Animal Rights

Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!

Kiko the chimpanzee denied legal rights in NY.

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Via Instapundit comes word that chimps have once again been denied legal rights in New York. From Reuters' writeup of the case (which appears at Scientific American):

Less than a month after a New York state appeals court ruled that chimpanzees do not have legal rights and cannot be released from captivity, a case involving a second chimp has been dismissed.

Attorney and animal rights activist Steven Wise in 2013 filed a habeas corpus petition—traditionally employed by prison inmates who claim they have been illegally detained—on behalf of a chimp named Kiko.

Wise has said that Kiko, who is owned by primate expert Carmen Presti, is deaf from abuse suffered during the making of a Tarzan film and lives tied to a chain in a cement cage in Niagara Falls. He asked for Kiko to be released to a sanctuary in Florida, saying that private captivity is unsuitable for chimps because they are autonomous creatures.

Activist Wise isn't done, not by a long shot:

He has said he will bring similar cases on behalf of elephants, dolphins, orcas and other intelligent animals.

Whole thing here.

As Instapundit notes, "Call me back when they can have legal responsibilities."

That sounds about right, even as it doesn't absolve us humans from acting kindly toward animals.

Bonus mashup video: Mad Men's Don Draper takes his son to see The Simpsons' great show-within-a-show Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!:


NEXT: A little help here?

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  1. That was OUR planet!

    1. I spent last evening reading this essay after somebody here mentioned it. And now I really miss the first 10 seasons of the Simpsons. I can’t believe I don’t own them all on DVD.

  2. What about Coco? That chimp’s alright.

  3. “Call me back when they can have legal responsibilities.”

    Maybe there are good reasons for not extending any more legal protections to animals, but this doesn’t seem like one of them. What legal responsibilities do infants have? That’s a serious question, because I can’t think of a single one.

    1. I was thinking along similar lines about the mentally retarded. The severely mentally retarded don’t have legal responsibilities either, but I still have a feeling that judges would frown on anyone declaring open season on them.

    2. What legal responsibilities do infants have? That’s a serious question, because I can’t think of a single one.

      I think this is considered out of context. He clearly followed up with a sentence stating that them lacking legal responsibilities speaks little-to-none about us having moral ones.

      1. And in that vein, a chimp would tear my face off at the first awry inclination, I owe it no greater respect than that.

        Just as if a rather literal Sword of Damocles dangled over my (or someone I valued) head, I dismantle/neutralize the threat without hesitation about how the sword, noose, vial of anthrax, Jimson Weed, w/e ‘feels’ about it.

        1. Some people would do that

  4. “Call me back when they can have legal responsibilities.”

    Call me back, Instapundit, when you’re willing to admit that children, mental patients and the comatose are similarly situated – deserving of some rights but having no legal responsibilities.

    1. Exactly, it’s not like they’re servant orphans

      1. You don’t own orphan chimpanzee servants? Good God. What kind of libertarian are you.

  5. Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!

    1. Hey I shower.

  6. When a chimp itself is able to effectively articulate that its rights are being undermined by human action (through, I don’t know, sign language or some chimp-to-human translator) and also recognizes that humans have rights (that means no more baby eating, chimps) I’ll start to take this more seriously.

    1. And there in lies the problem: Apes don’t have the capacity to understand that others have personal knowledge and thoughts. In all the time apes have been taught to sign, none have ever asked a question. They don’t understand that you (or anyone else) has thoughts that are private and personal. The mentally retatrded have rights because it’s understood that their lack of capacity is due to them differing from the norm and infants have rights because they have not developed far enough to understand this, but the only way you can have rights is to understand others have them as well and can have different desires than you.

      1. In all the time apes have been taught to sign, none have ever asked a question.

        [citation needed]

      2. I encourage you to listen to this and see if you feel the same way.

    2. He’s conveying what he thinks about your thoughts and feelings just fine.

      http://cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20…..ing_22.jpg

  7. Also, in regards to this:

    He has said he will bring similar cases on behalf of elephants, dolphins, orcas and other intelligent animals.

    Will Mr. Wise be also in favour of holding these animals to ‘human’ standards? I.E. Would he support dolphins being charged with rape for assaulting their own dolphinkind or attempted sexual assault when they get a little too friendly with female swimmers?

    1. I can only imagine that common decency would dictate that they would have to cover their blowholes.

    2. “Would he support dolphins being charged with rape…”

      Hell, these guys get to be on TV free in the sea raping and cavorting so I’m certain Wise has far more pressing matters to tend to.

  8. He has said he will bring similar cases on behalf of elephants, dolphins, orcas and other intelligent animals.

    Other intelligent animals… like his mother-in-law.

    That sounds about right, even as it doesn’t absolve us humans from acting kindly toward animals.

    I didn’t sign any terms of use agreement regarding animals, so go fuck yourself.

    1. I didn’t sign any terms of use agreement regarding other people either. Does that mean slavery is okay?

      1. Re: Stormy Dragon,

        I didn’t sign any terms of use agreement regarding other people either. Does that mean slavery is okay?

        Sure! Can I enslave you?

        Ah, perfunctory logical contradictions, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

        1. It’s a reducio ad absurdum. The prefunctory logical contradiction is sort of the point.

          1. Re: Stormy Dragon,

            It’s a reducio ad absurdum.

            In order to make Reductio Ad Absurdum, Stormy, you would have to argue that you’re no better than an animal. That, by itself, is absurd. Animals can’t argue – YOU CAN. You just did.

            I do have a tacit agreement with my fellow human beings: I am not going to HARM THEM as long as they don’t HARM ME. But I can’t make such an agreement with an unthinking animal – can YOU?

            So, please, spare me from these contradictions. Accept that animals have no rights and move on.

            1. Actually if you harm an animal, humans may well enslave you

            2. What is the criteria that distinguishes thinking animals from unthinking animals? For both you and Instapundit, I suspect that it’s entirely axiomatic: humans are by definition thinking animals, all other animals are by definition unthinking animals.

              Or is there some rational criteria that puts humans in the on category and, say, a salmon in the other?

              1. The question of course is what makes one deserving of rights. And if it is intelligence, you have to recognize that it occurs on a spectrum-there isn’t a hard and fast line that divides human intelligence from, say, chimp intelligence. I’ve heard some pretty remarkable stories that lead me to believe that chimps possess at least rudimentary reasoning skills. Of course they don’t have the abilities of the typical human and so aren’t deserving of all the same rights and privileges, but it’s not an all or nothing proposition.

  9. As Instapundit notes, “Call me back when they can have legal responsibilities.”

    Do blog writers who don’t get the concept of a circular argument have legal rights?

  10. No matter how advanced our culture becomes and no matter how far into the intellectual horizon we advance, as long as most of us enjoy cheese burgers and short ribs animals will never have rights.

    You can’t eat something that has rights.

    Deal sealed, twinkies.

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