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Animals Are Persons Too
New York Times ^ | April 23, 2014 | Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

Posted on 04/27/2014 4:13:57 PM PDT by don-o

How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. Continue reading the main story Related in Opinion

Dot Earth Blog: A Closer Look at ‘Nonhuman Personhood’ and Animal WelfareJULY 28, 2013

Mr. Wise (who is also the subject of The New York Times Magazine’s cover story this Sunday) has spent more than 30 years developing his strategy for attaining animal personhood rights. After he started his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he was inspired by Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” to dedicate himself to justice for animals. He helped pioneer the study of animal rights law in the 1980s. In 2000, he became the first person to teach the subject at Harvard Law School, as a visiting lecturer. Mr. Wise began developing his animal personhood strategy after struggling with ineffective welfare laws and regulations that fail to keep animals out of abusive environments. Unlike welfare statutes, legal personhood would give some animals irrevocable protections that recognize their critical needs to live in the wild and to not be owned or abused. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage

Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?APRIL 23, 2014

The current focus of Mr. Wise’s legal campaign includes chimpanzees, elephants, whales and dolphins — animals whose unusually high level of intelligence has been recognized by scientific research.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: chrishegedus; dapennebaker; newyork; newyorkcity; newyorkslimes; newyorktimes
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I heard a reference to this on some npr program today. The Bible sprks of "strong delusion...that they should believe a lie." Could anything be more delusional?

I mean besides that it is OK to kill unborn human beings...

1 posted on 04/27/2014 4:13:57 PM PDT by don-o
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To: don-o

I will grant him this, chimpanzees, elephants, whales and dolphins are several notches smarter than your average Democrat.

And they seem to be able to survive without mooching off the American taxpayer.


2 posted on 04/27/2014 4:22:16 PM PDT by digger48
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To: don-o

Clint Eastwood defends animal rights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgxTwmjWYSs


3 posted on 04/27/2014 4:24:11 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: don-o

I guess they’ll need to count them in the census and allow them to vote and collect welfare benefits.

Also, animals can be on your healthcare plan until the age of 26.


4 posted on 04/27/2014 4:29:06 PM PDT by Tai_Chung
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To: digger48

” O the monkeys stand for honesty/giraffes are insincere/elephants are kindly but they’re dumb...’’


5 posted on 04/27/2014 4:37:06 PM PDT by jmacusa
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To: don-o

I am in agreement with Michael Savage insofar as you can judge a great deal about a nation in how it treats its animals. That said, in modern day Germany it’s illegal to boil lobsters alive since it is considered cruel. A law put on the books by none other than Adolf Hitler.


6 posted on 04/27/2014 4:41:10 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: digger48

Personhood resides in ones ability to use reason and logic. Animals are sentient (self-awareness) but do not use logic and rational thought, by and large. Animals are largely deterministic. That is not to say a chimp cannot use a stick to put in a termite hole and get a taste of termite. But on the whole civil rights are not accorded animals because they do not use reason and logic and rational thought.


7 posted on 04/27/2014 4:41:39 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks don-o.

http://www.asimovreviews.net/Stories/Story135.html


8 posted on 04/27/2014 4:41:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Texas Songwriter

You obviously have not watched one of my Dobes figure out how to successfully turn different types of door knobs.

:)


9 posted on 04/27/2014 4:46:04 PM PDT by Salamander (Minstrel In The Gallery)
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To: Texas Songwriter

My dogs are logical. They know where food comes from and how to get it. They have affectionate responses to my praise. One of them even talks and if you listen carefully, you can determine what she says...which is generally “let’s take a walk” or “I really want a treat.”


10 posted on 04/27/2014 4:47:42 PM PDT by yetidog
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To: Texas Songwriter
they do not use reason and logic and rational thought.

Yup, your average Democrat voter.

11 posted on 04/27/2014 4:47:43 PM PDT by digger48
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To: Texas Songwriter

A Dangerous train of thought! For Cripes sakes, do we consider liberals capable logic and rational thought? Of course not! Shall we declare those of differing beliefs non-human?


