What Makes One Human?

If you say self-awareness, then maybe you will struggle with why it doesn’t include other animals. When I read this article, I realized that arcane laws are keeping people from doing the right thing. No, he’s not a person, but he should be able to receive donations from private citizens, for crying out loud. I think they’re trying to change the wrong law- change the donation law, not the human law.

Why do we need to make animals into humans in order to be restpectful?

13 thoughts on “What Makes One Human?

  1. Yes the donation law should be changed. You should be able to set up a charitable fund in Austria for anything you want (we can do that here, I assume… I could be wrong!) It’s silly how they are going about getting funding to support the chimp.

    As far as what’s human, that’s easy… A 100% match on Human DNA is all that counts. 99.6% isn’t even close… There is no CLOSE. Miscalculate trajectory when coming back from the Moon by 0.4% and you skip off the atmosphere… Or burn up in it. Miss by 0.4% on a 50-yard bomb to Reggie Wayne, and your pass misses by 7 inches… Maybe not caught. Miss 0.4% DNA, and yer a chimp. 🙂

  2. I think this whole story is a backdoor attempt by animal rights wackos to gain a legal precedent in the European Union for some sort of Civil Rights Push for NonHumans. Call it step one in a bold plan to force everyone in the world to be vegetarian by the year 2050.

    I like pets, and I don’t favor mistreating animals. But animals are chattel; they have no rights.

  3. I agree with Ken, but more strongly. Animals have absolutely no rights… At all. But I also believe that mistreating animals should be a punishable offense. And mistreating includes everything that doesn’t go directly into preparing them for eating. 🙂

  4. Sometimes I hope aliens will come take over our planet and teach us all a lesson about what it’s like to be the “lesser” species.

  5. Alien taste like chicken… and they are scary, with their clawed feet, flappy wings, pecking beaks, and that ominous cluck-cluck-cluck noise they make.

    Oh, wait a minute…

  6. OK, seriously now.

    I agree it’s the donation law that needs to be changed. But other than that, it’s a question of legal status that has nothing to do with DNA. What I find interesting is the remark that they are not trying to get him the right to vote… but unless there are different “degrees” of being a “person” under the law, wouldn’t becoming a person give *all* of the legal rights of one? Does the chimp become an Austrian citizen?

    My cat wants to vote… his ballot is in the litterbox. (I didn’t promise to stay serious):lol:

  7. Oz- I have to agree that the law is wrong, because if they don’t give the chimp the right to vote, then they are saying there are different degrees of being human. Makes NO sense. It is a question of legal status that has nothing to do with DNA (and, by that token, people with extra genes or missing genes don’t fit our template of human DNA…but we all know they are human).

    But I have to disagree with the opinions that animals have no rights, but should not be mistreated. Wait. Isn’t not being abused a right? Doesn’t my dog have a right not to be beaten? Maybe it’s just semantics, but I don’t see how believing animals shouldn’t be mistreated is any different from a “right.”

    How can animals be only chattel? If that’s the case, can’t run over my dog because I’m mad at her? Can’t I feed and water her when it’s convenient? Yes, I _can_. But it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. If mistreating animals is a punishable offense, then haven’t we given them de facto rights?

    No, they aren’t human. But how did we decide which ones were OK to eat? I am guessing that if I skinned and gutted LBFH’s cat to prepare it for eating, he wouldn’t be OK with it. But some cultures call that OK. Some others think cows should not be eaten.

    How is it that our point of view on what to eat is the right one?

  8. There are a lot of things we eat that I wonder “how the heck did someone get the idea to try that?”

    The whole meat/no meat argument is unproductive. Neither side is going to sway the other. I’ve known a lot of people who were various stages of vegetarian for various reasons. My ex-wife thought that religious reasons would sway me to become a vegetarian at one point… 😆 But I’ve never swayed, as eating meat isn’t antithecal to my spiritual beliefs.

    As to why I’d never put my cat on the menu but after I finish typing this I’ll slap a chunk of beef in a frying pan, it probably is highly cultural plus the fact that my cat is a companion. I’m sure many a farm kids have been traumatized to learn the source of dinner and what happened to Wilbur the Pig.

  9. A “companion” animal is one you give a name. Pets get names; livestock do not.

    Nicole asked, “Doesn’t my dog have a right not to be beaten?”

    Technically, a legal protection and a “right” (based on the ideals of individual liberty) are not at all the same. Your dog has a mild legal protection from mistreatment, since the police can write you a ticket for abusing or neglecting your pets. The dog, however, doesn’t have the “right” to petition government for a redress of grievances if she thinks your punishment it too light. But animal protection laws still regard the animals as property. The police can fine you for neglecting your house and yard too (Board of Health stuff), but we’re not likely to have an argument over natural rights for paint and grass.

  10. The police can do more than fine me for neglect- I could go to jail. As it should be.

    But the state’s laws are not the only ones that govern us. I would be friends with someone who neglected their house or yard. I would not be friends with someone who neglected any animals in their care.

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