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Thread: Animal Rights

  1. #1
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    Animal Rights

    Chimps may gain limited "person" status in Austria.

    Ok, fine by me, so long as you don't call him a "person." He's a chimp!

    My cat came across to me as a person, and I was very griefed the day she died (and for a while afterwards). No one can tell me she didn't have a personality, didn't get vexed at times, or hold grudges, attempt to manipulate, or communicate (purring, body language, and touch), or that she wasn't clevel enough to get what she wanted. I witnessed every human trait in her except two: higher thought and language.

    While I would endorse any legislation towards protecting the rights of some animals (pets, chimps, etc.), I have to draw a line somewhere, as I am, as nature intended me, a meat-eater, and I'm a fan (to the detriment of my waistline) of Burger King.

    I dunno - thoughts?

  2. #2
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: no unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nothing further than that. Chimps are animals, not people. Thus, the rule applies. Thus, no rights can be extended to them.

    No exceptions.

    Frankly, I'd have no problem with this chimp being turned into hamburgers, if it were done humanely - or, at least as humanely as possible.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    While I would endorse any legislation towards protecting the rights of some animals (pets, chimps, etc.), I have to draw a line somewhere, as I am, as nature intended me, a meat-eater, and I'm a fan (to the detriment of my waistline) of Burger King.

    I dunno - thoughts?
    I agree. Bit even if you take opinion out of the story, the entire premise breaks down.

    They want legal status so that money can be donated to take care of him the rest of his life.
    Legally, money can only be donated to a living person.

    So; If they get their wish, who is going to cash the checks, go buy chimp chow, invest the extra, etc. I would bet it is a currently defined human being. So; how about donating to that human being as a guardian?

    I don't know what the details and legalities are, but this is what I get from the article.

    I think the real story is that they (animal rights activists) are trying to get thier 15 minutes (again).

  4. #4
    Frankly, their plan is impossible, which I think is what you are touching on. Here it is in brief:

    Chimps is declared a person.
    Donations are made to chimp.
    A third party spends that money.

    But it's the chimp's money - only he can spend it, right?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    Frankly, their plan is impossible, which I think is what you are touching on.
    Thank you. I'm not always clear with my thoughts.

  6. #6
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    I think it is an 'Andy Warhol' to make money for the lawyers and animal rights group.
    How much is this case costing?
    Would the money be better spent on the monkeys?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinemarten View Post
    How much is this case costing?
    Would the money be better spent on the monkeys?
    Will you please stop bringing logic into these discussions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    I witnessed every human trait in her except two: higher thought and language.
    Perhaps, it is other way around, and you have witnessed every animal trait in humans

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    I'm a dreamer. I'm all for any entity being declared a 'person' with legal rights. However, there's a catch. The entity/group has to prove themselves - that means; abstract and rational thought.

    Ability to communicate won't cut it - as has been mentioned above.
    Being cute won't cut it (ergo, no rabbits - except Bun-bun)

    This is a stunt by the bleeding hearts to A) keep the chimps where they are, B) prevent them from being put down, and C) open the door to declaring every other creature on the planet 'human'.

    Nothing would please me more than to share the planet with another rational species, but this isn't the way to go about it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Will you please stop bringing logic into these discussions?
    Sorry.
    I bought a new calculator and it doesn't have the apples/oranges button.

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    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    The entity/group has to prove themselves - that means; abstract and rational thought.
    Any arguments as to why this entity must have rights, except that you feel like you dont mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Chimps have been shown to be capable of communication more than once. Especially if you include communication among the group.

    Yeah, I'm all about the trust fund for chimps if someone wants to leave them money. But except on a certain Mastercard commercial, your average non-human animal is not able to buy things in stores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Not so fast there Doodler. Rights are only available for people who agree to recognize and abide by the rights of others. Kids don't have full rights because they aren't at that level of intellect yet. Criminals don't have full rights because they refuse to abide by others having rights - like to their own property and their lives.

