Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Making A Monkey Of The Law!

Just A Bunch Of Regular Guys?
Plato once wrote about rights and equality that matters would go so far the "even domestic pets will rise on their hind legs and demand equality".

A few years ago I was reminded of his words when I read of a move to ban the docking of dog's tails. Quite right too, in my opinion, as this is a cruel practice. But this was not a decision based on the cruelty involved, but on the basis that as dogs show happiness by wagging their tails, docking infringes upon their right to freedom of expression. Domestic pets now enjoy the right to freedom of expression. I am not actually saying that this is wrong, I am simply pointing out that Plato got it right. I wonder what else he will be proven right about..... That's a thought that makes me shudder.

Today I learn from the BBC that a New York court has been asked to give 'legal person' status to a chimpanzee. The Nonhuman Rights Project wants a chimp named Tommy to be granted "legal personhood" and thus to be entitled to the "fundamental right of bodily liberty". The group wants Tommy, and 3 other chimps to be released from captivity. Again, I'm right behind them on the motive, but because keeping animals in captivity is generally a cruel thing, not because they are really chaps like us.

I am going to put Plato's hat on now, and make a prediction.

There are often difficult issues when a person passes away and leaves money to a pet. It happens, and relatives sometimes dispute the will. I think I know where we are going with this.

I predict that in the not so distant future, there will exist a form of civil partnership that one can enter into with a pet, thus giving a legal status which ensures that the pet can inherit.

If that sounds crazy, then how about a New York court being asked to grant 'person status' to a chimp? It is crazy, but it is happening now.

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