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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Very Humano-centric!

Via Ann Althouse, cheerfully. People are having fun in the comments on her post. Are they juveniles under the law? Adults? Can they be tried for murdering people?

Spain Herald article:

The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans.

The party will announce its Great Ape Project at a press conference tomorrow. An organization with the same name is seeking a UN declaration on simian rights which would defend ape interests "the same as those of minors and the mentally handicapped of our species."
Well, since the Europeans seem to be trending toward the euthanasia of impaired children, equality for simians under the law might not be a good thing. In The Netherlands, the approved action might be euthanasia on the grounds that they will live a short, brutish life. It's all about "quality of life", you know!

But what really interests me are the grounds for this decision. Isn't it awfully politically incorrect to rate animals' by their degree of shared DNA with us? Are elephants less able to empathize? Less intelligent? What about dolphins? I would not have thought that the Spanish Socialists would be this retrograde in their thinking!


Comments:
An organization with the same name is seeking a UN declaration on simian rights which would defend ape interests "the same as those of minors and the mentally handicapped of our species." Which would give the simians a lot more rights than unborn children in many places. And they share 100% of our DNA.
 
Absolutely true!

I've been hunting for this statement by some sort of Dutch government official recommending forced sterilizations and abortions.
 
In an apparently unrelated incident, Ace quotes the following news story and adds commentary:

"'ARMED Sierra Leonean police are hunting up to 20 chimpanzees which killed a local taxi driver and injured three American visitors after they broke out of a wildlife sanctuary.
The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in forested hills outside the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, where the incident happened, has been closed since Sunday's attack by the screaming and excited apes, which mobbed and mauled the four men.'

Liberals immediately reacted with horror to this clear-cut case of species profiling. A spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center stated that we need to examine the 'root causes' of killer chimp behavior, such as poverty, a lack of education and job opportunities, and US support for Israel."
 
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