    Cats might have personalities like most people and all dogs, but that doesn't mean they are willing to abide by and recognize that birds and mice have a right to life. Actually, I am still affected by the old scifi movie - incredible shrinking man - and I firmly expect that if you suddenly became a mere mouthful in size to your tabby cat - you'd be lunch too.

    As for protection under the law from cruel and unusual treatment, animals have enjoyed that for quite some time now. It's not the same thing as rights and is a prohibition upon man's action - as it cannot be applied to non lawabiding cats carting half dead mice around in their mouths to show off to others.

    It would seem that it would be nice to be able to give money to someone else for the expressed purpose of caring for a beloved critter. And that is doubtlessly possible by contract - even to the point of putting constraints on just how much the care taker can spend on haircuts and new clothes so as to be visually appealing to the critter (LOL) or whatever else the person responsible for dispensing the money might decide is in the best interest of the critter - like a new car to be driven to the vet every year in.

    Even with a communicating critter such as supposedly exists here and there in the monkey community, it's doubtful they would have the understanding and maturity to be able to actually be treated as an adult. Heck, there's quite a few humans around that don't make that cut.

  15. #15
    Where do things stand? Do I have to give up chimp burgers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbacba View Post
    Even with a communicating critter such as supposedly exists here and there in the monkey community, it's doubtful they would have the understanding and maturity to be able to actually be treated as an adult. Heck, there's quite a few humans around that don't make that cut.
    So, no rights for another species unless they acknowledge the human concept of social contract?

    How arrogant.

  17. #17
    Listen, as soon as the chimp complains that he has no rights, I'll give him some. Until then, time to eat. Mmm... chimp...

  18. #18
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    Please
    I'm not demanding rights for any creature - unless it's .. well, Supreme Pizza... er... Canuck said it better. When an entity asks for rights, I'll consider granting them. Note, asking for these rights doesn't necessitate a document signed and witnessed by fourtyleven Supreme Court Justices and a meat packer from Green Bay. If little green men swoop down from the sky - for whatever reason - by definition the request has been made and granted. They don't have to have the same philosophy we do - even if they see us as food, they're entitled to rights. (granted, that would be awkward)..

    What I DID say was that I'd like for there to be an entity / population suitable for the question (though I did say it differently). But my wishes don't change the fact that A) animals don't have rights, B) Chimps are animals.

    Doodler, as the lovely Gillian pointed out, Chimps DO communicate - and can express relatively abstract concepts (same as gorillas). Dogs can learn what a command (verbal or physical) means, but they can't teach what they know to other dogs (that I know of). Chimps and gorillas can, and do. Teach one sign language, and they frequently teach it to others in the group. I have yet to hear of a dog calling any body a "S*** head", but Koko, the Gorilla, does. That's pretty abstract, when you get down to it.

    As I recall, Koko also kept a pet - something NO other animal has done, to my knowledge. She didn't see the cat as a baby gorilla.. she saw it as a cat. and she mourned when the cat died.

    In my opinion, these primates have proven they are much closer to us than is commonly thought even amongst biologists and geneticists...

    Sentient? yeah.. intelligent, yes.

    But grant them "human" status? No way. In order to be human, you have to be capable of acting human - and that includes our concept of social contracts., as mentioned above.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: no unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nothing further than that. Chimps are animals, not people.
    I'm not disagreeing with you; I also wouldn't have a particular problem with chimp burgers. But I think you should say: "Chimps are animals, but not people." Because people are also a kind of animal.
    As above, so below

  20. #20
    LurchGS: I agree entirely. Sentient - yes. Intelligent - yes (compared to other animals). Person - absolutely not.

    Jens: Strictly, yes, you're right. Biologically, humans are of course animals. From a legal standpoint, though, we are not.

    Hm. Now I kind of wonder what a chimp burger does taste like?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Most animals (including chimps) are capable of communication. Bees and ants communicate.

    Perhaps you're talking about a higher form of communication, such as speech? But then one could argue what's the essential difference between speech and other forms of communication. Dolphins speak with known symbols and a syntax, and they respond to one another's speach. Dolphin divers working for the Navy have been taught to do remarkable things, including locating downed submarines or dangerous weapons, and attaching things to them, as well as receive certain communications from their handlers.

