Recently the human rights group Amnesty International spoke against the idea of according basic rights to nonhuman great apes now being considered by Spain’s governing Socialist Party.
Amnesty International correctly observed that the rights of many humans in the world are yet to be respected. The group also correctly understood that advocates are actually asking for basic rights for nonhuman apes, acknowledged by the United Nations — not just improvements in the conditions in which humans hold and use other great apes.
What Amnesty International misses is that respecting the ‘personhood’ of great apes does not diminish human rights. Moreover, such a change would help humanity to preserve the environment instead of destroying it, and it would open more general discussions of animal rights in Spain.
The Catholic archbishop Fernando Sebastian denounced the apes’ rights proposal, reportedly declaring, “Too much progress becomes ridiculous.”
More information available at the Great Ape Standing & Personhood website.