Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In Spain, Chimps and Apes to Get Same Rights as Humans

Spain proposes legislation granting "rights" to man's closest relative.

SPAIN is not the first country that springs to mind as a land of animal lovers - it is better known for bullfighting and the large number of stray cats and dogs on its streets.

But that image is set for a change. Today, the Spanish parliament will consider a resolution granting higher primates the same rights to life and freedom as humans.

The resolution recognising the rights of apes, chimpanzees and orang-utans has been put forward by Francisco Garrido, a bioethicist and member of the Green Party. It has the support of the socialist PSOE party and seems certain to become law.

The resolution adheres to the ideals of the Great Ape Project, which recognises our closest genetic relatives as part of a "community of equals". If voted through, it will make Spain the first national legislature to give such rights to non-humans.

Under Spanish law, animals, including higher primates, are deemed to be "owned". Under Mr Garrido's resolution, they would come under moral guardianship, meaning apes could effectively be made "wards of the state" if they were under threat or being mistreated.

Any new laws protecting apes in Spain would put pressure on other European countries to follow suit.

The Catholic Church initially opposed the legislation, with Fernando Sebastian, the Archbishop of Pamplona, saying it was ludicrous to grant apes rights not enjoyed by unborn children - a reference to Spanish abortion laws.

However, he has since said his remarks had been taken out of context and that he now supported the resolution.

Yesterday, Greenpeace Spain added its backing to the proposed new law. "

The critics of this initiative are repeating the arguments of 150 years ago against the abolitionist movement that sought an end to slavery or when the suffragette movement wanted the vote for women," a spokesman, Miguel Angel Soto, said.

The Great Ape Project was founded in the United States in 1993 by philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri. They said apes were so close to humans they deserved rights to life, freedom and not to be tortured. "When a loved one dies, they grieve for a long time. They can solve complex puzzles that stump most two-year-old humans," Mr Singer said.

The Spanish parliament's move today will set a precedent for greater legal protection for other animals, including elephants, whales and dolphins, according to Paul Waldau, the director of the Centre for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. "It isn't easy for us to see how far that expansion will go, but it's very clear we need to expand beyond humans," he said.

Note the name Peter Singer
. Remember him? He is a Princeton professor who advocates allowing parents 21 days (a trial period if you will) to kill their newborns. Especially useful if the child is handicapped or in some other way fails to meet his parents' expectations.

What next? Interspecies marriage? Employment rights for animals? Voting rights? I noticed also that the Church now supports this measure? What an outrage.


Anonymous said...

The world has gone nuts. I don't know how to put it any other way.

qlinger said...

I thought that apes were already protected. Didn't one just get a light sentence for crashing his car in washington D.C. And didn;t they just strike down the flag burning amendment.

Madeline said...

Good one qlinger!

Will apes, granted equal rights, also be granted equal responsibility under the law? Pay taxes, have to enroll their offspring in public schools, etc?

Has Spain considered that if this resolution passes apes will be immigrating to Spain from all over the world, and claiming refugee status?

As a "humanitarian" I suggest you being a campaign to sponsor ape relocation to Spain. Put a "donate here" meter on your web-site! ROTFLOL!!!

Petrus said...


I think that apes generally homeschool their children and don't have an income. Hence, they will be on welfare, and their children sent to fostercare to be wards of the state.

I'll donate to the ape relocation program!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, now. Seriously.
Why are you surprised, outraged, indignant, etc.?
I mean what do you honestly expect?
The world has rejected Christ as King.
Spain, once His most loyal demesne,
has already REJECTED Him.
What do you honestly expect?
Allow Our Lord, if you will, to mete out His Justice.
How does God punish? By giving us over to our own sordid desires and perversions. He lets us 'have our way', as it were, if that is what we earnestly seek.
Spain must suffer. Christ has suffered once, never to do so again.
By His suffering, Spain may yet be saved.
Yet only as they choose.

SurgiteetCoffeamOlfacite said...

You would see the justice of this decision if only you had paid more attention to "Planet of the Apes." Just kidding. the sad thing is that this never results in bestowing greater dignity to the apes but rather to dragging down the dignity of mankind,. it is no longer the image and likeness of God that makes a person valued but his ability to solve complex puzzles and peel bananas. I'm reminded of "That Hideous Strength" by C. S. Lewis.

Petrus said...

It gets worse. This website is dedicated to granting apes rights on the basis that specism is equivalent to sexism and racism. Their syllogism goes something along the lines: women were demeaned the same way that apes are demeaned, hence we should give apes the same rights as women.

Feminazis are bad enough, but ape feminazies??? Can the world take it?

Thomas Shawn said...

Is this surprising in a country that recognizes homosexuals as being married? Massachusetts take note.

How about shoving a spike into the skulls of chimp babies and sucking out their brains? Us humans wait for the right not be murdered like that.

Felix said...

the most significant thing is that the Catholic archbishop has said he supports the legislation

what hope for a mad world when even the Church's pastors abandon reason?

WICatholic said...

I seriously would have to read the WORDS of the Archbishop before I totally buy the Scotsman's sole word on it, especially when this is preceeded by 'The Catholic Church' inclusive. He does not speak for 'The Catholic Church' on this matter, anymore than any other individual prelate or lay person does.

Anyone can throw a sentence or two into an article and cast aspersions on the Church in this manner, but few will take it further by trying to follow up on that statement to find out if it is even true. Just because it is in print somewhere does not at all mean that proves its veracity.