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Animal Rights: The Next Legal Frontier?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Most people believe that nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees, orangutans, and the like, are closely related to human beings. It is often said that the difference in DNA between members of homo sapiens sapiens and other primates can be as little as two percent.

Stephen Wise, a lawyer, has lectured on animal rights at Harvard and Vermont Law Schools. In his recent book, Rattling the Cage, Mr. Wise makes the case that the rights of what he terms "nonhuman animals" may be the focus of transformation and even revolution as our understanding of the humane treatment of animals continues to evolve.

It seems to me, without having read his book, that the concept of actual legal rights requires a number of prerequisites in any entity to whom they may attach. Foremost among them might be such things as sentience and intelligence; and included among them may be practical requirements such as responsibility -- and particularly moral responsibility.

Before one asserts the argument, however, that an actual human level of consciousness must obtain before legal rights should attach, one should take note of the position of many pro-life individuals, who consider the human fetus a form of human life. And, further, one should consider the position of those who are protective of the mentally handicapped, from whose point of view the inability of same to express their consciousness decidedly does not vitiate their central humanity. The example of the late Terri Schiavo comes to mind.

Further, consider that many animals demonstrate a form of responsibility -- working dogs, for example, who perform many valuable tasks. Such animals may serve as guides for the blind, with never a question, or they may take the role of shepherds, all too eager to help their owners, performing days of service with an invariable smile of euphoria upon completion of their tasks, expecting only a modicum of love and sustenance in return.

And then, of course, there is the religious aspect of this issue. Is it true that only human beings have a soul, and what is it that we mean by that, anyway?

What are your thoughts and beliefs concerning the extension of legal, or quasi-legal, rights to animals, and do you agree with the thesis that animal rights may be the next frontier in the extension of civil liberties?

Thank you in advance for your considered responses.

Suggested reading:

http://www.satyamag.com/march00/wise.html

[Edited 2006-10-11 17:02:51]

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2013 times:

I have elaborated far too much here. Let me put all of the above in one plain, simple sentence.

There's a gibbon at my local zoo, and I am in love with her. What should I do?

Signed,

AerospaceFan

 Wink


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2012 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
animal rights may be the next frontier in the extension of civil liberties?

Right after the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified by 3 more states....


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2012 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 1):
I have elaborated far too much here. Let me put all of the above in one plain, simple sentence.

Actually, the issue you raise, though meant in jest, is not so strange in the abstract: If one permits homosexual marriage, and if one believes that any two "individuals" can fall in love, then how long is it, exactly, before there is a call for "marriage" or any similar relationship between members of any two, or several, species?

Given the choice between staying with an unfaithful and horrible wife, and a faithful and wonderful dog, which companion would a great many men actually prefer?

[Edited 2006-10-11 16:51:34]

User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2002 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 3):
Given the choice between staying with an unfaithful and horrible wife, and a faithful and wonderful dog, which companion would a great many men actually prefer?

I can understand what you mean about the wife, but in that case there is always the option of divorce. It's a far cry from actaully marrying a dog because you get on better!

Fine, have a dog, spend all day with it, but more than that is surely grotesque! I used to have a dog, and I loved her very much, but I wouldn't say I was in love with her.

I think this whole issue comes down to consent. It's quite simple really, how do you know that your pet cat consents to marriage? I mean for f***s sake, it's a cat....

...You'd never tie a cat down to marriage, they are roamers.

Seriously though, I completely agree that animal cruelty should be punished by the law. Extending certian other rights to your pet hamster is surely insane though!

Kieron747


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1996 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 4):
I think this whole issue comes down to consent. It's quite simple really, how do you know that your pet cat consents to marriage? I mean for f***s sake, it's a cat....

But consider this: Koko the gorilla, it may be argued, has the vocabulary of a typical mentally handicapped human being. She apparently understands the meaning of the things she is told, and says.

If a mentally handicapped human being can marry, then why shouldn't gorillas be able to do so, as well?

See, e.g.:

http://www.koko.org/news/Events/event_060807_ABA_DVD.html (exhibition of Koko DVD moves members of the American Bar Association)

(Excerpt)

Quote:
The 20-minute DVD features an interview with Dr. Penny Patterson, and selected video footage of gorillas Koko, Michael and Ndume that condense the ongoing story of Project Koko into a sequence of glimpses that make clear the main implication for humanity — animals are much more than they appear to be. The video clearly shows how similar the intellectual, emotional and behavioral capabilities of great apes (like Koko, Michael and Ndume) are to humans, and helps make the case that at least some non-human animals should be provided with basic legal rights — such as the right not to be killed or to suffer at the hands of humans.

If gorillas can suffer, they can exhibit avoidance and consciousness of avoidance. If they can exhibit consciousness of avoidance, then why could they not consent?

[Edited 2006-10-11 16:56:22]

User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1983 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 5):
then why could they not consent?

But would the damn gorilla know what it was consenting to? Would the gorilla be accused of adultery if it went off with another (shock horror) gorilla whilst being "married" to a human?