12 posted on 04/27/2014 4:59:46 PM PDT by NYAmerican
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To: SpaceBar

I agree completely! I think we Conservatives have a tendency to react to Animal Rights issues with a knee jerk contrary response, mainly because the extremists are typically on the Left. I prefer to formulate my own reactions based on my personal beliefs. I believe it’s perfectly fine to eat humanely raised and slaughtered animals, and to hunt responsibly. Beyond that, unecessary torture of other living creatures repulses me, and as Mr. Savage, I think, would agree, casts doubt on just how “civilized” we really are.


13 posted on 04/27/2014 4:59:46 PM PDT by NYAmerican
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To: don-o

Animals are just animals. Cats are our masters.


14 posted on 04/27/2014 5:02:49 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: don-o

What they really mean is that people are just animals, therefore divesting them of all private property and herding them into high-rise containment facilities or killing them outright is perfectly OK.


15 posted on 04/27/2014 5:08:51 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: don-o

Yeah, sure and humans are angels too.. RIGHT! (phhht!)


16 posted on 04/27/2014 5:17:21 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Due to rapidly increasing cost of ammo, there will be no warning shots!!!)
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To: yetidog

That is Pavlovian, not rationality. But those dissenters who referenced democrats as being without reason and logic do make a strong point. I will have to reevaluate my analysis of this matter.


17 posted on 04/27/2014 5:27:10 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: don-o

legal jujitsu — pettifoggery?


18 posted on 04/27/2014 5:31:00 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Texas Songwriter
Personhood resides in ones ability to use reason and logic. Animals are sentient (self-awareness) but do not use logic and rational thought, by and large.

What is the difference between my dogs and those with "personhood" who live off money that is extorted from those who are forced to support them? They have no self-awareness, rational thought or logic. They only want what they can get without giving anything up front or in return.

19 posted on 04/27/2014 5:37:26 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama
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To: don-o; All

So people are also tasty?


20 posted on 04/27/2014 5:58:56 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: NYAmerican

WE ?


21 posted on 04/27/2014 6:29:31 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: don-o
Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?APRIL 23, 2014

My chimp dislikes shyster lawyers, and would probably try to bite one who suggested he should sue.

22 posted on 04/27/2014 6:32:41 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: Texas Songwriter

Animals are logical, smart, can be “guilted”, etc. I think what they lack is introspection.


23 posted on 04/27/2014 6:37:02 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: SunkenCiv

Other Worlds of Isaac Asimov - It’s kindle time...

http://www.asimovreviews.net/Stories/Story135.html

Thanks for the link Civ


24 posted on 04/27/2014 6:39:16 PM PDT by GOPJ (Democrats are waging war on the middle class...)
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To: SpaceBar

Animal liberationists are not unlike the Nazis. Any movement that sets out to treat animals as humans will inevitably result in humans being treated like animals. Hence Nazis could feel good about outlawing the docking of sheeps tails and yet brand humans, ship them around in cattle cars and kill them with less thought for their suffering than they would for a cow killed for meat. It’s ironic that Jews are very prominent in A.L movement.


25 posted on 04/27/2014 6:46:02 PM PDT by Long Jon No Silver
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To: Cboldt

I see no evidence that animals use the laws of logic.


26 posted on 04/27/2014 6:52:50 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: Texas Songwriter

Fine by me. I was just trying to be helpful.


27 posted on 04/27/2014 6:54:48 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: don-o
Some subscribers here have argued long and hard to say that animals are people and have rights like those of humans. They've also tried gradualism, for example, in saying that it is proper to describe animals with the relative pronoun, who, instead of that. To make matters worse, university linguistic activists have been trying to rule that error into our language.

This is one of the consequences. Enjoying those meat prices?


28 posted on 04/27/2014 7:20:45 PM PDT by familyop
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To: Long Jon No Silver

I try not to read too much into it. If old Adolf got one right, then what the hey.


29 posted on 04/27/2014 8:39:51 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Texas Songwriter
I see no evidence that animals use the laws of logic.

