So what does all of this portend for the way we treat our fellow creatures? And for the thousands of animals subjected each year to painful laboratory experiments? Or the millions of domestic animals raised under the most inhumane conditions and destined for slaughter and human consumption? Should we discourage the sale and purchase of fur coats? What about fox hunting in the English countryside, bull fighting in Spain? Should wild lions be caged in zoos?
Such questions are being raised. Harvard and 25 other U.S. law schools have introduced law courses on animal rights, and an increasing number of animal rights lawsuits are being filed. Germany recently became the first nation to guarantee animal rights in its constitution.