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It`s Time That Chimp`s & Other Animals Have Rights

Steven Wise-a lawyer who”s made it his mission to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.

His argument is that great apes, elephants and chimpanzees display enough cognitive abilities to understand traits like empathy, right from wrong and have the ability to remember and form memories. As humans we share 99% of the same DNA as chimpanzees, yet our worlds are vastly different.

“I want non-human animals to be known as persons, not people, but person. And they”re going to be rights bearers.”

That”s not to say we need to be fearful of a Planet Of The Apes scenario, but we could (and more importantly should) start making greater concessions for our primate brothers and sisters.

If you need further convincing of Wise”s argument, that animals are persons too, watch this brief documentary. He outlines the profound effect giving them freedoms, liberties and rights could have on the mental wellbeing, as well as how it could strengthen our unique bond with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom.

Via New York Times

“”I want non-human animals to be known as persons, not people, but person. And they”re going to be rights bearers.””

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Category: Misc
Date: 05/30/15 06:12 AM

30 Responses to It`s Time That Chimp`s & Other Animals Have Rights

  1. Profile photo of diemorondie
    diemorondie Female 18-29
    648 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 5:22 am
    Link: It`s Time That Chimp`s & Other Animals Have Rights - ``I want non-human animals to be known as persons, not people, but person. And they`re going to be rights bearers.``
  2. Profile photo of robthelurker
    robthelurker Male 18-29
    2861 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 6:41 am
    and ANTS!! dont forget the ants!!!
  3. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 6:46 am
    I don`t know if designating them as people is the way to go. I think we need to recognize that animals like apes, elephants, dolphins etc. are of a higher intelligence than other animals. As such, they can suffer as a result of captivity. I think the trick is to have a new designation. Something that encapsulates their particular needs without having to fight the stigma of a "Person" designation.

    Humans tend to personify things and some people can take it too far. That can instantly turn off people who are less compassionate. However, that doesn`t mean that it`s okay to treat animals of higher intelligence, poorly. I think he`s on the right track but needs to dial it back a bit if we wants to get everyone behind him.
  4. Profile photo of irunfast86
    irunfast86 Male 18-29
    404 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 6:55 am
    somewhere, someone is screaming at their computer "I TOLD YOU! THIS SLIPPERY SLOPE WAS STARTED WHEN COLORDS GOT RIGHTS. MONKEYS ARE GONNA BE HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE ALONG WITH COLORDS AND WOMEN SHORTLY." okay okay, i`m screaming that. bunch of tree hugging motha dratas.
  5. Profile photo of irunfast86
    irunfast86 Male 18-29
    404 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 6:57 am
    the curse filter on here is ridiculous. you dummies allow 18+ posts but won`t let us curse?!?! almost 300 posts and this still bothers me.
  6. Profile photo of madduck
    madduck Female 50-59
    7596 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:09 am
    If you are interested there is some interesting stuff by Tom Regan in `The Case for Animal Rights` ( 1983..) which is worth reading extracts from. sorry- can`t quote as it is a memory from a couple of modules back. Mary Midgely wrote well on the subject and probably easier for some on here to agree with. Yes- animals should have rights- but I agree with Patch in that legal personhood could be tough. Plus we would have to list things by species-which will end up being a continuous job as we discover more about animals minds, sapience and moral codes.
  7. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    356 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:12 am
    Rights and responsibilities are inseparable. My right not to be harmed implies a responsibility not to harm others. Those who cannot (children) or do not (criminals) fulfill their responsibilities are not allowed to exercise their rights.

    What responsibilities will these animals be having toward us that are commensurate with the rights we will be recognizing in them?
  8. Profile photo of BoredFrank
    BoredFrank Male 40-49
    2370 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:16 am
    Hell, if Nicki Minage is recognized as a person, why not elephants and dolphins?
  9. Profile photo of LordJim
    LordJim Male 60-69
    7046 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:17 am
    patchouly,

    I`m inclined to agree. Primates and cetaceans clearly demonstrate traits we traditionally have seen as defining humans; self-awareness, complex social behaviour, forward planning, deception, guilt, grief, learning from observation and being complete arseholes when it suits them.

    But why should intelligence, however defined, be the only characteristic for more humane treatment? It`s going to be tough when the results are announced; `Ok, chimps that`s a pass. Bonobos, you`re through. Gorillas, you`re good. Oranutans, pass. Lemurs, sorry guys. You`re screwed. It was the tool use section of the test that you messed up. You can re-apply in 100,000 years.`

    And if an animal makes it into the `special` category does that entail responsibilities as well as rights? Are dophins going to be brought to justice for rape but not ducks?

    In principal it makes sense but in practice it will be interesting.
  10. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:36 am
    @LordJim,
    Yeah, this is the reason I suggest a special category for these animals. Not the full rights of a person. Most of the animals listed suffer greatly in captivity. Much the same way we would in the same situation. In a case such as this, they need to have the right to not be held in such a fashion.

    I think we need to reexamine the way we view these animals and the way we treat them. I`m not sure we need to go as far as giving them "person" rights.
  11. Profile photo of chicagojay
    chicagojay Male 40-49
    2018 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 7:41 am
    Almost, but not quite convinced. We already have anti-cruelty laws but I will ponder on the need for more. As of now..... denied.
  12. Profile photo of Listypoos
    Listypoos Male 40-49
    3069 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 8:12 am
    I agree with everything you`ve said so far, Patch.

