Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 88 of our Green Year: Giving Rights to Apes

In the coming weeks, Spain is going to be passing a bill that will be revolutionary in its concept. This bill will extend human rights to the apes, including chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas. As a result, in the future, Spain will be the first country on Earth to protect apes as if they were humans.

Naturally, many disagree with this under the belief that humans are somehow separate from the animals species, and therefore allowed to have dominion over them. The truth is that we are merely a highly evolved mammal, and if it was not for evolving large brains for protection, our species would have been eaten by other animals long ago and disappeared forever.

Layla and I are big supporters of animal rights, so for the 88th day of Our Green Year, we have decided to donate money to, and join the Great Ape Project. This is the society that spearheaded the initiative to give apes rights in Spain, and everywhere else. They want apes to be treated as if they are humans, which we believe is the least that they deserve. After all, apes and humans share 98 percent of the same genetics, so we are very, very close.
Through the Great Ape Project, Spain will give the three essential human rights to apes, which are life, liberty and freedom from physical and psychological torture. This means it is a crime to kill them, use them on television and movies and use them in the circus or for medical experiments.

You may find it odd that we would give these things rights to apes, but the truth is that when you look at an ape, there is intelligence there. They are our cousins on this Earth and we need to start treating them like family. This is why Layla and I have extended our support to this project.

We do not have the right to dominate the animals of the Earth. We do not have a right to make them do our bidding and work for us. Some animals evolve highly complex strategies to survive in the wild, and that is what humans did, through our brains. However, our brains do not give us the right to kill whatever we see fit, and remove anything we find to be a nuisance. We can land on the moon, send probes outside or solar system, live in any environment on Earth and probe the secrets of the universe, but for whatever reason we can't figure out how to treat our fellow creatures properly.