If the Magna Carta marked the birth of human rights, today we may have reached its apotheosis. In Spain, or at least in one Spanish town, politicians have just voted overwhelmingly in favor of creating what are effectively human rights for dogs and cats.
The town council in Trigueros del Valle, a municipality of about 330 people in the Castile and León region, voted unanimously to define dogs and cats as “non-human residents”, giving them rights similar to men and women.
“Dogs and cats have been living among us for over a 1,000 years,” said Pedro Pérez Espinosa, the town’s Socialist mayor. “And the mayor must represent not just the human residents but must also be here for the others.”
Animal rights groups celebrated the new-found protection for pets. “Today, we are closer as species and we are now more human thanks to the sensitivity and intelligence shown by the people of Trigueros del Valle,” said Rescate 1, a group that campaigns for animal rights. “This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike.”