    Although I`m not sure where I`d draw the line, because quite frankly I`d happily beat to death every rat on the planet
  13. Profile photo of Agent00Smith
    Agent00Smith Male 18-29
    2581 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 8:46 am
    BoredFrank, I salute you sir.
  14. Profile photo of BoredFrank
    BoredFrank Male 40-49
    2370 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 9:08 am
    I return your salute, good sir!
  15. Profile photo of papajon0s1
    papajon0s1 Male 40-49
    579 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 9:46 am
    Are the liberals really this desperate for more voters and taxpayers? hee-hee! :)
  16. Profile photo of Oystah
    Oystah Female 40-49
    4032 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 10:02 am
    How anyone could stand there and watch a living creature suffer, screaming and terrified is beyond me. Tears welled up when I saw that monkey stuffed in a tube and even the grieving chimp. Personification, I don`t know if that`s the right word or term, but to just stop tormenting other living things would be a step in the right direction.
  17. Profile photo of madduck
    madduck Female 50-59
    7596 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 10:33 am
    anteconomist- not necessarily. Not all versions of deontology (?) support thisand this is what Regan bases his argument. It has been a few years and I cannot find the damn stuff I was looking for, but basically an animals has rights because it has expectations...
  18. Profile photo of FoolsPrussia
    FoolsPrussia Male 30-39
    3446 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 11:12 am
    FYI, some nations have already taken certain steps toward this. For instance, India extended the right of "non-human personhood" to dolphins last year and New Zealand granted basic rights to several great apes species in order to forbid testing on them.
  19. Profile photo of normalfreak2
    normalfreak2 Male 18-29
    4039 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    The other thing that doesn`t get taken into consideration that I heard on NPR. The people that use animals hardly ever use Female animals because of how hormones change results of the labs. This is why lots of medications are able to pass the FDA drug standards. The problem is: this causes problems in HUMAN females because most tests are done with male animals and fail to predict how they operate on human females.
  20. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm
    "Are the liberals really this desperate for more voters and taxpayers?"

    They must be. There are dozens of good reasons why animals shouldn`t have human rights. First off with rights come responsibilities, since animals aren`t held accountable for their actions, don`t have jobs, don`t pay taxes, etc.. they aren`t responsible. Also animals don`t have a voice, they can`t express themselves, like we can. Animals also can not give consent, nor could they protect themselves legally.

    Animals have protections and that`s a lot better both legally and circumstantially for them. These crackpot animal rights people need a cranial enema.
  21. Profile photo of FoolsPrussia
    FoolsPrussia Male 30-39
    3446 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm
    There are dozens of reasons why children shouldn`t have basic human rights. They can`t be expected to vote or pay taxes, and are too weak to work. They aren`t responsible for their actions, and the young ones can`t even talk! They can`t even give legal consent without an "adult."
  22. Profile photo of ssalty
    ssalty Male 60-69
    228 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm
    I can hear Faux News now: "There was a terrible breech of `species correctness` today when the Speaker of the House called the Democratic representative an "ass". Equine International is investigating."

    I practice kindness toward animals and hate to hear of them being abused. But there are limits. During my life I have had to put several pets down. Can`t do that with Grandma! Should we ban pet euthanasia now?
  23. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6238 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    If he`s basing `personhood` on cognitive abilities, I know quite a few people on I-A-B that would not qualify.

    AntEconomist-Rights and responsibilities are inseparable...
    Hey, using Logic and Reason here on I-A-B is like shooting Mongo...you`re just going to make people angry. (Excellent reasoning, though)

    Oystah-How anyone could stand there and watch a living creature suffer
    Reasonble people can`t. But then reasonble people shouldn`t listen to Nicki Minage, either.

    CrakrJak-aren`t held accountable for their actions, don`t have jobs, don`t pay taxes, etc.. they aren`t responsible
    See, the perfect liberal voter. Hell, that describes pretty much any person Obama has appointed.
  24. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm
    MeGrendel: "See, the perfect liberal voter. Hell, that describes pretty much any person Obama has appointed."

    LOL :-)
  25. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7749 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm
    One or two are confusing rights with giving animals jobs, houses, cars and so on. It`s more about not stuffing monkeys into tubes so they can test make-up and cigarettes for the vain and ignorant so-called intellegent species.
  26. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6238 posts
    May 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm
    drawman61-One or two are confusing rights with giving animals jobs, houses, cars and so on.
    Actually, we`re not. We`re just having fun with this guys reasoning, as some people are confused about what constitutes `rights`.

    Some people believe they have a `right` to never be offended or never be harmed.. Sorry, this is not a `right`.

    Some people would bestow `rights` to animals. Some people would deem that plants have `rights`, as if an onion has a right to `not` be eaten.

    While the image of a fluffy bunny being tortured is horrid, truth is they make up only 2.6% of animal tests & monkeys/apes make up 0.09%. Specially bred rodents make up 75%. The rest are cold-blooded, birds, etc.

    And the benefits of such testing have saved millions.
  27. Profile photo of Sleepyhallow
    Sleepyhallow Male 50-59
    1983 posts
    May 31, 2014 at 12:07 am
    If an inanimate object can be a person , then so can an animal.
    At least an animal is a living, breathing, entity.
  28. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14652 posts
    May 31, 2014 at 12:09 am
    Kill them all.
  29. Profile photo of An-egg
    An-egg Male 30-39
    885 posts
    May 31, 2014 at 10:36 am
    Something something something... right to arm bears.
  30. Profile photo of geckohead
    geckohead Female 50-59
    591 posts
    May 30, 2015 at 6:15 am
    I know what`s NOT human, IAB! You guys still suck.

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