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Why Is It A Crime To Stomp On A Goldfish? Harm, Victimhood And The Structure Of Anti-Cruelty Offenses, Luis E. Chiesa Mar 2008

Why Is It A Crime To Stomp On A Goldfish? Harm, Victimhood And The Structure Of Anti-Cruelty Offenses, Luis E. Chiesa

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In the article it is argued that, contrary to what prominent animal law scholars such as Gary Francione claim, we have decided to criminalize harm to animals primarily because we are concerned about the wellbeing of such creatures, not because doing so furthers some other human interest. I do so in four parts.

Part I provides a brief historical analysis of animal cruelty laws that will show that, although many of these statutes were originally enacted as a way to protect private property, there has been a marked trend, specially in recent times, to punish animal cruelty regardless, and sometimes ...