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Spanish Parliament Supports Extending Human Rights to Animals

on June 28, 2008

Reuters: “Spanish Parliament to Extend Rights to Apes” For the first time, a national legislature has voiced support for extending human rights to animals.

Resolutions approved in the Spanish Parliament’s environmental committee call on Spain to comply with the Great Apes project in protecting apes from harmful experimentation. According to the report, the resolutions enjoy cross-party support and will likely become law.

The resolutions enjoy cross-party support and will likely become law.

In addition, the law would also protect apes from being kept for the purpose of circuses or filming, both punishable offenses. Zoos will still be allowed to keep apes, but “conditions will need to improve drastically.”

The disturbing part of this story is not the protection for the apes. After all, humans have an obligation to care for the world that God created—including the apes. What is disturbing is the justification for this law, which was not (unsurprisingly) based on God’s command in Genesis.

Instead, the Great Apes Project’s founders claim that “non-human-hominids” are “our closest relatives” and should enjoy “the right to life, freedom, and not to be tortured.” The law, then, is founded upon evolutionary assumptions—a shaky foundation at best, since this law actually goes against evolutionary expectations.

If evolution is all there is, then why should we not abuse animals, including apes, as we see fit—especially if it can benefit us? After all, as it allegedly has been for “zillions” of years, animals must either evolve ways to survive our onslaught or die off to make room for us. Why should there be any moral value given to one species’s attempts at living and using resources as compared to another’s. In the supposed evolutionary nature of this world, we wouldn’t sue wolves for killing rabbits, cats for attacking dogs, or bats for eating fruit, or even male lions killing another male’s offspring, since everything is the result of time and chance with no inherent worth. But one can hardly expect these founders to be consistent, since they have no basis for objective truth.

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