heard everything?

One of my Canadian news aggregator sites led me to this story:

European Court agrees to hear chimp’s plea for human rights

I am not sure what is more bizarre… the fact that someone is actually attempting to make a case like this or the fact that the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to take the case.

The case involves a chimp in an animal sanctuary facing bankruptcy. A young woman wants to become his legal guardian to care for him if the sanctuary is forced to shut down. In order to be a ‘guardian’, the chimp has to be a person, hence this case.

Some of this young woman’s rationale:

Miss Stibbe, who is from Brighton but has lived in Vienna for several years, says she is not trying to get the chimp declared a human, just a person.

‘Everybody who knows him personally will see him as a person,’ she said.

‘In his home in the African jungle, he would have been well able to look after himself without a guardian.

But since he was abducted into an alien environment, traumatised and locked up in an enclosure, it did become necessary for me to act on his behalf to secure the donation money for him and to avoid his deportation.

‘Since he has no close relatives, I am doing this as the person closest to him.’

Actually, it seems to me that there must be other legal remedies where concerned individuals could make certain that animals threatened by a sanctuary closure would still be humanely treated and cared for. This case is much more than merely human compassion on threatened animals. It seems more of an attack on the meaning of personhood, humanity, and life itself. It is perfectly consistent with the nihilist value system of our age, completely comfortable with ending unwanted human life but desperately and lavishly trying to protect all and every kind of animal life as if it is sacrosanct.

HT: Jack’s Newswatch