A group of 30 Quebec personalities have put their names on a manifesto demanding a change to Quebec's Civil Code, calling for a reconsideration of animals' legal status.
The group is diverse — it includes well-known animal rights advocates like former Hab Georges Laraque and local SPCA director Alanna Devine, media personalities like Julie Snyder and radio host Gilles Proulx, lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, as well as musicians, actors, bloggers and academics.
The statement is calling on Quebec to change the legal status of an animal to account for the fact that animals can feel pleasure and pain — distinct from inanimate objects, which they're currently equal to under the Code.
"Like most people, we believe that animals are not toasters. This view, however, is not shared by our Civil Code," the statement begins. "Quebec law thus assimilates the act of hurting or abusing an animal to the destruction of property. Not only is this concept morally questionable, but it also clashes with how the majority of Quebec citizens think."
They're also asking members of the public to sign it online at animalsarenotobjects.ca.