I believe traditionally the purpose of marriage was to form a family and have children. That's gonna be tough when you're of a different species.

I think that many primates can understand and communicate with humans. There is however, always a gray area regarding simple mimicing. I have seen examples of primates using simple communication equipment. They are clearly clever animals who possess similar emotions. They, like all animals deserve to be protected against cruelty.

It depends how far you want to extend "human rights" to animals.

Kieron747


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1980 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 3):
Actually, the issue you raise, though meant in jest, is not so strange in the abstract: If one permits homosexual marriage, and if one believes that any two "individuals" can fall in love, then how long is it, exactly, before there is a call for "marriage" or any similar relationship between members of any two, or several, species?

I see you LSD is working REALLY good this morning. Equating Gay Marriage with intra species relations is like equating Erkle with Mike Tyson.

Put the Syringe and the Keyboard down ASF, you are making conservatives look like fools.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1978 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 6):
I believe traditionally the purpose of marriage was to form a family and have children. That's gonna be tough when you're of a different species.

Absolutely true.

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 6):
I think that many primates can understand and communicate with humans. There is however, always a gray area regarding simple mimicing. I have seen examples of primates using simple communication equipment. They are clearly clever animals who possess similar emotions. They, like all animals deserve to be protected against cruelty.

It depends how far you want to extend "human rights" to animals.

I think that this is the central dilemma, here. Do we create a secondary category of rights for "nonhuman animals", and if so, on what basis, to what effect, and in what relation in comparison to human rights?

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7):
Equating Gay Marriage with intra species relations is like equating Erkle with Mike Tyson.

That may be so, but often the consideration of an extreme (a "though experiment") may clarify the nature of those things which are not so outlandish. And this is the nature of a form of intellectual inquiry, LSD or no LSD, might I add.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11708 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1972 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 3):
Actually, the issue you raise, though meant in jest, is not so strange in the abstract: If one permits homosexual marriage, and if one believes that any two "individuals" can fall in love, then how long is it, exactly, before there is a call for "marriage" or any similar relationship between members of any two, or several, species?

Thats Beastiality... proceed straight to Denmark if you have similar views!  duck 

Seriously, how screwed in the head do you have to be to want to marry an animal like that? You can't really draw any parallels with Gay marriage either, 100 years ago gay marriage was 'wrong', now it is perfectly correct, but in 1000 years time marrying a Gorilla is still going to be very, very wrong!

Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 8):
Do we create a secondary category of rights for "nonhuman animals",

Again, it is to do with 'what rights'?

In the UK, we have the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and you can get taken to court or even imprisoned if convicted of animal cruelty.

What further rights are needed other that that? Do you want to set up day centres where animals can mingle? Walk-in centres for sick animals? Social services for that parrot that was feeling a bit low?

This entire point is seemingly worthless. Wild animals do not expect rights from humans. They go about their business, surviving and fighting and breeding. They're more concerned where their next meal is coming from, and are NOT concerned with whether they can file a law suit if a human treads on their paw.

I'll tell you one thing though, if certain animals were as sentient as you seem to suggest, I'd say the joke's on us. Imagine the chimp sat at his PC laughing at us sorry lot even discussing this issue!

 Wink

Kieron747

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7):
I see you LSD is working REALLY good this morning

My money's on mushrooms.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11708 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Actually, void the argument that it would be wrong to marry an animal, someone's beaten us to it  banghead 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4748292.stm

Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1964 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 8):
And this is the nature of a form of intellectual inquiry

Try as you might to perpetuate your self absorbed image of intelligence this is not an example of intellectual curiosity. Intellectual curiosity would be asking if there coud be a mutual beneft to intra species relations what the legal implications of equal rights would be and leaving it at that. Merging your passion for animal love (thus dethroning Kirkie) with hateful equations of gay marriage makes you nothing more then a mindless bigot with a dictionary.


User currently offlineSlovacek747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

animals are here for us.. i dont mind killing an animal.. will do it gladly at antime for any reason.

Slovacek747


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 10):
I'll tell you one thing though, if certain animals were as sentient as you seem to suggest, I'd say the joke's on us. Imagine the chimp sat at his PC laughing at us sorry lot even discussing this issue!

One of the reasons that this topic may be increasingly relevant as we approach the future is that, in years hence, we may yet develop an artificial life form that serves either as a perfect simulacrum or an actual exemplar of human existence. (Think of Data, from Star Trek, and "The Measure of a Man" (TNG).)

The popular idea of highly intelligent androids as servants of mankind -- infused, perhaps, with the Asimovian "Three Laws" -- suggests also the possibility that "nonhuman" entities may be entitled to rights that are closer and closer in nature to those of natural-born human beings. One might ask, for example, what rights, if any, that the rather servile, and yet decidedly intelligent, C-3PO of Star Wars fame should have, if he were real.

If these eventualities are in any way plausible, then knowledge of the roots, nature, and limitations of legal rights may be clearly in order, whether they arise from development of animal rights law or otherwise.

