A lot of people laughed or were deeply worried when it was known that Zapatero's party was supporting that the apes should have the same rights as the humans.
Now it is Austrian activists the ones who want chimpanzees to be considered humans:
In some ways, Hiasl is like any other Viennese: He indulges a weakness for pastry, likes to paint and enjoys chilling out watching TV. But he doesn't care for coffee, and he isn't actually a person — at least not yet.
In a case that could set a global legal precedent for granting basic rights to apes, animal rights advocates are seeking to get the 26-year-old male chimpanzee legally declared a "person."
Hiasl's supporters argue he needs that status to become a legal entity that can receive donations and get a guardian to look out for his interests.
"Our main argument is that Hiasl is a person and has basic legal rights," said Eberhart Theuer, a lawyer leading the challenge on behalf of the Association Against Animal Factories, a Vienna animal rights group.
"We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under
certain conditions," Theuer said.
"We're not talking about the right to vote here."
Hiasl, a 26-year-old male chimpanzee looks through the glass at his enclosure at an animal sanctuary in Voesendorf, south of Vienna, on Friday, May 4, 2007. Austrian animal rights advocates are waging an unusual court battle to get the chimpanzee legally declared a "person." Hiasl's supporters argue that he needs that status to become a legal entity who can receive donations and get a guardian to look out for his interests. (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss)Hmmm, a chimpazee can receive donations and get a guardian... I wonder what is the real motive for this activism.
When this was discussed in Spanish Parliament, some people investigated about the project called "Great Ape". Its supporter, called Singuer, said this:
Q: You wrote in "Practical Ethics": Killing a chimpanzee is worse than killing a human being who, being an innate intelectual disabled, would never be able to be actually a person".So it seems that "practical ethics" are no ethics at all.
A: We have to be really sure that it is disabled person, so if a boy is not able to recognise people, nor to establish social relations, nor to enjoy his life, whereas the chimpanee has a much richer and more complex life that that human being that is deeply handicapped, I believe that then it is a loss of more little importance to kill that human being that a chimpanzee".
I am not in favour of torturing animals -in fact, you can see how a person is with humans if you see how he treats animals- or in making them any kind of harm. But legislations already have measures that punish people if they are mistreating animals. This type of measures are more of a phylosophic type than really needed. I mean, being considered as humans is not going to prevent them to be harmed. If there are people who torture other humans, kill, maim, what is the real protection for them?