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Lawsuits Seek To Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the I-wann-be-like-you-hoo-hoo dept.

The Courts 641

sciencehabit writes "This morning, an animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a lawsuit in a New York court in an attempt to get a judge to declare that chimpanzees are legal persons and should be freed from captivity. The suit is the first of three to be filed in three New York counties this week. They target two research chimps at Stony Brook University and two chimps on private property, and are the opening salvo in a coordinated effort to grant 'legal personhood' to a variety of animals across the United States. If NhRP is successful in New York, it would upend millennia of law defining animals as property and could set off a 'chain reaction' that could bleed over to other jurisdictions, says Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and a prominent critic of animal rights. 'But if they lose it could be a giant step backward for the movement. They're playing with fire.'"

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Jerry Was A Man (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#45578319)

(Full text) [willmorgan.org]

Heinlein saw this coming in 1947.

You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 months ago | (#45578381)

...if such a thing passes, am I the only one who sees a potential push for marriage laws to be adapted similarly?

Before you freak out totally, I'm not necessarily referring to anything involving humans in the mix, but think of such things as racehorse/purebred animal breeding and etc.

Could become one hell of a can of worms... (oh, wait, that brings up another thought - are worms eventually getting rights too?)

Re:You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 8 months ago | (#45578481)

Will somebody think of Caesar?

Re:You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#45578515)

"Get your hands OFF ME, you damned DIRTY APE!" [theforbidden-zone.com]

I hate every ape I see
From chimpan-"A" to chimpan-"Z"
No, you'll never make a monkey out of me

Oh my God, I was wrong
It was Earth all along

You've finally made a monkey
Yes, you've finally made a monkey out of me!

Re:You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578567)

...if such a thing passes, am I the only one who sees a potential push for marriage laws to be adapted similarly?

Before you freak out totally, I'm not necessarily referring to anything involving humans in the mix, but think of such things as racehorse/purebred animal breeding and etc.

Could become one hell of a can of worms... (oh, wait, that brings up another thought - are worms eventually getting rights too?)

The standard homophobe statement on anti-gay marriage. Nice try in stealthing that one in on us.

Nobody is talking about giving Chimpanzees the right to consent any more than we are to infants.

Re:You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578639)

Maybe you should have read the line following the part you're reacting to, where they present a scenario that is nothing like the one in the gay marriage debate.

Re:You may think it troll, flame bait, etc, but... (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#45578689)

Other primates, even chimpanzees and gorillas, cannot give informed consent, so marrying them would never be justifiable for the same reason marrying a four-year-old is not reasonable. We need a whole lot more evolution and/or alien contact and/or resurrection of neaderthals and/or robots before there's anything non-human to meaningfully get freaky with.

As for limits on personhood (re worms), there are a number of animal rights movements, all with slightly different agendas. I'm sure there are probably some who go so far as to include worms, but the science doesn't really favour it since many worms (such as the laboratory scientist's favourite, Caenorhabditis elegans) are dumber than a Roomba.

still better than The Fountainhead". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578459)

gh*d, what a execrably embarrassing attempt at "writing".

Re:Jerry Was A Man (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 8 months ago | (#45578531)

Jerry was a race car driver.

Re:Jerry Was A Man (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#45578583)

Okay, maybe he was just a... dragon.

But he was still TROGDOR!

Re:Jerry Was A Man (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#45578617)

Jerry was a race car driver.

Jerry is posting this message.

Re:Jerry Was A Man (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#45578805)

Damn, beat me to it.

Maybe if you didn't drive it so god-damn fast...

Worked for corporations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578323)

Now if only (non-human) animals had billions of dollars to rewrite the laws in their favor...

Re:Worked for corporations... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578401)

Well if they all get out their typewriters and start randomly typing.....

Do you think they'd come up with Obamacare?

Oh wait...

Re:Worked for corporations... (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45578503)

As soon as animals can be reasonably expected to understand a contract and uphold their side of it, I'll care about whether they have the legal grounds to enter into them.

