Would it be fair to say some animals deserve protection under the law greater than what their current designation as “thing” allows them? An organization is seeking status of “legal person” for captive chimpanzees in an effort to give them rights such as the right of bodily integrity and bodily liberty. Such status would give them rights not to be treated invasively or kept confined in cages their entire lives.
As we evolve our standards of morality, as scientific discovery reveals to us the capacities some animals have far beyond what we ever thought possible, as we have direct experience with animals whose intelligence astounds us, isn’t it time we give some of these animals greater protection under the law than as mere possessions of a human-dominated world?
In 2008, the Spanish Parliament granted certain legal rights to gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans. Other countries have added language to their laws that give greater protection to nonhuman primates than is given to cars and toasters. When you think about it…it makes sense.