I interact with domesticated rats. They are supremely logical animals. Pound for pound the smartest animals.
30 posted on 04/27/2014 8:47:31 PM PDT by SpaceBar (:"")
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To: SpaceBar

But rats won’t come up with differential calculus anytime soon, lovable as they are.


31 posted on 04/27/2014 8:52:35 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Texas Songwriter

Perhaps, but let’s look at the bigger picture. ALL living things have some aspect of consciousness. The greater complexity we humans exhibit is due to our intricate brain making possible the fabrication of holographic meaning to the data we receive from events that have already happened. There is a gorilla who uses sign language on a primitive level, but she knows she is communicating so the use of language indicates use of syntax ... a form of logic.


32 posted on 04/27/2014 8:54:50 PM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: MHGinTN

Modern science has never clearly defined the life force.


33 posted on 04/27/2014 8:59:07 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Texas Songwriter
Personhood is a legal term not a scientific one. A "person" is who or what the law says he/she/it is. We have a large population of human beings who cannot use reason or logic, Ranging from young children to insane people to adults with dementia but who are persons, with all the due process protections the constitution provides.
34 posted on 04/27/2014 9:03:24 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

Person... something that can be sued for damages.


35 posted on 04/27/2014 9:05:20 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

In my big ToE (Theory of Everything) there is a dimension as real as dimension space or dimension time from which life force/consciousness is sourced. There is also a dimension of spirit. Consciousness inveigles space and time to exhibit living beings/things. Without time events do not occur and without space things do not exist, in the terms of how we define reality. There are at least three variable expressions of each dimension, and maybe more.


36 posted on 04/27/2014 9:07:36 PM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: MHGinTN

I believe the quantum mechanical electrical properties existing within proteins and lipid layers enable hyper light communication within living systems. The ability to “anticipate” thermodynamics through hyperlighspeed micro communication within molecular systems is what we call life.


37 posted on 04/27/2014 9:14:40 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

You would enjoy a paper by Bernard Haisch, et al, published in Physics in 2005. He and a guy named Rueda, along with some input from Hal Puthoff have derived F = ma showing that wave function of the quantum vacuum, the zero point field, is the source of inertia and gravity. I don’t have the addy at my finger tips but it is googleable using Haisch Zero Point Field. You’ll want to read the 2005 paper for it’s more simple mathematical tightness. I want to get them to go one step further, to look at the zero point field as causing inertia because of pointing vector of time in every ‘parton’. I’m convinced that dimension Time is not what we have been thinking it is, as some background state. It has variable expressions, such as linear, planar, and volumetric.


38 posted on 04/27/2014 9:52:24 PM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: hinckley buzzard
I view personhood as something more than a legal definition. Legal definitions change, and sometimes with it, the declared nature of the person. To be a person is to is to be a proper subject of absolute regard. If we accept the Biblical revelation that man is the imago Dei, the image of God, then every human being is a person, by nature a thing different from any other, a begin whose very existence is a kind of sacrament. Trying to understand man without recognizing him as the imago Dei is to miss the point of personhood. Without an explanation, we may try to hold fast to our knowledge of the evil of murdering my neighbor. If we fail to understand the imago Dei and adhere to the contemporary secular ethics, the ruling tendency is to concede that there are such things as persons, but to define them in terms of their functions or capacities-not to define them in terms of the image of God, but what they can do. Ethicists of today often define "personhood" as the capacity to communicate and conceptual self-awareness. If you can't, then you are not a person. This then opens up a panoplea of what the keepers of the culture will decide dependent upon the vissitudes of the moment. By contrast if we are a person by nature, then I am a rights bearer, by nature-not because of what I can do but because of what I am. In short, a person is by nature someone whom it is wrong to view merely functionally an therefore wrong to value merely as a means to the ends or the interests of others. If I am a person because others regard me as a person only because I am able to exercise certain capacities that interest you, that opinion can change with the appointment of a single supreme court justice, a man. Germans referred to this as lebensunwerten Leben, life, unworthy of life.

