The group In Defense of Animals has succeeded in convincing the Rhode Island Legislature that pets are not our property and we are not their owners, reports Focus on the Family's Citizen Link. The animal-rights activists convinced the legislators that they should recognize humans as "guardians" rather than "owners" of pets. "What Rhode Island has done…is to create an equal moral worth between human life and animal life," said .Wesley J. Smith, a consumer advocate who writes on medical ethics.
One effect could be the end of animals in medical studies. Smith said it opens the door to other possibilities. "There are explicit proposals on the table that instead of using animals in some research, we use disabled people," Smith said.