Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Chimps Like Black Slaves: Animal Rights Lawsuit

Chimpanzees are being enslaved against their will according to multiple lawsuits filed in New York that use the same legal arguments made to free black slaves prior to the Civil War.
"Not long ago, people generally agreed that human slaves could not be legal persons, but were simply the property of their owners.  We will assert, based on clear scientific evidence, that it's time to take the next step and recognize that these non-human animals cannot continue to be exploited as the property of their human owners."
-- Attorney Steven Wise, president of Nonhuman Rights Project
For background, read Plants' & Animals' Civil Rights - Antihumanism and also read Austrian Court Considers if Chimpanzee Deserving of “Human Status” as well as Obama Czar Nominee Elevates Animals to Human Stature

In addition, read
'Planet of the Apes' Possible, Warn Scientists

-- From "Group Seeks ‘Legal Personhood’ Status For Chimpanzees" by The Associated Press and CBSNewYork 12/3/13

Nonhuman Rights Project, an animal rights group . . . is asking New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emotional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals “legal personhood” so that they are ensured better treatment. The activists argue that the chimps are not things to be possessed and caged by people and should be released from “illegal detention.”

“In this case, we are claiming that chimpanzees are autonomous,” said Massachusetts lawyer Steven Wise, the founder of the Nonhuman Rights Project. “That is, being able to self-determine, be self-aware, and be able to choose how to live their own lives.”

The national group says it is dedicated to changing the common law status of some species other than humans. . .

If the lawsuits succeed, similar ones could eventually be filed on behalf of other species considered autonomous, such as gorillas, orangutans, whales, dolphins and elephants, Wise said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "New York lawsuit seeks 'legal personhood' for chimpanzees" by Bernard Vaughan and Daniel Wiessner, Reuters 12/3/13

The lawsuit states that chimps are entitled to a "fundamental right to bodily liberty," which Wise told Reuters is the basic right to be left alone and not held for entertainment or research.

The lawsuit was filed at "the earliest point at which we have some reasonable chance at winning," said Wise, a well-known animal rights activist and author of books including the 2000 title "Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals."

"These are the first cases in an open-ended, strategic litigation campaign," he said. "We're just going to keep filing suits."

Nonhuman Rights Project in 2007 began a nationwide search for an optimal venue to file the lawsuits, Wise said. New York was ultimately chosen because of its generally flexible view of requests for a writ of habeas corpus, the centuries-old right in English law to challenge unlawful detention, he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Chimps should be recognized as 'legal persons,' lawsuits claim" by Holly Yan and Mayra Cuevas, CNN 12/3/13

"To be a 'legal person,' one doesn't need to be a human being or even a biological being. A corporation is a legal person," wrote Joyce Tischler, co-founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Even if the chimpanzees don't understand what a lawsuit is, they benefit from being directly represented, she said.

"We see that in children. They can be removed from an abusive home and be protected, even though the child might not be able to formulate those desires and the issues represented in the court of law," Tischler told CNN.

"Lawsuits have to address a real problem faced by an individual plaintiff. You cannot sue on behalf of all animals everywhere," Tischler said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Suit champions chimp's right to not be held as a pet" by Donna Leinwand Leger, USA TODAY 12/2/13

Tommy [the chimp], who lives with a couple who have a reindeer farm in Gloversville, N.Y., is illegally imprisoned and under New York law has the right to live a more "chimpanzee-like" life at a sanctuary, says attorney Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

The lawsuit accuses Patrick and Diane Lavery of holding Tommy, a 26-year-old chimp, captive. The Laverys are "detaining Tommy in solitary confinement in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed" at their property, the lawsuit says.

Chimpanzees can make choices and, like humans, have an interest in freedom to live as they wish, Wise says. "It would seem exceedingly unlikely that any chimpanzee would choose to live life in a cave."

The cage in New York where Tommy now lives exceeds federal and state standards and is inspected every year . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Courts Should Reject Chimp Habeas Corpus!" by Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online 12/4/13

This suit furthers the subversive animal rights agenda–known as “animal standing“–which would allow animals to sue their owners and others in court. Of course, the real litigants would be animal rights fanatics who would be using the animals as fronts to further their own ideological agendas.

. . . these lawsuits are a malicious attack on human exceptionalism. A judge ruling that chimps have human-type rights won’t elevate them to our status, it will reduce us to theirs. If this lawsuit carries the day, the predictable and unpredictable deleterious consequences to human wellbeing will be hard to quantify.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/4/14: "Chimpanzees don’t have same rights as humans: court" by Chris Perez, New York Post

“So far as legal theory is concerned, a person is any being whom the law regards as capable of rights and duties,” a three-judge Appellate Division panel said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.

“Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions.”

The judges ruled unanimously that chimpanzees are not entitled to the same rights as human beings. Tommy’s owner, Patrick Lavery, was happy with the decision.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

Also read In Defense of Human Exceptionalism

In addition, read American Trend: Fewer Children, More Animals/Pets