Animals as People

By now you may have heard that a judge in Manhattan has ordered a hearing that will determine whether chimpanzees can be considered "legal persons" in the eyes of the law.

If you hadn't heard this by now, no, I am not making this up.

The case is trying to determine whether the two chimps are being "unlawfully detained" because they are in cages at Stony Brook University. There are groups that support the idea that some animals, such as chimps, are "legal persons" with the right to "bodily liberty."

Critics of such positions contend that nonhuman animals do not have legal rights any more than they have legal responsibilities.

This is not the first case of its kind.

A Spanish parliamentary committee adopted resolutions that would give great apes, such as chimpanzees and gorillas, the right to life, freedom from arbitrary captivity and protection from torture. In other words, the same legal rights as humans.

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Esther

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