  22. #22
    I'm not too knowlegable about legal matters, but do I think that sneaking into a zoo and killing a chimpanzee is worse than killing a zebra? Yes I do. Do I have a problem with the law recognizing this? Not really. Do I think killing a mentally disabled human with the mental capabilites of a chimp is worse than killing a chimp? Yes, but I am perfectly willing to admit that this could merely be the result of bias rather than offer any moral or logical arguements for my position.

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    I appreciate your candor, Ronald!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    I'm not too knowlegable about legal matters, but do I think that sneaking into a zoo and killing a chimpanzee is worse than killing a zebra? Yes I do.
    May I ask why?

  25. #25
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    I have to say, now I think about it, that I think it is our responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I admit that it is a moral judgement on my part, and people with different morals than I will of course see it differently. And the more personality an animal has, the more I want to protect individual members of the species rather than the species as a whole.

    I don't much worry about cows and chickens. Turkeys are dumb (though I don't eat turkey because I don't like it); ditto sheep (ditto). I imagine that if I knew individual members of the species, I might feel differently if I experienced their personality. However, I am also not worried about the species of cow, because it's about as far from endangered as it gets. The last aurochs was killed some four hundred years ago; I don't think we're going to have to worry about the death of the last domesticated cow any time soon.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  26. #26
    Turkeys are dumb
    Domesticated turkeys yes,but as someone who started turkey hunting a couple of years ago I can say that wild turkeys are definitely not dumb.The great Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey for our national bird,he recognized it's intelligence.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    Hm. Now I kind of wonder what a chimp burger does taste like?
    Go to Africa. Other primates are eaten quite frequently. Google "bush meat" and see what comes up. IIRC, it is one of the major threats faced by chimps in the wild.

    Incidentally, chimps also hunt and eat monkeys.

    Anyhoo, I think I read in the latest New Scientist that the chimp was not granted human rights.

    In other news regarding animal rights, the EU is banning certain types of live-animal tests of cosmetics, with plans to pahse out the remaining types of live-animal cosmetics tests by about 2011.

    ETA: Hmph. I just noticed the typo. I meant "phase".
    Last edited by Dr Nigel; 2007-May-06 at 10:36 AM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I have to say, now I think about it, that I think it is our responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I admit that it is a moral judgement on my part, and people with different morals than I will of course see it differently. And the more personality an animal has, the more I want to protect individual members of the species rather than the species as a whole.

    I don't much worry about cows and chickens. Turkeys are dumb (though I don't eat turkey because I don't like it); ditto sheep (ditto). I imagine that if I knew individual members of the species, I might feel differently if I experienced their personality.
    I agree with you here, Gillianren, 95% (I prefer turkey to chicken). Just wanted to let you know that (that I agree with you, not my preferences).


  29. #29
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    I seem to remember a recent study that put pigs on the list of most intelligent animals right after humans. I will see if I can find a link.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    So, no rights for another species unless they acknowledge the human concept of social contract?

    How arrogant.
    Your darned straight on that one. It cannot be any other way because it's our society and if these critters are going to live as we do in our society - they've got to fit in or they cannot be allowed in. Even if a human doesn't go by the rules of our society - they are either killed or jailed. You cannot extend rights to those or that which does not recognize and abide by those rights. Establishing a law protecting a critter from being hunting or from abuse (or whatever) is however not giving them or acknowledging that they have rights.

    A little closer to home, same thing goes for radical islamicists. They don't have the right to live here and obey their interpretation of sharia law instead of our law. They don't have the right to go decapitate us infidels for the fun of it. They don't have the right to beat their wives as they wish here. They have to live under our laws. If you want to go to their territory, then you are subject to their laws and if you want to go to the jungle, you're subject to the law of the jungle.

    Just remember, a lot of them critters consider they have a right to kill and eat you for lunch and a right to pull your limbs off to see what sort of noise you'll make when they do. And, in their world, you have the same rights to do so to them. Personally, I prefer to stick to our societal rules.

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