The foundational principles behind this, is that we make up moral principles. They are not laws like mathematics, but a derivative of of culture, sort of like the current style of architecture. Without the common moral ground applicable to all persons we are left to the vasile thoughts of men. Disbelief in common moral ground is rapidly becoming a pillar of middle-class prejudice. How often have we heard 'I will not allow you to impose your morality on anyone else'. We see it every day with law suits by atheists to disallow Christians in the military from having access to a Bible.

I think we are not so far apart in the question before us. My problem is that due process, today, seems to be arbitrarily applied.

To quote Forrest Gump, "I'm kinda tired now, I think I'll go home."

39 posted on 04/27/2014 10:52:59 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: digger48

My dog is offended to be considered beneath subhuman scum that are progressives. Hevk, he thinks he’s more people than people.


40 posted on 04/27/2014 11:07:45 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Texas Songwriter

I would tend to agree, but a more powerful argument is that animals cannot make moral choices.


41 posted on 04/27/2014 11:12:53 PM PDT by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: reasonisfaith
That was my reference to Imago Deo. (Gen.3:22) And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. Therefore the Lord Go sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

To know good from evil is to have the nature of, as J. Budziszewiski said, is to have a knowledge of 'what we can't not know'. This is referenced in Romans 1:20 through the second chapter of Romans. As hard as man tries, it is impossible to not know it is wrong (morally) to kill one's offspring, or to have sexual relations with your neighbors wife, or to blaspheme God. Now, this may be suppressed, but it cannot be discarded. It is the nature of a person. This is Natural Law. We cannot not know it is wrong to gratuitously harm another person. We cannot not know it is wrong to take property which belong to another person. If you look carefully at the Decalogue you will see the parallels.

I agree with your statement that animals cannot make moral choices. This is not in their nature to do so.

42 posted on 04/28/2014 12:38:48 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: don-o

Does Mr. Wise honestly expect an animal to go to court if its “rights” are ever violated?


43 posted on 04/28/2014 3:29:42 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be earned and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: Texas Songwriter; Mrs. Don-o
Thank you for your post which very well sums up my belief about this matter. Satan's war on humanity, in all its forms, is motivated by his hatred of the image and likeness of God.

he (the evil one) is not at all unhappy to see the animal creatures being elevated in status.

44 posted on 04/28/2014 5:00:22 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Texas Songwriter

Moral choices derive from spirit resonance, which is not a part of the animal soul behavior mechanism, except in those to whom God breathed a living soul. ... I contend that ETs are technologically advanced, but do not have a spirit component.


45 posted on 04/28/2014 5:54:06 AM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: MHGinTN
I do not know what "spirit resonance" means. I have no knowledge regarding ETs and their technological capabilities, or any other qualities of ETs.

What I do know is that moral standards are prescribed by a Moral Lawgiver, and if there is a Moral Lawgiver then persons have a moral obligation to that Lawgiver. One does not reason the law, but discovers the law. Without objective standards of meaning of morality then life becomes meaningless and choices become capricious. There is, under this scenario, no right an wrong and no absolutes of any sort. Everything becomes a matter of opinion. J. Budziszewski says there is no country in which virtue and gratitude is vice. Everyone knows there are absolute moral obligations, at all times, and in all places.

46 posted on 04/28/2014 7:27:58 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: Tai_Chung

Person-years or dog-years?


47 posted on 04/28/2014 7:32:07 AM PDT by catman67
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To: GOPJ

The Wendell Urth mysteries are few in number, but more entertaining than Asimov usually is; I think he wrote them under a pen name to avoid being associated with the detective genre, and maybe because he still had hopes of becoming successful again. :’)


48 posted on 04/28/2014 7:35:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: S.O.S121.500

By “we” I meant people who unnecessarily torture animals, and those who support their right to do so.


49 posted on 04/28/2014 11:52:12 AM PDT by NYAmerican
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To: SpaceBar

My rats took forever converting from a slide rule to a calculator.


50 posted on 04/28/2014 3:29:38 PM PDT by Eaker (Dogs love to be hugged! Rescue and Hug One Today.)
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