Or what makes a human “human” and an animal “not human”? Well, it’s not physical charactersitics because there are animals that share our physical characteristics. Humans have a soul and animals do not? There is no physical proof of the presence or absence of a soul in humans or animals for that matter. These questions and rebuttals can proceed ad infinitum. Eventually the question is begged: Do Animals Have Rights?
I don’t think this stuff up on my own. Usually someone a lot smarter and more articulate than I am writes something that get me thinking. And this time it’s no different. Via Althouse I found this article: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2014/04/in-his-animal-law-classes-wise-told-me.html
Which in turn led me to this NYT article: “Should a Chimp Be Able To Sue It’s Owner?”
Both of these articles look at the question more from the perspective of “in the eyes of the law, what makes a human different from an animal?” For one thing a human can communicate with his/her attorney or the court. If the client can’t then someone is given power of attorney and the right to speak for the one who can’t. Well that could be done for an animal as well, right? Hmmm… One thing seems for certain – humans are unique among the other animals of the earth and I don’t make that statement simply from the arrogance of being the Apex Predator. And since we are unique, there is something that makes us so. But exactly what is it? Up for debate – ad infinitum.
And it will only get more complicated…