Lawyers for animals

This is bizarre on so many levels. Should fishing be outlawed because it harms fish? So much for eating healthy. Could one imagine what the implications this would be for eating animals?

Last month, Antoine Goetschel went to court here in defense of an unusual client: a 22-pound pike that had fought a fisherman for 10 minutes before surrendering.

Mr. Goetschel is the official animal lawyer for the Swiss canton of Zurich, a sort of public defender who represents the interests of pets, farm animals and wildlife. He wound up with the pike as a client when animal-welfare groups filed a complaint alleging animal cruelty in the fish's epic battle with an amateur angler.

The case emerged after a local newspaper photo showed the fisherman proudly showing off the four-foot-long fish—a scene that, to Mr. Goetschel, was reminiscent of a safari hunter with his foot perched on the head of a dead lion. "It is this Hemingway thinking," he says. "Why should this be legal when other animals have to be slaughtered in a humane way?"

Mr. Goetschel is the only official animal lawyer in Switzerland, but that may be about to change. On Sunday, the Swiss will vote on a referendum that would compel all of Switzerland's cantons to hire animal lawyers. The rationale: If people accused of mistreating animals can hire lawyers, the victims of such abuse are also entitled to representation. . . .



Blogger Unknown said...

I might consider taking these people somewhat seriously when they begin to stand up in protest against the genocide being perpetrated against trillions of vibrio cholerae, yersinia pestis, corynebacterium diphtheriae, francisella tularensis, haemophilus influenzae, mycobacterium tuberculosis, mycobacterium leprae, and innocent creatures. Who's to say that viruses and bacteria don't have feelings, too?

3/06/2010 8:41 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

It's gotten harder to abuse people. One has to have a good excuse these days. Animal rights and gun control are regarded as legitimate outlets for outrage that can be used to abuse others by those who are abusively inclined.

3/07/2010 7:47 AM  

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