many species families and to understand the density of different species in the country. Today, a lot of the monthly expenses of the house go to the animalsReflects Melissa Gonzalez Trajtman, Marketing Director of Vitalcan, who believes that animals are considered part of the family because “there are guidelines for breeding that include comprehensive health care, appropriate food selection, shared entertainment, and other expenses that make up their budget.”
The multispecies family and sentient beings
The concept of the interspecies family arose in a court ruling after the trial of Chubut police officer for the murder of the dog Tita, in March 2019. Judge Gustavo Daniel Castro decided that The owners of the animal were the father and father of this mestizo dog Killed by a police officer while enforcing restrictions based on the quarantine imposed by the Covid pandemic.
Thus, “Tita” was considered as “a non-human person” They realized that they constituted a “multi-species family” due to the integration of the dog (and three other pets) into the daily life of the family. “An animal is no longer a thing but A conscious being who has the right to be respected life “.
Tita, the dog whom the judge in Chubut considered a non-human person.
The feeling It is a scientific concept that is gradually being incorporated into legal norms. It comes from the 2012 Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness, which states that the neurobiological structures that make a person feel pain, sadness or happiness are. The same as that of animals.
The orangutan Sandra was the first animal in the world whose rights were legally recognized. In 2015, the judge declared it a libertarian non-human person The Buenos Aires Zoo ordered her release. Today, Sandra resides at the Great Apes Center in Florida, USA.
Considering Sandra as a legal subject directly means that His capture and his public display as a circus infringer that you have no matter how much you feed it, do not abuse it or subject it to atrocities,” explains Gil Dominguez.
Sandra’s orangutan, at the Florida Center for Great Apes where she lives today. Photo: Great Apes Center
“Sense leads to humans recognizing animals as subjects of the law. He talks to us about A new feelinggeneralized in society, that we need to promote legislative changes so that there is a social conscience that drives legal action,” says Liberatore.
In our legal system, animals are considered under civil and commercial law in object terms Thus, subject to property system. However, jurisprudence such as the case of Sandra or the chimpanzee Cecilia, which was issued in Mendoza thanks to a subpoena, has begun to exist, which Wondering about the concept of an animal being.
“On the one hand, there is legislation that considers animals to be sentient beings and on the other hand, judicial decisions that begin to regard them as non-human persons or persons. It is necessary dismantling the human axis To put regulations where nature is the center,” explains Valeria Perros, an attorney and research associate at Conicet.
Essentially, in European legal systems, animals are seen as sensitive and conscious beings and norms tend to change towards this framework. Indeed, in Spain, Pets have legal status They differ from material goods because they are considered “living things with feeling” and not things, and they are given Consider family members.
Cecilia (right) with another chimpanzee in a sanctuary in Brazil where she lives after being released from the Mendoza Zoo with a subpoena. EFE photo/file
The “no embodied” animal proposal has been added to legislative changes adopted in other countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Canada and New Zealand.
As the French philosopher Jacques Derrida wrote: “The relations between man and animal must change.”