Suggested reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Measure_of_a_Man_(TNG_episode)

[Edited 2006-10-11 17:39:24]

User currently offline53Sqdn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1955 times:

I started to read this thread but, I found an instant comatose moment coming over me. It contained only one letter, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz  tired 

User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1950 times:

Quoting 53Sqdn (Reply 15):
I started to read this thread but, I found an instant comatose moment coming over me. It contained only one letter, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz  tired 

It worries me to learn that there is an additional letter to the alphabet consisting of fourteen instantiations of the 26th letter, "z". It appears that there are more than 26 letters in the English alphabet, after all.

  

[Edited 2006-10-11 17:43:10]

User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
One of the reasons that this topic may be increasingly relevant as we approach the future is that, in years hence, we may yet develop an artificial life form that serves either as a perfect simulacrum or an actual exemplar of human existence. (Think of Data, from Star Trek, and "The Measure of a Man" (TNG).)

The idea of androids as servants of mankind -- infused, perhaps, with the Asimovian "Three Laws" -- suggests also the possibility that "nonhuman" entities may be entitled to rights that are closer and closer in nature to those of natural-born "human beings".

I can understand that, and how it might be a topic for discussion. But what the hell it has to do with animals is beyond me!


I'm no idiot, but the fact I had to look up

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
simulacrum

in a dictionary pissed me right off!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
(Think of Data, from Star Trek, and "The Measure of a Man" (TNG).)

I'd rather not now, you have effectively sucked the entire entertainment and escapism value out of Star Trek.

 Wink


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 17):
I'd rather not now, you have effectively sucked the entire entertainment and escapism value out of Star Trek.

 Wink

Then my life's work is now complete. Bwahahahaha!

 Big grin


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4065 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1940 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
And then, of course, there is the religious aspect of this issue. Is it true that only human beings have a soul, and what is it that we mean by that, anyway?

That should NEVER be an issue when drawing up legislation.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
What are your thoughts and beliefs concerning the extension of legal, or quasi-legal, rights to animals, and do you agree with the thesis that animal rights may be the next frontier in the extension of civil liberties?

Animals already have rights - there are laws against animal cruelty, in most countries you can go to jail for it (or bestiality, might I add). The extent of those laws can certainly be discussed but they are absolutely necessary while people like this guy still exist.

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 13):
animals are here for us.. i dont mind killing an animal.. will do it gladly at antime for any reason.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1938 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 16):
It worries me to learn that there is an additional letter to the alphabet consisting of fourteen instantiations of the 26th letter, "z". It appears that there are more than 26 letters in the English alphabet, after all.

You actually COUNTED the number of zeds? Someone page KROC, we need the SHAFT for this thread!

Kieron747


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1930 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 20):
You actually COUNTED the number of zeds? Someone page KROC, we need the SHAFT for this thread!

Okay, so let me say, it's fourteen, with a margin of error of plus or minus zero. Rough estimate.

Better?

 Wink


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1918 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 10):
My money's on mushrooms

Isn't eating other peoples homes illegal? Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1918 times:

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 20):

Don't be surprised, I'm still waiting for him to rationalize/pseudo-intellectualize a response to:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 12):


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1909 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 23):
Don't be surprised, I'm still waiting for him to rationalize/pseudo-intellectualize a response to:

Forget it dude... the guy is too busy referencing Star Trek as a source for yet another one of his verbal diarrhea spasms.  Yeah sure And even if he does respond, all he's going to do is write another 1000 word essay that answers NOTHING. And anyway, come tomorrow they'll be another 10 threads started by him, and he'll have moved on from this.

It's called "shotgun posting." You fire off a ton of threads, and see which ones hit.

-UH60


25 AerospaceFan : Ted, I just saw your message. First of all, I'd like to say that I'm disappointed with UH's response, because I had thought that we had an understand
26 Post contains images 53Sqdn : Nuclear bomb, nuclear bomb!!!!! What's that bright fla.......ggghhhhh Live long and prostrate?
27 TedTAce : Your honor, Exhibit A: Now let's be precise, in reality you asked a VERY stupid question as opposed to advocating. However in your question you take
28 AerospaceFan : Ted, I'm sorry if I phrased the hypothetical in a way that offended you. No offense was meant. I was simply trying to find out what was different in
30 Post contains images DrDeke : I really can't see AerospaceFan taking psychedelic drugs. In my experience, people with his mindset and views on life do not generally enjoy psychede
31 Redngold : I'm sorry, but even as the animal lover I am, I find it ridiculous that the head of the Humane Society of the U.S. would propose calling dogs "Canine
32 Post contains images TedTAce : Posts like this are why I keep you on my RU.
33 Post contains images JpetekYXMD80 : This sounds like an Ali G episode, except that AF is not joking! Woman can vote, but horse cannot?!
34 AerospaceFan : I think we've completely lost sight of the topic at hand, which is best described by reference to the following: (Excerpt) There is no reason to allo
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