Sunday, February 27, 2005

Someone has been thinking about testifying apes.

It turns out that one Bob Robb, author of articles such as "Bear Medicine" ("Wondering what cartridge to take black bear hunting this spring? Here's what we recommend."), has been thinking about the prospect that Koko, or one of his simian brethren, might testify in court. Prompted by a 1999 article in the New York Times, by one William Glaberson, who does not appear to have written any articles to date on the proper ammunition with which to shoot bears, Robb frets about the possibility -- nay, the likelihood -- that animal rights activists will use communicating apes as witnesses in litigation over the conditions in which animals are held.
Glaberson writes the inevitable trial could go something like this: A great ape will actually appear in the courtroom to testify on its own behalf at a trial protesting the animal's life behind bars. The ape will be able to testify itself using sign language or, perhaps, the voice of a synthesizer. All this will prove, they say, that animals have certain legal rights, including a fundamental right to liberty. The challenge to this simple but basic legal proposition is the foundation for much of what occurs in our society, including the mass raising of animals for, and the eating of, meat; pet ownership; using animals in medical experiments; and hunting and fishing, just to name a few.

Don't laugh. As we speak, lawyers are preparing the ground for such a lawsuit and trial. One is William Reppy Jr., a Duke University law professor, who together with a small but growing cadre of animal rights' lawyers say that you will be hearing a lot more from them soon. Another lawyer, David Favre, a law professor at Detroit College of Law at the University of Michigan, is participating in one planning group for such cases, labeled the Great Ape Legal Project. It's part of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a notorious national animal rights organization.

I'm not laughing. I want to know whether Koko will be holding a Bible when he takes the oath, or what?

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]