Saturday, 16 April 2011

Lawyer Wants to Get Human Rights for Animals

"I want full rights (and a few bananas)!" Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

At the beginning of April, the journal Science published two short articles on animal rights. Steven Wise, an American lawyer, has for several years campaigned for at least some kind of personal rights for chimpanzees and dolphins.

Wise is not the only one who tries to explain away the enormous differences between humans and animals. Biology textbooks and natural history museums have been doing it for several decades.

Thomas White, who is a professor of ethics, has previously suggested that we should think of dolphins as “non-human persons”.

Wise says that he draws inspiration from the writings of Peter Singer. Like other activists, Singer is reluctant to give full human rights to unborn babies.

Although causing cruelty to animals is an un-Christian thing to do, animal rights activists are hardly worried about even more un-Christian issues, for instance, laws that give doctors and nursing staff the right to kill unborn babies or the reluctance to truly respect old and infirm people.

Ideas have consequences. One of the consequences of Darwinism is that while its adherents wish to promote and defend animal rights, they are often indifferent to the plight of humans.


Miller, Greg. 2011. A Road Map for Animal Rights. Science 332 (6025): 30-31. (1 April).