I was curiously surprised when I read that the Spanish government is to give human rights to great apes. Of course it’s good news for the marvellous hairy beasts in that they will be given protection from experimentation and exploitation. Of course that protection should already be in place by way of their animal rights but if giving them human rights on acount of their kinship with their human cousins assures that protection by law then I won’t argue. And anyway, it’s not such a crazy idea if you read this article. It’s an old article and some of it may be irrelevant now but it does explain how making apes people by law can actually help protect the rainforests and also the livelihoods of the indigenous people.
But who can fail to miss the contrary message by the Spanish government? They talk about animal rights and want to protect the gorilla while continuing to allow their barbaric bullfighting customs.
Animal rights. Human rights. What does it matter? All species have rights – just different needs. Shame the world can’t protect all species from human abuse.