Damned Dirty Apes

Socialists: Give apes human rights

The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans.

The party will announce its Great Ape Project at a press conference tomorrow. An organization with the same name is seeking a UN declaration on simian rights which would defend ape interests "the same as those of minors and the mentally handicapped of our species." According to the Project, "Today only members of the species Homo sapiens are considered part of the community of equals. The chimpanzee, the gorilla, and the orangutan are our species's closest relatives. They possess sufficient mental faculties and emotional life to justify their inclusion in the community of equals."

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33 Responses:

  1. baconmonkey says:

    oh no! before long they'll be trying to allow gay chimps to marry!

    • pavel_lishin says:

      This does raise an interesting point - retards and children can marry, with permission from their various guardians. Will monkeys be able to marry each other? Or other people?

      • pdx6 says:

        And further, can retards vote? (other than the obvious "Well they voted for Bush" joke)

        • thealien says:

          I believe at least some states bar extremely low-iq people under the same rule they use to bar the insane from voting. It's an issue in a state of flux now.

          Those with severe mental retardation may well be under official guardianship even after they attain the age of majority. People who are under that kind of guardianship are the only ones really likely to be barred from voting.

          But I'm pretty sure the relevant laws are all at the state level.

    • xenogram says:

      Before you know it, they'll be running for President.

  2. fg says:

    well, we share 85% of our genes with mice, so they should at least get to vote in the primaries.

  3. pauraque says:

    I actually am in favor of apes having rights, but I think the DNA reason frequently given is a silly one. Genetic differences are a matter of quality, not quantity. There are other species with even slimmer margins of genetic difference, but much larger de facto differences. Let apes' intelligence and emotional sophistication speak for itself -- respect them for what they are, not how mathematically similar to another species they may be.

    • rodgerd says:

      Because if they're getting human rights, then you ought to be locking up the alpha males and females for assault every time they go apeshit on the other chimps in order to reinforce their status.

      • pauraque says:

        I said rights, not human rights. I was referring to more rights than they have at present, and responsibilities appropriate to their level of intelligence. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Chimps aren't humans, and never can be. They have a totally different way of life, and applying our standards to them doesn't work. But that does not mean we may disregard their intelligence and treat them as slaves for our personal use.

        If you must compare them to humans -- children and the mentally handicapped are not held to the same standards of behavior as competent adults, yet they have rights.

      • down8 says:

        And if they through shit at you, what then?


    • altamira16 says:

      Okay, so are you saying that dolphins should be able to vote too?

      • pauraque says:

        No, I did not mean to say something about voting and dolphins and accidentally find myself saying something entirely different. Thank you for inquiring.

        Excuse the sarcasm. I didn't say apes should be allowed to vote either. I said they should have more rights than they currently have. You have jumped to an incorrect conclusion.

  4. bifrosty2k says:

    I knew this would happen eventually, I just didn't think Spain would do it. I guess this explains a bit more about the culture over there these days.

  5. nelc says:

    I hope they've included bonobos with the chimpanzees. Much nicer creatures than those violent chimps, and, I think, at greater risk of extinction.

  6. lars_larsen says:

    The jails will be overflowing with apes. Since its illegal to keep a human in a cage, zoos wont be able to either. They'll be roaming the streets for a matter of minutes before they break the law and get thrown in prison.

  7. korgmeister says:

    I'm wondering how long it'll be before people start exploiting this.

  8. It's reassuring to see that socialists recognize who their mental equals are.

  9. sherbooke says:

    Damn you! God damn you all to hell!