Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just When You Thought You Heard Everything - Personhood for Animals

Radical equality has reached an unimaginable level. The Institute for Emerging Ethics and Technologies have decided to start an advocacy project intended to raise what we use to call the “higher mammals” (and parrots) to legal personhood, thereby granting them "human" rights equal to our own.
Here is the IEET announcement:

Owing to advances in several fields, including the neurosciences, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the human species no longer can ignore the rights of non-human persons.

A number of non-human animals, including the great apes, cetaceans (i.e. dolphins and whales), elephants, and parrots, exhibit characteristics and tendencies consistent with that of a person—traits like self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and many others.

It is a moral and legal imperative that we now extend the protection of ‘human rights’ from our species to all beings with those characteristics.

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, as a promoter of non-anthropocentric personhood ethics, defends the rights of non-human persons to live in liberty, free from undue confinement, slavery, torture, experimentation, and the threat of unnatural death.

Further, the IEET defends the right of non-human persons to live freely in their natural habitats, and when that’s not possible, to be given the best quality of life and welfare possible in captivity (such as sanctuaries).

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