PETA: Rat = Boy

Monkey-selfieWelcome to the universe of PETA.

Because a macaque took a picture of itself with a photographer’s camera, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a copyright lawsuit today on behalf of the monkey. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/offbeat/monkey-who-took-grinning-selfie-should-own-copyright-us-lawsuit/ar-AAeDuuo?ocid=ansmsnnews11

There is a mountain of theology tucked under this lawsuit. The Bible describes humans as the only creatures made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This is the basis of human rights (Genesis 9:6).

PETA lives in a different universe: People are another species of animal—nothing more, nothing less. As PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”  http://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/why-animal-rights/

Therefore, if people have rights of personhood, great apes should have the same rights. In fact, great apes can deserve even more rights than people. As PETA’s “high priest,” Princeton ethicist Peter Singer said, “Killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person.” http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/faq.html

Here are a few milestones in PETA’s quest:
In 2007, Majorca and related Spanish islands granted legal personhood rights to great apes. http://web.archive.org/web/20100203225450/http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_rose/20070802.html

In 2014, Argentina granted basic human rights to an orangutan. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/23/world/americas/feat-orangutan-rights-ruling/

On April 20 this year, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe granted a writ of habeas corpus to two chimpanzees. http://www.nonhumanrightsproject.org/2015/04/20/judge-recognizes-two-chimpanzees-as-legal-persons-grants-them-writ-of-habeas-corpus/

The next day, April 21, the words “writ of habeas corpus” were removed from the order. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/nyregion/judge-orders-hearing-for-2-chimps-said-to-be-unlawfully-detained.html

Today’s lawsuit regarding the monkey selfies is the surprising next step. When will PETA file suit for personhood rights for rats?

Advertisements

About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in culture, public square, theology, values and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s