ARTICLE: THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF COMPANION ANIMALS: A LEGAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR SPECIAL VALUATION Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2002 Animal Law 
Animal Law

ARTICLE: THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF COMPANION ANIMALS: A LEGAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR SPECIAL VALUATION

2002

8 Animal L. 199

Author

By Geordie Duclker *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION
 
Animals are personal property, and, as personal property, they have value. 1 Many animals have a very well-defined value, called "market value"; because humans eat cows, for example, the cost of a cow is whatever the free market will bear. Interesting legal questions rarely arise with queries as to the cost of cows. Because humans do not eat dogs but instead keep them as companions, on the other hand, the cost of a dog is much more difficult to determine; we tend to treat the value of our meals and the value of our friends very differently. Interesting legal questions often arise with queries as to the value of friendship.

Concealed within an assessment of a dog's worth are several complex legal puzzles. One asks just how the value of an animal companion is to be measured or calculated as distinct from the value of an animal as a market good. Another asks whether each different type of animal has a different value. This article attempts to confront at least those two puzzles in particular. It specifically addresses the modern challenge in American law of determining the special economic value of those animals that we do not eat but with whom we tend to surround ourselves in public and private, that is, the animals found in our zoos and in our homes.

It is not necessary to make such an economic appraisal in the form of a polemic for or against keeping pets ...
 
 
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