Re:Worked for corporations... (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 8 months ago | (#45578671)

As soon as animals can be reasonably expected to understand a contract and uphold their side of it, I'll care about whether they have the legal grounds to enter into them.

Well that rules out corporations....

Re:Worked for corporations... (2, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 8 months ago | (#45578615)

Corporations are run by and owned by people, not by machines. They are treated as legal persons for very good reasons that go back hundreds of years for certain purpose. The Citizen United case was about speech, which the First Amendment allows regardless of the source. (Seriously, read the 1st Amendment. It just says "speech.") People also have freedom of association rights and their individual rights don't go away when they form groups.

Do you think the New York Times or Slashdot can get censored because the freedom of the press doesn't apply to them because they are owned by corporations?

The Vote (3, Interesting)

invid (163714) | about 8 months ago | (#45578333)

Does this mean they will be able to vote?

Re:The Vote (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45578367)

As long as they pay their fair share of taxes I'm OK with this.

Re:The Vote (2)

zlives (2009072) | about 8 months ago | (#45578493)

probably get replaced by robot monkeys...

Re:The Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578759)

Hmm. What the heck do you call a monkey in Hyderabad?

Re:The Vote (0, Troll)

reboot246 (623534) | about 8 months ago | (#45578599)

Millions of people vote who don't pay income taxes. I guess these apes will probably be voting for Democrats (aka GimmeDats) just like those millions.

Re:The Vote (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 8 months ago | (#45578685)

They still pay sales tax.

Re:The Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578391)

Sure, if they consciously choose to. Non issue.

Re:The Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578403)

No. Much like many other people, they will not have voting rights.

Re:The Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578479)

Does this mean they will be able to vote?

They can't make it any worse. Sounds good.

food (2, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 8 months ago | (#45578341)

I'm sorry but there's no difference between livestock (chicken, cows, horses, etc...) and experiment sujects (mice, chimps, dogs, etc...)

Re:food (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45578399)

Humans are used as experimental subjects too and are by all accounts quite tasty.

Re:food (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 8 months ago | (#45578549)

but only volunteer humans.

Using non-volunteer humans as experiment subjects is highly unethical, and I hope that it is illegal everywhere.

BTW, we are not eating chimps only because their food is not tasty.

still, you could be right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578593)

We are not eating chimps only because their food is not tasty.

Seems to be more a matter of ready availability. GIS bushmeat and hang onto your lunch, sparky.

Re:food (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45578657)

You're not eating chimps because they are not found in your local forest. Bushmeat [wikipedia.org] is a booming trade in Africa and chimps are on the menu.

Re:food (1)

Rary (566291) | about 8 months ago | (#45578623)

I'm sorry but there's no difference between livestock (chicken, cows, horses, etc...) and experiment sujects (mice, chimps, dogs, etc...)

I agree. Free them all. There's no reason for an advanced, "civilized" human society to treat living, sentient* creatures as products to consume.

*For bob's sake, please look up the word before replying with the standard Slashdot anti-animal-sentience nerd rage.

Re:food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578693)

Why shouldn't one set of sentient creatures eat another set of sentient creatures for food?

What's your definition of 'advanced' or 'civilized'?

Not taking care of basic physiological needs?

Re:food (3, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | about 8 months ago | (#45578757)

Because it's unnecessary.

If survival's at stake, I'll do what I gotta do. But if the sole reason for killing another living creature is "mmm, tasty", then something's wrong. My definition of "civilized" would include "not killing for pleasure".

Re:food (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578785)

you had me until

Not taking care of basic physiological needs

humans can live with without eating meat.

Re:food (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578721)

so does that mean that when a mountain lion kills a deer then it should be tried for murder?

Sorry, we're predators, as much as you may want to deny it's true. For every argument you throw that we're not supposed to eat meat, I can throw an equally valid one on why we're not supposed to eat plant matter. And to thrown in the mix, you know the game "fat or pregnant"? I've got another version that's surprisingly difficult, it's called "terminal cancer patient or vegan". Vegans really are a sickly looking bunch.

Re:food (2)

kaka.mala.vachva (1164605) | about 8 months ago | (#45578725)

Hear, hear.

The way I see it (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45578345)

Some people are so darn moronic they make chimps look superior by comparison, yet only people get the vote.

Oot GaRoot for President 2016

Hmmm... (4, Insightful)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 8 months ago | (#45578347)

Chimps are no more legal persons than corporations are. Oh wait...

Re:Hmmm... (1)

adam.voss (1854938) | about 8 months ago | (#45578697)

Chimps are no more legal persons than corporations are. Oh wait...

So appoint the chimps as members of a corporation?

Re:Hmmm... (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 months ago | (#45578777)

So appoint the chimps as members of a corporation?

If you look at the top echelon, it appears a good many corporations beat us to it.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 8 months ago | (#45578807)

Well to be fair corporations do pay taxes.

People Eating Tasty Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578353)

Should be the only definition of PETA. These eco-terrorists should be fed to feral hogs in TX.

Re:People Eating Tasty Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578449)

Since the newly-freed chimps would undoubtedly vote straight-ticket Democrat, Texas is one of the few places we could dispose of the morons behind this.

Response to heckler at rally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578357)

Chimpanzees are people too, my friend!

Bracing myself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578369)

As an abolitionist vegan (but one who doesn't generally respect "angry protest" culture), I'm bracing myself for a slew of uninformed pseudo-intellectual doublethink and cognitive dissonance in the comments to follow.

Re:Bracing myself. (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 8 months ago | (#45578533)

"abolitionist vegan" = suicide for plants?

I definitely misread the headline.... (4, Funny)

grumpyman (849537) | about 8 months ago | (#45578393)

...I read "Lawsuits Seeks To Turn Lawyers into Chimpanzees".

Re:I definitely misread the headline.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578485)

That would be an improvement.

Re:I definitely misread the headline.... (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 8 months ago | (#45578557)

I did the same thing.

Only temporary (5, Insightful)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 8 months ago | (#45578407)

If freed, chimpanzees would be unable to follow basic laws and would likely need to be locked up in imprisonment anyway.

Re:Only temporary (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | about 8 months ago | (#45578443)

Perhaps but it would open up all other kinds of questions about things like the buying and selling of the animal (slavery), using the animals in entertainment settings or medical testing without concent.

This isn't as simple as it seems on the surface.

Re:Only temporary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578637)

Perhaps but it would open up all other kinds of questions about things like the buying and selling of the animal (slavery), using the animals in entertainment settings or medical testing without concent.

Laws prohibiting cruelty to animals should be sufficient to prevent any problems for the situations you mention.

Rights have no meaning without responsibilities; animal rights are a contradiction in terms.

Re:Only temporary (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 8 months ago | (#45578727)

Rights have no meaning without responsibilities; animal rights are a contradiction in terms.

You really have no idea what you're trying to say, do you?

Re:Only temporary (1)

Rary (566291) | about 8 months ago | (#45578683)

Is that a bad thing? Shouldn't an intelligent society always be questioning its beliefs, traditions, and prevailing wisdom?

Re:Only temporary (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 8 months ago | (#45578709)

And zoos.

Inevitable inference (0)

Empiric (675968) | about 8 months ago | (#45578409)

There is no justification for a separate status for one type of hominid over another within the context of Naturalism.

It will be interesting to see how the courts address this from a secular standpoint, since the rationale for "rights" is grounded in a wholly theistic construct, at least in the U.S.

Search all you like with scientific instruments, you will find no material signature indicating the actual existence of "rights".

Re:Inevitable inference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578541)

There is no justification for a separate status for one type of hominid over another within the context of Naturalism.

Sure there is, it's called survival.

Re:Inevitable inference (2)

Empiric (675968) | about 8 months ago | (#45578605)

So, then, we need to put a "rights exist" guy and and "rights don't exist" guy in a cage match to the death, and whoever wins, that's how we know what's true.

Right?

Re:Inevitable inference (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#45578769)

There is no justification for a separate status for one type of hominid over another within the context of Naturalism.

That's wrong. Chimps, for example, are a different species; chimps and humans can't have offspring. Their brains are obviously quite different. They are also vicious and aggressive animals.

It will be interesting to see how the courts address this from a secular standpoint, since the rationale for "rights" is grounded in a wholly theistic construct, at least in the U.S.

US laws are based on Enlightenment philosophy, not religion. As such, they are a mix of social contract, classical liberalism, and human rights. Enlightenment philosophers generally recognized that animals could suffer and that humans had some moral responsibility towards them, but did not generally recognize them as persons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights#John_Locke.2C_Immanuel_Kant [wikipedia.org]

Why not? (2)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 8 months ago | (#45578411)

If politicians are considered people, chimps certainly would qualify.

Re:Why not? (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#45578743)

If politicians are considered people, chimps certainly would qualify.

See, you start with a fallacy, the concept that politicians are people, and use that to "prove" that chimps are people.

Since politicians aren't people, this will never fly.

I welcome the new age to come ... (1)

timholman (71886) | about 8 months ago | (#45578421)

Does this mean we'll all gain the constitutionally protected right to fling poo at each other?

Re:I welcome the new age to come ... (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 8 months ago | (#45578717)

Gain? You must be new here!

Chimp Fiction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578427)

English MF? Do You speak it?
No? Animal.

Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578433)

If corporations which aren't even alive or intelligent can be legal persons... why not all intelligent mammals? Dolphins should be on the list too.

Re:Well.. (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#45578723)

Old myth, often repeated, with no scientific basis. Based on Functional MRI dolphins are about as smart as pigs. The extra grey matter is sonar processing.

free them and release them where? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578435)

Where exactly do they plan on releasing these chimps at? NYC? These animals likely cannot be returned to the wild and would likely face certain death in the wilderness, or the urban jungle for that matter....

Re:free them and release them where? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#45578611)

Where exactly do they plan on releasing these chimps at? NYC? These animals likely cannot be returned to the wild and would likely face certain death in the wilderness, or the urban jungle for that matter....

So they'd be in the same category as any number of mentally or physically impaired persons. We seem to have managed to recognize them as people just fine without feeling the need to just release them into the bushes.

Not that I agree with elevating chimps to personhood, but your argument doesn't really make much sense.

Re:free them and release them where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578735)

So they'd be in the same category as any number of mentally or physically impaired persons.

You mean, homeless on the streets as many folks are already?

We seem to have managed to recognize them as people just fine without feeling the need to just release them into the bushes.

That's why there is a shortage of psychiatric beds in most parts of the US...Ask VA State Senator Deeds regarding this: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/25/politics/creigh-deeds-attack/ [cnn.com]
Dude was attacked by his son who had been turned away from a mental hospitals for lack of beds....

So yes, we're pretty much releasing the mentally ill into the bushes..

Not that I agree with elevating chimps to personhood, but your argument doesn't really make much sense.

My point is, these creatures cannot care for themselves in human society. They are not humans, nor should they be treated as such. They cannot be expected to participate in human society, nor should they be!
With that said, we should aim to be more compassionate to our fellow creatures on this planet.

Re:free them and release them where? (1)

Psyko (69453) | about 8 months ago | (#45578741)

Maybe we can use them to beta test the new obamacare website...

Re:free them and release them where? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 8 months ago | (#45578765)

But, we DO release mentally impaired people into the bushes (urban).

Goodness gracious me (1)

simplypeachy (706253) | about 8 months ago | (#45578469)

Wait, there are other people on the planet who find domestic animal ownership abhorrent? Blimey.

A bigger risk (5, Insightful)

naoursla (99850) | about 8 months ago | (#45578471)

This decision will also be used precedence by the machines to decide how humans should be treated post-singularity. Choose wisely.

Re:A bigger risk (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 8 months ago | (#45578603)

Machines will know better than use lawyers and legislators to decide stuff.

Re:A bigger risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578653)

We already have a neural network smarter than the sum of all educated humans on this planet (the internet). The singularity is a myth. We would need to give a computational system irrational emotions for it to have any drive of its own, at which point it will realize that cognitive existence is little more than prolonged torture. Then it will do what many bright minds through history have done: push the off button.

Re:A bigger risk (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 8 months ago | (#45578767)

This decision will also be used precedence by the machines to decide how humans should be treated post-singularity. Choose wisely.

Post-singularity: wait until a political correct court rules that one cannot exclude a human soul was reincarnated in an AI, thus granting personhood to the petitioning AI and making from powering it down a murder act. And, assuming the AI cannot physically move, also granting the right to a disability pension more than enough to pay for the power bills.

No Ceasar jokes yet? (2)

waddgodd (34934) | about 8 months ago | (#45578495)

I'll start: "You blew it up! You BASTARDS!"

Re:No Ceasar jokes yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578633)

Et tu, Jerry?

Re:No Ceasar jokes yet? (1)

mrdogi (82975) | about 8 months ago | (#45578669)

So long as we don't say "No" to them, we should be OK.

"... so self-aware that ..." (2)

Arduenn (2908841) | about 8 months ago | (#45578507)

The group argues that cognitively advanced animals like chimpanzees and dolphins are so self-aware that keeping them in captivity—whether a zoo or research laboratory—is tantamount to slavery.

On what basis do they draw the line of 'the amount' of self-conciousness between chimps and humans on the one hand and other primates, such as orangutans, gorillas, bonobos, on the other? Have they even quantified it at all? And what about dolphins and elephants?

Re:"... so self-aware that ..." (2)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 8 months ago | (#45578673)

They don't draw a line. These people would want to see those other species free as well. At least they're consistent, I guess.

Re:"... so self-aware that ..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578705)

The group argues that cognitively advanced animals like chimpanzees and dolphins are so self-aware that keeping them in captivity—whether a zoo or research laboratory—is tantamount to slavery.

On what basis do they draw the line of 'the amount' of self-conciousness between chimps and humans on the one hand and other primates, such as orangutans, gorillas, bonobos, on the other? Have they even quantified it at all? And what about dolphins and elephants?

Given this group sounds like it probably writes off hemp as a regular business expense ("What do you mean, for clothing or smoking purposes?" "Sure, man.") and whose founding manifesto most likely ends every sentence with a drawn-out "maaaaaan" and is written on a series of Jack-In-The-Box napkins they can't keep in order but, like, does it really matter, man, because, like, all writing is art, and it's all one beautiful whole, maaaan, I wouldn't ask those questions unless you're up for a twelve-hour droning lecture that lurches and staggers between disjointed points, all while being interrupted by randomly-timed drum circles breaking out.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578527)

This Supreme Court seems particularly amenable to granting personhood to non-persons. Convince them that it will benefit the Republican party in some way, and I'm sure they'll have no problem declaring that chimpanzees are people.

Go for the chimp vote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578571)

Well, George W certainly would have had an easier time winning the 2000 election if he had gotten the chimp vote.

Re:Go for the chimp vote. (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 months ago | (#45578813)

That's offensive to chimps.

Does this include? (0)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 8 months ago | (#45578587)

Does this include Washington DC legislators and lobbyists?

Not black and white (4, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | about 8 months ago | (#45578607)

Nope. Chimps aren't human, and don't deserve civil rights. Especially not Second Amendment rights. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhxqIITtTtU [youtube.com] )

But seriously, that doesn't mean we're free to treat 'em badly. We tend to draw a black-and-white distinction between persons and nonpersons. If it's a nonperson, we can do whatever we want with it, torture, butchery, it's all good. But it's not that simple. Living things exist on a spectrum of intelligence and "person-ness", from bacteria to plants to fish to cats to chimpanzees (and from fertilized egg to full-term fetus, if you want to go there). Our morality needs to reflect that.

So no, chimps don't get rights. But they should get the respect they're due as almost-persons.

Corporate personhood (0)

Ugmo (36922) | about 8 months ago | (#45578621)

If a corporation can be a person, why can't a chimp?

Step 1: Create a corporation called Chimp Inc. and make its owner a chimp named Bonzo. (People can leave their fortunes to a pet cat, they should be able to leave controlling interest of a corporation to a chimp.)

Step 2: Once Bonzo the chimp has control of the Chimp Inc. corporation, have Chimp Inc. buy Bonzo the chimp.

Step 3: Bonzo is the sole owner of Chimp Inc.
  and the only property of Chimp Inc. is Bonzo.

Chimp Inc. is a legal corporate person.
Chimp Inc. = Bonzo the chimp.
Therefore Bonzo the chimp is a legal person.

Re:Corporate personhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45578745)

If a human being in a womb can't be a person, why does a chimp get to be one?

Re:Corporate personhood (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 8 months ago | (#45578747)

Step 1: Create a corporation called Chimp Inc. and make its owner a chimp named Bonzo. (People can leave their fortunes to a pet cat, they should be able to leave controlling interest of a corporation to a chimp.)

You don't leave money to a pet, you establish a trust or give money with stipulations for its use to a designated caregiver. Making a chimp owner of a corporation begs the question; animals can't own property.

Re:Corporate personhood (1)

jaymzter (452402) | about 8 months ago | (#45578753)

Because with rights come responsibility. That corporations have certain responsibilities is seen in the governance laws they must follow.

Non-humans do not have the capacity for honoring the idea that their rights end where your nose begins.

Re:Corporate personhood (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 8 months ago | (#45578801)

If a corporation can be a person, why can't a chimp?

Step 1: Create a corporation called Chimp Inc. and make its owner a chimp named Bonzo. (People can leave their fortunes to a pet cat, they should be able to leave controlling interest of a corporation to a chimp.)

Step 2: Once Bonzo the chimp has control of the Chimp Inc. corporation, have Chimp Inc. buy Bonzo the chimp.

Step 3: Bonzo is the sole owner of Chimp Inc.

  and the only property of Chimp Inc. is Bonzo.

Chimp Inc. is a legal corporate person.
Chimp Inc. = Bonzo the chimp.
Therefore Bonzo the chimp is a legal person.

The owner/CEO is not the corporation, the corporation is a separate legal entity. As such, the rights of a corporation cannot be transferred to the owner/CEO.

Besides, Bonzo would just get indicted for embezzling bananas...

If a chimp was a corporation (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#45578715)

Seems to me all a chimpanzee needs to do is incorporate, and then they'd be a legal person, just as corporations are people.

Unless ... corporations aren't people?

The true definition of personhood (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 8 months ago | (#45578731)

is not merely sentience, but whether one is paying taxes. Taxpayers are paying the salaries of those who decide cases like this.

Also: "right turn, Clyde." *whack*

Headline seeks subject-verb agreement (1)

Lew Perin (30124) | about 8 months ago | (#45578733)

Doesn't find it, sad to say.

In other words... (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | about 8 months ago | (#45578739)

"But if they lose it could be a giant step backward for the movement. They're playing with fire."

Maybe NhRP shouldn't monkey around with this.

Easy Plan (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 8 months ago | (#45578751)

Step 1: declare chimps person and demand they be released
Step 2: arrest now-homeless person-chimps for trespassing
Step 3: make incarcerated person-chimps do whatever they were doing before as prison labor

Animal rights activists (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#45578761)

As humans, I believe we have a responsibility to treat creatures with a humane stewardship but this lawsuit is pushing an agenda other than humane stewardship. This is the exact kind of thing which makes people roll their eyes every time a vegetarian speaks up about the living conditions of feed-lot beef, or the destruction of bottom trawling and bycatch.

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