This kind of thinking drives me nuts. First, we don’t treat animals as mere things or as being akin to inanimate objects.
The issue is known as “animal standing,” and activists want to let beasts sue in court to “break the species barrier.”
“Animal standing” is really a Trojan horse to allow animal rights extremists to seek court rulings enforcing their own ideology.
A “manifesto” in the science journal Human Evolution declares that chimpanzees and bonobos should be considered legal “persons” with legally enforceable “rights.”
Wesley Smith commented earlier on the struggle, via litigation by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP), to grant human-like “rights” to an elephant in the Bronx Zoo.