I am not making this up. A New York judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Nonhuman Rights Project to grant personhood to two chimpanzees, named Hercules and Leo.
This isn’t the first attempt to grant “human” status to chimps: last year a judge threw out a similar request for a chimp named Tommy. But the worst part isn’t the fact that self-hating humans keep trying to elevate soulless primates and give them equal status with lawyers–it’s the judge’s reaction. State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe wrote this:
“Efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are thus understandable; some day they may even succeed,” she wrote in a 33-page decision. “For now, however, given the precedent to which I am bound, it is hereby ordered, that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied and the proceeding is dismissed.”
Are you freaking kidding me? She is practically inviting these unhinged boobs to keep filing cases until some judge fresh from a bottle of Absinthe grants personhood to a chimpanzee.
That would almost certainly lead to a 14th Amendment battle to grant chimps personhood in every state, which would lead to marriage rights, equal pay, health benefits and housing. You say that’s insane? Of freaking-course it is! But it’s also bat-guano insane for a New York State Supreme Justice to write “for now” in her opinion.
Yet, state legislatures have failed to pass personhood laws for unborn human beings, who can feel pain, who have human brains, human DNA, and the potential to grow into adults who can contribute to society. Last I checked, no chimpanzee had yet invented a vaccine, cured a disease, written a novel (even a million chimpanzees at a million typewriters), or composed music (I may be wrong on that last one depending on your definition of “music”).
Attorney Steven Wise [representing the chimps] said then that chimpanzees, which are biologically similar to humans, are “autonomous and self-determining beings” and thus deserve similar legal rights. He likened their confinement at the university to slavery, the involuntary detention of people with mental illnesses and imprisonment.
This is the absurd, sad state of our country, which I fear may not have quite reached the nadir of moral bankruptcy yet, because every time I think we have, someone finds another few steps beneath us and descends them.
Wise filed hundreds of pages of expert opinions from academics, zoologists, biologists and others he said supported the claim that cognitively, chimpanzees — along with dolphins, bonobos, orangutans and elephants — are advanced species.
Granting poo-flinging, screaming animals personhood would mark the absolute bottom, and I pray we never get there. But something tells me we may see it happen if we don’t change something fast.