Animals have as many rights at you have: none.
Well, that's a comforting thought (I'm sure your the life of parties and other such social functions).
I'm pretty much talking about domesticated animals like dogs and cats and goldfish. Not so much deer and elk and that kind of beast.
Animals do have souls and we will see them again when we die and go to Heaven. They will meet us on the rainbow bridge. I have seen images of my dead loved ones holding their beloved pets from behind the grave. This is indisputable. We not only live on after death, but so do our beloved pets, because nothing that is loved can ever truly die.
I agree too, to a point. I like what a (RC) nun told me when I was 9; my parents had just had my dog (whom I called my "brother" since he was my best friend) "put to sleep" (why do parents lie to their kids? I was afraid to go to sleep for weeks after that), and I was sitting on our front porch, crying.
A nun walked by (in traditional habit, no less...this was the late 1960s), saw me crying, and sat down next to me to ask me what was wrong. I told her, and gthen I asked her, "Will my dog go to heaven?"
At the time I didn't yet know that the traditional RCC teaches that animals do not have souls, but this nun said to me, "In Heaven we are supremely happy. If you need your dog to be supremely happy in Heaven, God will make sure he is there"
I never forgot her telling me that...I just wish her church agreed with her on that. I find a lot of Catholics feel as she does, and as you (Robb) do; yet the church teaches the exact opposite. An Orthodox friend (also an animal lover) suspects the reason why the traditional RCC was so hostile to animals and so insistent that man was superior, animals didn't matter, etc was due, ironically, to the influence of Calvinism on Roman Catholicism....which was a new thought for me.