It was five hundred years ago that he took the first step to change the world. On the last day of October in 1517, allegedly, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberger, a small town in present-day Germany. The monk opposed the strictly religious society that succumbed only to the words of God and his followers. Anyone who stood against the Almighty faced trial for his sins.
Yet he decided on disobedience. His writings wronged the world in which only the religious and the rich were afforded the right to be educated and the right to be forgiven. The illiterate relied on the priests’ interpretation of the Bible and the poor could not afford education or redemption. A few months later, in January 1518, some friends of Luther translated the “Ninety-five Theses” from Latin into German, spreading his voice throughout Europe.
Half a century passed, and people learned that a right is not a possession. Therefore, people have the right to claim the rights that they deserve notwithstanding who they are and what they have. The deed of one man was all that was needed to make a change in the world, and vice versa. An uncapped dog bit a man. The 53-year-old man died of sepsis. The correlation between the two incidents could not be proved with a definite answer. Nonetheless, the fame of the dog’s owner and one man’s death together were enough to inflame a public debate over the extent to which the owner is responsible for the misbehavior of his pet.
The public outcry over human rights raises another hard question today: animal rights. Whether the pet animal is regarded a possession or a companion, the owner should be held accountable for the harm done to the community. Henceforth, the simplest solution to prevent animal crimes would be to enforce the regulations regarding safety equipment on pets on stroll.
The animal right that protects freedom of movement endangers the safety of human pedestrians. In our human-dominant society, the former succumbs to the latter. An important lesson here is not that the owners should fight for their animals’ rights. Rather, it is crucial that that they rethink their relationship with their pets, because a true companion would not sacrifice the rights of their animal companions for companionship.