I was happy to vote for a recent Vancouver city council resolution that affirmed “a commitment to progressive animal welfare” as part of the city’s ethical purchasing policies. It passed unanimously.

But it got me thinking about applying the same standards to human beings, especially those who happen to be homeless.

The animal rights policy, moved by Councillor Pete Fry, promises the city will respect “Five Freedoms” identified by the BC SPCA, Humane Canada and the Canadian Medical Veterinary Association: freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst; freedom from fear and distress; freedom from physical and thermal discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; and freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.