A New York judge has approved a petition to consider making chimpanzees are legal persons!
- The Case That Could Change Things
This approval has occurred due to a case concerning two chimpanzees called Leo and Hercules who have had medical experiments conducted on them at the Stony Brook University in Long Island. The University has to make an appearance in court at a later date to provide a good reason why the two chimpanzees have been interned. However, it has been requested that the two chimpanzees are set free so that they can stay at Save the Chimps, a Florida sanctuary, where they can be with over 200 other chimpanzees in a habitat that mimics their natural African environment. Hopefully this will happen. The Nonhuman Rights Project is an organization working very hard through common law to gain legal rights for animals. Instead of viewing animals as objects, they fight for animals to be given rights such as bodily integrity. The Hercules and Leo case was brought forward by the Nonhuman Rights Project so that they can be freed. This is the first time in history that an Order to Show Cause has been granted, resulting in a hearing that will be held on 27 May 2015.
- Why Animals Need Human Rights
Giving animals legal personhood really means giving them human rights. Although it is a controversial subject, this really just ensures that animals are given basic rights, among them being that they are not property but individuals, and they are protected so that they can live their lives freely instead of being at risk of suffering at the hands of human beings. This is especially important if we consider that animals feel a range of emotions, just like us. Think of how cows have best friends and feel anxious when they are not together. Think of how your pet dog will walk over to you and rest his head on your lap when he can sense that you are sad. Think of how chimpanzees contain 90 percent of human DNA. But even other animals should have human rights, such as those raised on farms who are kept in cages and reared for their fur or to become food for humans, as well as animals that end up in the circus to provide entertainment. Giving animals human rights makes sense. After all, isn’t it our responsibility to look out for those beings on the planet who cannot voice their feelings and opinions? So much is spoken about saving the environment, the oceans, and the ozone layer, and those things cannot speak yet they require our diligent work to heal the planet. The same goes for animals.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons