Thursday 5 December 2013

Working in Montréal today --Free the NY chimp!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

A society can be measured by how it treats its weakest members..   Fyodor Dostoyevsky?  Mahatma Gandhi? Oh wait, when Gandhi said it he said how the society treats its animals and when Dostoyevsky said it he said it about how society treats its prisoners.

So in New York a suit has been filed seeking to have a particular chimpanzee released from its small cage it what has been described as horrible, isolated conditions.  The prisoner chimp.

I am all for this.  I have no wish for any animal to be treated poorly.

Oh but wait...

The filing attorney and his clients an animal rights group is seeking not only the release of the chimp, but also for the New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emotional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals “legal personhood” so that they are ensured better treatment.

This is where the needle skips back across the record so we can hear that again..  gzzzzzt.

"Legal personhood". You have got to be sh:tting me.  Legal Personhood??!?  Does the filing legal beagle know what that means?  Before I continue the beration and belittling of the filing counsel's case I will mention that if he wishes to use my Dostoyevsky / Gandhi juxtaposition of Jesus' how you treat the least of my brethren verses in his opening remarks he may, he has my release.  just sayin'.

There are three 'personhoods' under the law.  Moral, legal and constitutional. They may be confusing Moral Personhood with Legal Personhood, beats me. let's examine. A Moral Person is that being capable of knowing the difference between good and evil and is capable of making judgments based on this knowledge and therefore be held held responsible for those judgements.

No.. That's not right either, since a chimpanzee is NOT capable of knowing the difference between good and evil, a chimp is simply by all observations the Id.

Sidebar.  The Id, the selfish beast within the mind, concerned with solely satisfying the pleasure sensors. The Ego strives to satisfy the Id's desires through interactions with reality, and the Super Ego tempers the whole process with a moral compass.  There, one need not take out student loans and spend 3 years pursuing a Psych degree, this is all you need to know.  That and  all women have Johnson envy and all men have castration anxiety.. (!) In other context, Rob 'crack smoking, kittie eating' Ford is the Id, his brother Doug 'the enabler' Ford is the Ego and City 'gonna strip them powers' Council the Super Ego.

And we are back.

So Moral Personhood does not fit the chimpanzee, how about Legal Personhood?

A legal person is an entity that is recognized and protected under common law or statutory law. A legal person is an entity (human, corp, govt) that can, under common law or statutory law, hold and sell property, and sue or be sued.
Does the lawyer and the animal rights group suggest that If I were the recipient of a flying turd tossed by some impudent chimp that I could sue the chimp?  Or that that same chimp could enter into a contract to buy my car and rent a garage?
I think we can agree that the chimpanzee lacks the cognitive abilities to enter into a contract  and lacks the moral compass to honour it.
Cruising at 31,000 feet here and it's pretty choppy up here, and I am running out of time, what's left.. constitutional person.  That is the status of a human being or legal entity with some or all constitutional rights.   Since we are talking about a U.S. legal question, let's examine the U.S. Constitution.  How about the first words.. We the people.  ah screw it, let's jump to the best part..  the second amendment and the right to bear arms.
Remember Charlton 'you can have my gun when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands' Heston in the '68 Planet of the Apes?  Yes, that's right, it wasn't good for the humans when the apes had guns.
Right, Charlton not Charleston.  Thanks for the spellcheck Sherri :)
Let's wrap this up, a chimp knows neither right nor wrong, can't be trusted to enter into contracts and should not be armed.
If the petitioning party is actually concerned with the welfare of this particular chimp then it should explore its options under animal cruelty laws.
For other pulps about our primate cousins..
Scientific dilemma: how to fling a monkey into space.
Have a great day, enjoy your opposable thumbs.


  1. Hey Pete Neighbor, are you thick or something, if you want the monkey to be free that's good but it's NOT human!

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