Should animals have “personhood” status?

bellaTaxpayers, don’t you think it’s about high time we explore the rights of fish and animals? Look, I love animals. I melt like grilled cheese in July when I look into the eyes of my dog Bella when she wants a piece of my bacon. But she’s a dog. Made in a dog’s image.
In December, a conference on “ Personhood Beyond the Human” will be held at Yale University, to focus on personhood for nonhuman animals, including great apes, cetaceans, and elephants.  Conference organizers say they will explore the “evolving notions of personhood” for non people by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics, and law.
Featured speaker, “ethicist” Peter Singer, once said, “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.”  
(Yes, as evidenced by the slaughter of more than 50 million babies since the legalization of abortion in our nation, I would say that many do have a problem seeing human life as valuable. But a lizard gets “personhood status?”)

The conference is co-sponsored by the Nonhuman Rights Project and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies in collaboration with the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and will pursue ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness.

By the close of the conference, attendees will have gained an enhanced understanding of the neurological, cognitive, and behavioral underpinnings of personhood and those traits required for such consideration; personhood theory; the history of personhood consideration and status (both in terms of philosophical and legal conceptions); and the legal hurdles and requirements for granting personhood status outside of the human species. The Nonhuman Rights Project will be presenting our research from the past five years including research on the varying legal causes of action that the Nonhuman Rights Project will use to argue legal personhood for specific nonhuman animals.

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3 Responses to Should animals have “personhood” status?

  1. Becca says:

    I agree that animals should *not* get personhood status. Is that Bella in the picture? She is so cute!! Is she a retriever-corgi mix?


    • Amy Spreeman says:

      That is indeed Bella! She is a retriever – sheltie mix, we think. We rescued her so we are not really sure, but several vets over the years have guessed sheltie. Anyway, she thinks she is a person so that's all that matters!


  2. Marie says:

    Interesting post. There is a theology within the temples made with human hands that is far more sinister than knighting animals with the "personhood" status….and that is this. In churches across this country there are Bible studies being conducted from one who calls himself a pastor, writing and publishing his own studies that can be purchased for a handsome price. He twists the Scriptures to "educate" the blind sheep into believing that "our pets" will go to heaven. I have sat in on Bible (?????) studies where the discussions have become heated over this new doctrine of salvation for our pets and if my memory serves me correctly, does not the Word of God say, "There is no other name by which man can be saved, than the name of Jesus Christ?"

    Or do our new and improved versions of the Bible state "There is no other name by which man……..or beast……..can be saved, than the name of Jesus Christ?" We have come a long way, from humanizing animals in cartoons, television shows, movies and the like, to now, declaring they have eternal life through Jesus Christ. The insanity of it all.

    The Bible study (?) in question was written by a Randy Alcorn, promoted and endorsed by church leadership. Perhaps the "personhood" status of animals will be embraced by many a religious folk in churches across this country, for it seems God, our Father, has given us what we really desire in the first place, depraved minds.


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