I seem to recall, however, that through the end of slavery in the mid-19th century, slaves were considered property, and it was not uncommon for lawsuits to be brought against a party that caused death or injury to the property of the slaveowners.
There is also that tricky issue of the point of origin of the tainted pet food, China. What are we gonna do? Nuke 'em? Try getting them to admit to any culpability in this.
While no humans have (yet) to be stricken as a result of this incident, it has been hinted at a number of times by the media that there is a high probability that the tainted product may have found itself into the human food supply, yet it has been downplayed to the degree that we have thus far avoided the panic that accompanied Europe's mad cow scare.
As the globalization of of basic commodities continues, someone in the War Room better be keeping a close watch on this, as the next time it happens (and there will be a next time), it might well be baby food or good ol' apple pie.
One thing is certain, don't trust the authorities who have tried to deliberately downplay the extent of this contamination. Upton Sinclair is long dead, and it isn't likely that anyone will sound the alarm in time.